One of my readings for this morning's devotional time came from the book Streams in the Desert, Vol 2, Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman, Cowman Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1966, June 27).
This is something I have been aware of for many years... When I was pastoring a small rural church it was almost impossible to talk with the people about these ideas. I visited a church about two blocks from my apartment building this last Sunday, and was again impressed about how people entering into the sanctuary affects the worship service.
Well, take a look and see what you think.
If thou wouldst make the hour of worship more rich and meaningful, these things observe and do:
I. Thou shalt arise early on the Lord's Day and prepare to worship God in the sanctuary, saying to thyself after this manner, "This is the day that the Lord hath made; I will rejoice and be glad in it."
II. Thou shalt expect to meet God in the Temple of Worship, calling to remembrance the words of Jesus: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there will I be in the midst of them."
III. Verily, thou shalt be on time and no laggard be, as if reluctantly thou turnest thy feet toward the altar of God.
IV. When thou arrivest at the appointed place, thou shalt pray -- for thyself, those who minister, and those who worship beside thee -- knowing that so the "Whole world round is bound by gold chains about the feet of God."
V. If thou hast aught against anyone thou shalt forgive him, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. "This do and thou shalt live."
VI. Thou shalt draw as nigh unto the altar as the ushers may lead thee, calling to mind that which is written: "Draw nigh unto me, and I will draw nigh unto thee."
VII. Moreover, thou shalt sing with joy in thy heart, such songs and hymns as may be suggested, "making melody in thy heart unto the Lord."
VIII. Yea, verily, thou shalt fully share in all the service, "worshipping God with all thy heart, mind and strength."
IX. Thou shalt receive the spoken word as from the Lord, with all openness of mind, and then "search the Scriptures earnestly to see if those things be true."
X. Amen. Amen. Thou shalt, withal, reverent and quiet be, waiting on the Lord. "Wait, I say, on the Lord, and thou shalt see what wonderous things he shall do for thee."
E.R. McWilliams (in the "Log of Good Ship Grace.")