24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- Hebrews 10:24-25
When I was a kid, I loved the sound of robins. I grew up in a cold, snowy part of the country. Birds, like robins, migrated south for the winter so when I heard one on a cold day in March or April, I knew that spring had finally arrived! Whenever I see or hear a robin, it transports me back to the springtimes of my childhood.
Now that I’m older, you know what sound I love? I love the sound of Al Michaels - you know, the football announcer? After decades of watching football, I now equate Al Michaels’ voice with my favorite season: fall. His voice is like pumpkin spice for my ears. I hear it and immediately respond like one of Pavlov’s dogs; I start salivating for tailgates and Monday Night Football.
Isn’t it fascinating how certain sights, smells, and sounds help us remember so vividly what we would otherwise forget? I think that’s one reason God engages and employs all of our senses in worship. Through all of these channels, God forms powerful associations and thereby reminders of his love and affection for us.
In worship, we hear the voice of God in the reading and preaching of his Word. We taste and see the goodness of our Lord in the bread the wine. We feel the waters of baptism, and the fellowship that is ours in Christ as we “share the peace" with our fellow worshippers. Many Christian traditions even continue to engage our sense of smell, using incense in worship.
Child of God: It’s so easy to forget our identity as God’s children. After all, the world pulls us in so many different directions throughout the week. That's one reason why worshipping and resting each week, perhaps especially on the Lord's Day, is so vital. Weekly worship provides a necessary rhythm of rest and remembrance for our lives, one in which God communicates to all of our senses that he is for us, not against us.
I don't know about you, but I need these reminders. My life isn't the same without them. Corporate worship was once a mere duty for me; it's now a delight. I look forward to it more than the sound of robins or even Al Michaels - and that's saying something! Go Bills!
You’re loved. Don’t forget it.
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