The wonder and expectancy so visible in children are traits I wish I could recapture more. We've been with the grandchildren this weekend and they've shown us again those looks of absolute anticipation that is thrilling. It may actually be something inconsequential that lights them up. But, how refreshing to see their joy when some- thing good has been promised to them. I mean, even something as small as the promise to go to Chuck E. Cheese's for pizza and games reminds me that expectancy heightens experience. The build up makes everything better.
Of course, most of us are jaded. The mean streets take some of the expectation from us. Even something as essential as our weekly worship is basically routine. Today millions of us will get our ticket punched at church, do the after-church lunch habit, and then go about our business in the same mind-set and heart condition as before we did the Sunday thing. The awesome sense of meeting God, hearing His Word, worshiping with His people, and being filled and prepared to serve Him seems to have been lost in the mechanics of church. It is disheartening to know that so many people will go to church today expecting little, the same 'ol same 'ol.
Isaiah spoke God's Word to the nation in such a time. "The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service---yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship consists of man-made rules learned by rote --- therefore I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of the wise men will vanish, and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden" (Isaiah 19:13-14). it was a time when the people were going through the motions, expecting little, and God brought them under judgment. The wonders He promised were designed to prove wrong their wisdom and make them stand in awe of God.
Read through Scripture to see the wonderment of people worshiping and serving the Living God. In the Psalms King David stands in awe of Him, amazed in His presence, aware of His majesty and glory. Through the Prophets there is warning after warning about the practiced routines and meaningless gestures of words without heart. In the Gospels Jesus is worshiped and adored by His followers. And, through the rest of the New Testament there is a keen awareness of the Holy Spirit and the awesome hand of God in the life of the young church.
We must always be warned that God's action is not conditioned on anything about us. Being expectant is not a promise of God's action in any way. He is God and we are not. Yet, Jesus did say "Let it be done for you according to your faith. And their eyes were opened" (Matthew 9:29-30). There is the trust of he will do what He promised, and the expectant heart that live and moves on that truth. Jesus often asked them it they believed. Evidently, expectancy is something.
Jesus promised to join us in a special way when two or three are gathered in His name. This is stupendous, an over-riding of the natural order, a miraculous presence that should change everything about us. So, meeting today is incredible, the body being assembled and connected to the Head. Even before He speaks, which He will, the miracle of His promise settles over His people and joins us in a supernatural bond.Even if we don't expect anything else, the promise that He will be with us as we unite should be an anticipation that changes everything.
So, its the Lord's Day. Millions will gather. The world should be different because of it. And, that difference should be in each of us. Not them, but me.
Hurry Lord Jesus, come.