This last Sunday, my daughter had a sleepover at our house, so I decided that I'd just find a church with an evening service because I didn't want to have to shuffle the friend out the door unreasonably early. Well, as the weekend progressed, it became very apparent that there weren't enough hours in the days to get everything done that we needed to get done, and still do everything in the way we wanted to get it done.
I thought to myself, well, I'll try out one of the televised services and DVR it and watch it late Sunday evening. It's a different format from these polished, streaming internet services and it's worth observing. No planning. No real thought put into it. Set the DVR to some random service, and off I go.
I won't put the name of the church whose service I observed. It was held in a fine old building with stained glass, well-worn choir chairs, and the most amazing pipe organ. I think perhaps I caught an "off" service, or one that even the most faithful to that congregation would think was not quite so refreshing as usual. Watching it this way, it was far too easy to fast-forward through the choir music because the sound quality was so atrocious I couldn't tell at all what they were singing. It was far too easy to take some notes, look up some verses, and then decide to delete the program when I wasn't 100% sure it was actually over.
The thing is, that doesn't matter. What matters is that, because I didn't plan and because I didn't take this seriously, I ended up with a half-hearted lesson that didn't have a chance of getting through to me because I wasn't paying full attention at all.
So this week I will do better.
In the meantime, a few thoughts that I did jot down.
Hebrews 1:1-3 -- In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
I love this-- "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being..." What a beautiful description!
I learned that we don't know who wrote Hebrews. I had always believed it to be Paul, but after this pastor kept referring to "the author of Hebrews," I did a little bit of basic research and learned that no one really quite knows for sure who wrote this book. It makes me want to dive into the book in more detail-- not a bad result from a Sunday service, overall.
Amazing Grace sounds wonderful, no matter how bad the sound quality is.
This church deserves full credit for wanting to make itself available to so many. Whenever I see a televised service, I think about some much older people who lived on my street when I was growing up, who couldn't get to church. Back then, and today, they could watch a service on TV. I'm so glad this old-fashioned option is still available. As my mother is fond of reminding me, not everyone has access to a computer, nor the ability to use one.
All was not lost, but tomorrow I will plan better.
Can you imagine worshiping in a church like this?