Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I’m Going to Disney World!

You know the phrase well. It has achieved iconic status. After the Super Bowl, an unseen voice asks one of the winning players a question. This year the question was asked of two players, Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes. “Hey Ben and Santonio, now that you’ve won the Super Bowl, what next?” The answer has been the same since the question was first asked of Phil Simms after he defeated my beloved Broncos in Super Bowl XXI—“I’m going to Disney World!” The scenario is not as spontaneous as it may appear because they orchestrate a retake for the people of the West Coast. In the retake, the excited athletes say, “I’m going to Disneyland!”

How exciting it would be to receive an all-expense paid vacation to Disney! I received an all-expense paid trip one time to San Antonio, TX, but I wasn’t quite as excited as I would have been for a trip to Disney. For some reason Air Force Basic Training didn’t engender as much anticipation in me as Space Mountain would have. But even though I have never received an all-expense paid vacation, I can imagine what it would be like. The excitement and anticipation would be palpable. My kids would get all their chores done early. We would meticulously plan what we would need to take with us. We would carefully rearrange financial priorities so we could liberally spend money on necessities like souvenirs and fine dining (funnel cakes and corn dogs). In the days leading up to our trip, everything we did would be with thoughts of our vacation in the foremost of our minds. The anticipation and excitement would continuously build to a crescendo as we would arrive at the airport early—at least two hours early to allow for parking, check-in and anything that might unexpectedly pop up. Even though airports and flights can be uncomfortable and difficult at times, we would hardly notice. All the inconvenience of small seats, narrow aisles, stagnant airplane air and somebody else’s screaming kids would be overshadowed by eager anticipation for what awaited us. After all, who can think about trivial discomfort when Mickey and Donald and Goofy are waiting for your arrival! I know economic times are tough, but extravagantly spending hundreds of dollars in food and souvenirs is a mere pittance when you consider the amazing opportunity to be part of something as rich and exciting and wonderful as Disney. Everybody knows that money is no object when it comes to taking a picture with a Hannah Montana lookalike.

If that is how we would anticipate entering the Magic Kingdom, how are we anticipating entering the presence of King Jesus in corporate worship on Sunday? We know what anticipation for a vacation looks like. What does our anticipation for corporate worship look like? Sadly, we know what it looks like. It looks like staying up way later than usual on Saturday night. After all, it's not like something important like work or school is going on the next day. That’s when we schedule our younger kids’ sleepovers or older kids’ late-night date-nights. Our anticipation for corporate worship looks like getting up at the very last possible minute on Sunday morning. Then we rush around like crazy people trying to get ourselves and the kids ready—yelling and fussing the whole time. We grab a travel mug of coffee and a granola bar on the way out the door. Once we get on the road, we have to get behind grandpa’s Cadillac that he only drives to church once a week. Of course, he never exceeds the speed limit—of school zones (whether he’s in one or not). Then we file zombie-like in the church door, flop on the back row and pick up a pew Bible (because we left ours at home—somewhere). When the offering plate is passed, we dig around in our pockets to see if we have any leftover lunch money we can drop in. Finally, we catch our breath and calm down midway through the sermon introduction. And the sandman enters by the time the preacher hits his first point. If only somebody as important to us as Mickey or Donald or a Hannah Montana lookalike was there, it would have been worth preparing for.

Are you anticipating meeting with Jesus in corporate worship this upcoming Lord’s Day?

Hebrews 10:19-25


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