CCC Worship notes for Jan. 17, 2021Does your desire match God's will? Do you want the same kingdom he wants?
More questions: Do you want to do deeds of love and mercy, like we sing about in Lead On O King Eternal? Do you want the Spirit's greatest work to shape your thoughts and life, or are you content to immerse yourself in current events? This week at Christ Covenant Church, the service should challenge our assumptions and reshape our desires. It is all too easy to make the subtle shift from praying for the kingdom of peace to simply hoping and working feverishly for visible stability, security and a culture that matches our world-view. Distractions abound.
I admit that I often just kinda slide into thinking about my home, my life, my story, my country... My "kingdom" can easily become the focus from day to day. I want the Kingdom of God to match my vision for visible, tangible comfort. Further, I want the Lord's will to match my vision for how that comfort, peace, and security should be achieved. If he would just listen to my great political and societal plans! It turns out that I can be just as short sighted as the Pharisees in Luke 17:20-21.
It is good to stop and consider. In some ways this is exactly what the weekly worship service is designed to do. And, one of the best ways I have found to help with this is singing the Psalms. They do a great job of revealing faulty thinking, in part because the Psalms in song form are so foreign to us. The language is jarring at times. It can shock us into new ways of thinking, praying, being.
For example, we will sing about desperation and oppression (Psalm 42 - Lord From Sorrow Deep I Call), which helps prepare our hearts to adjust to desires for different treasures and eternal truth. Further, we will sing and proclaim that the Lord is the hope of the poor (O Lord Most High - Psalm 9, 2021 Version). The implications of this can quickly make many of us feel uncomfortable or at a loss. Finally, it is our privilege to sing of God's mercy and his will to save people from every language, tribe, and nation on the earth (Psalm 67 - O God to Us Show Mercy).
Again, do our desires match these things? If not, perhaps we are not as close to the Kingdom of God as assumed. Perhaps we should take up the prayer, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."