PREPARING FOR WORSHIP
I don’t know how other pastors prepare to preach on Sunday. All week I read and think and ponder the text which I am going to preach. On Saturday I organize and write out my words and edit and relentlessly strip out unnecessary words and I prepare my mind to preach. On Saturday I feel as if a great, dark cloud surrounds me. Thunder and lightening and the threatening presence of God’s holiness is always there and I am but a poor sinner called to do a work of God. After all, I am in the presence of God’s Word and therefore in the presence of God himself. But at the same time, I know that the grace of God surrounds me and he not only protects me but also shapes me and forms me as I prepare to preach. God’s presence prepares me to preach his Word to his Church.
I do not know how you prepare for worship. But it seems to me that if you do not find God in the assembling of his people and in the prayers and hymns and in the preaching of the Word, maybe it is because you did not prepare to come and meet God. And perhaps he hides himself from you lest you become undone by his presence.