Dear readers and friends,
I attended a powerful Holy Thursday service at my church tonight. It started with a supper provided by and shared between my church family and friends. It ended with a moving drama directed and performed by these same people. There might not have been more than a hundred people gathered there tonight to worship our Lord, but His Spirit was palpable, shining in the air, and flowing in the warmth of our embraces.
I nearly didn’t go. Early this week, I started making excuses.
“Everyone will understand if I don’t go. I’m taking seven classes and have math homework to do. I haven’t had much sleep lately. Besides, I have to grade a pile of tests for the math class I teach. My students should come before my own wishes.”
Thank goodness that God helped me this year to get a handle on my priorities. He led me to an amazingly simple plan of action for prioritizing my tasks; I just put Him first, in everything, and everything else manages to get done just when it needs to. I don’t know why I was surprised over the effectiveness of tending to God’s needs before my own; God is certainly more powerful than my university. He is smarter, faster, more efficient, wiser, stronger, and more merciful than any earthly concern.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27
When I started making excuses in the dark corners of my thoughts about why I would skip Holy Thursday service, I was very lucky to have God on my side to help overcome them. My family was right there to step in and make the assumption that I would be attending. My boyfriend didn’t need me to ask twice for him to accompany me. He just asked what time to pick me up. Two of my classes were mercifully cancelled today and tomorrow. Another teacher put off a homework assignment due tomorrow until Monday. Everything around me seemed orchestrated to make sure that I attended church tonight.
I am certain that happened because I began this year to “seek the kingdom first.”
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34
What a powerful God is our God! We are abundantly blessed by Him.
The blessings I received at church tonight far outweighed any advantage I would have received academically by staying home and doing homework or grading math tests. My soul was filled with love and refreshed by the fellowship of kindred followers of our Lord Jesus, bolstering me and encouraging me to go back into the world with a stronger and wiser spirit. I wish I could persuade those who claim that they don’t need church to worship God of the value of fellowship with believers. I wish I could explain the deep feeling of spiritual nourishment I gain from just being near my church family, breathing the same air, and sharing the same enthusiasm for God. And tonight, on Holy Thursday, the night of Jesus’s Last Supper, sharing the same mixture of sorrow and love for Him, our spotless, sacrificial lamb.
I pray, dear readers and friends, that you receive an abundance of God’s love and grace raining down like a warm summer shower onto the thirsty soil of your earthly lives. Let us all spread the Good News of His eternal grace for all who love Him, as evidenced in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ the King!