1 Samuel 13-14

Luke 10:1-24

“Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’”        —Revelation 4:8

When we come together for corporate worship, we surrender our initiative and allow ourselves to encounter the divine. Corporate worship is also a rehearsal for eternity. When we read the book of Revelation, God is on the throne and the four living creatures along with the 24 elders are around the throne. The Apostle John writes, “Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives for ever and ever” (Revelation 4:9-10). 

What the book of Revelation reveals to us is where history is headed and it is all about worship. Apart from the opening scene of the book where John is on the island of Patmos on a Sabbath day, every act of worship in Revelation is corporate. In heaven, we will not be worshipping God alone—most of our worship is going to be done corporately, which means what we do on Sunday worship is a rehearsal for the big event.

Similar to a wedding, many of us go to a wedding and remark, “What a beautiful bride! What a delightful service, it was a wonderful message!” Usually, things go amazingly well at weddings. But if we were to attend the rehearsal before the wedding, it is anything but. It is chaos with the bride being angry at the groom for forgetting something or the family having an idea of how they want the ceremony to be that is different from what the bride and groom intended or the venue not being set up properly. Yet, just because rehearsals are not perfect, it does not mean we should forget about the rehearsal altogether. Could we imagine one of the bridesmaids saying to the bride and groom, “Just carry on without me. I’ll just show up.” This is an equivalent of saying, “It is not important to me what happens. Any old thing will do at the wedding.”

Similarly, when we come for corporate worship so many things can go wrong, and they often do. The preacher could show up not having done a good job preparing the message, or a couple of people skipped the worship team practice and the songs are a mess or the church gets new audiovisual equipment and everything stops working all of a sudden at the worst moment. All kinds of things like that can happen. But regardless, this does not negate the fact that corporate worship is crucial because we are rehearsing for the big event that all of history is moving toward.

Lord Jesus, what a joy it is that I get to worship You every Sunday with other believers, rehearsing for what it will be like in eternity with You. Praise You, Lord!

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