We all have our routines. As the day begins, we rise to complete morning rituals. This may be expressed as a synchronized dance. Every move may have been imprinted to memory.
While I do have a typical morning routine, what follows may vary. It depends upon the day of the week. I have discovered that I need constant reminders to sustain some of these things. If they are of great value, then they are well worth the extra effort it takes to maintain them.
The following is not intended as law. I fully recognize that not everyone thinks the same. However, I wanted to share with you an expression of faith and belief that I find helpful.
Sundays are interesting. Yes, as a pastor, leading the worship service is part of my job. However, I believe that my thoughts about worship would remain the same even if I did not lead.
In church, I am there to worship God. God is the focus. I mean, after all, that is why it is called worship. I do not believe it is intended to primarily be me-focused (even though we may twist it that way).
I worship within community. Together, we confess our shortcomings and ask for forgiveness. We raise our voices in song and prayers to God. We read and listen to Scripture. We receive grace through the Sacraments. We are reminded that God’s grace is a gift, and then urged to minister to others as an expression of thanksgiving . We greet one another and exchange “the peace of the Lord,” and are given the charge to go into the world and make a difference.
Worship, among other things, is practice. It helps me to properly frame things when I leave the building and begin my week, where it is then applied: God is present, grace and forgiveness have been given, so I should be helpful to others in an expression of thanksgiving. I will do so imperfectly, but the calling remains.
I think this is a great routine.
What is your routine?
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.