Thursday, October 02, 2008

Anticipation vs. Expectation

As I was approaching our time of worship for our 1st Wednesday (midweek) service yesterday, I had a few thoughts.  For this particular service, I had done more spiritual prep than I probably ever have for a service at GCC.  Regular intentional prayer for about 4 weeks using the prayer (by N.T. Wright) that we presented to the congregation last night:

Abba, Father, maker of heaven and earth:
Set up your Kingdom in our midst.

Lord, Jesus Christ, son of the living God:
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

Holy Spirit, breath of the living God:
Renew me and all the world.

Check out the online version here.

What struck me in my preparation was that I wanted to wary of expectation for the night.  I wonder if that is how we as people who plan worship (and worshippers in general) might approach corporate times.  Do we come to God with a list of expectations as to how He needs to show up?  Do we have certain criterion that need to be met in order for us to engage?  

OR

Do we come in anticipation of what God MIGHT do?  That He might move in ways that are completely unexpected by us?  Do we leave the slate open for God to reveal Himself in ways that are beyond our preconceptions?  

Anticipation vs Expectation

My prayer changed the last day or so approaching last night - "God, do something unexpected - something I haven't planned for!"

It happened.

We were playing along, doing our normal thing - we entered into the song "Jesus Paid it All" by Kristian Stanfill (an arrangement of the old hymn).  During the bridge section, my brother Trace Rorie boldly led, "Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!" I WAS UNDONE!!!  I could hardly hold back the tears.  Immense gratitude for all Jesus has done and continues to do for us.  I think approaching the night with anticipation rather than expectation made all the difference.  

"I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord, my God." Psalm 38:15

I was grateful for a great night of worship.  I'm hopeful that the next month of using the this Trinity Prayer as a church focus, will help our people move further up and further in with their devotion and love for Christ.  I believe that God was well loved by His people last night at GCC.

1 comment:

Don said...

God has blessed this community by moving in your heart of surrender. What a gift to us, to you, to Him. wow.