Preparing for Worship: I Must Be In My Father's House

Preparing for Worship: I Must Be In My Father's House

John Haralson   •   January 27, 2017

“A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”

Gandalf, in The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Dear Friends,

Over the past couple of years, God has been making some significant changes in me. Most critically, he is freeing me to become more present to him and to others in my day-to-day life. Prior to this, there were some pretty important ways that I was going through the motions of my life. On the surface I was being faithful; yet, deep down, fear and shame were preventing me from stepping more fully into the callings God has given me. To put it succinctly, I was there but not there.

As I continue to celebrate at God’s transformative grace to me in recent years, I marvel at how he left my passivity untouched for so many years. God, of course, was painfully aware of the changes that needed to happen in my heart and life (some of you were too!). And, I might quickly add, he is still painfully aware of the changes that he has yet to bring into my life.

However, for his own reasons, God allowed significant parts of my being and actions to remain as they were for so many years. And, even though I now wish God would have acted sooner, the reality is that he did not.

This is one of the mysteries of God’s grace: God works on his own timetable.

One of the wrong conclusions we can draw in response to God’s patient grace is to believe that because he isn’t currently challenging us, he must then approve of our actions, convictions, and commitments.

This is a big misconception to hold. We cannot mistake God’s patience with us for his endorsement of all of our deeply cherished beliefs.

But here is the good news. Even though God allows sin and our significant misunderstanding(s) of him to lie dormant, sometimes for very long times, one day he will engage us precisely in these areas where we need to grow.

In other words, God loves us too much to leave us alone.

I hope to worship with you on Sunday.

This week: I Must Be in my Father’s House, Luke 2:39-52

Liturgy is here.

Warmly in Christ,

John

PS The new Christian Formation class, Understanding and Living God’s Story: Connecting our Head and Heart, continues this week at 10:30am in the sanctuary. Come join us as we look at the overall story God tells in the Bible.