The first of the two 2019 Women’s Study Weekends is fast approaching. I hope you are considering participating in one of these weekends because I truly believe it will be a deep learning experience for all who come. But why have I chosen “Gather” for this year’s theme? Why would I devote an entire weekend to the topic of worship?
I have two primary reasons for this selection. The first is your feedback. When I gathered with thirty ladies nine months ago and we spent the weekend digging deep into the book of Ruth, the topic of the Jewish Feasts & Festivals came up several times in our discussions. Some of the ladies at that event encouraged me to consider hosting another weekend focused on that subject. And I have listened.
But the weekend isn’t just about Jewish Feasts & Festivals. It’s about a larger concept of worship. We will look at how worship rituals were established in the Old Testament, take a look at how Jesus participated in these religious observances, and consider how that affects our church priorities today.
Which leads me to the second of the two reasons for this choice. There are so many ways to worship. So many denominations, beliefs, and teachings on right and wrong. Why? During the past year, I have been filling in at different churches when the need arises. Being in various sanctuaries with a variety of congregations has taught me something important. I have preached to a gathering of less than ten where I left feeling like I had connected to Jesus. And I have left gatherings of over a hundred where I felt like I had been to church but not with people who desired to worship. So it isn’t the size of the congregation that matters most, that I know for sure.
So what does matter most? I believe it is the posture of our hearts. What kind of music we like, whether the sermon time is called teaching or preaching, in what manner we take communion, whether we baptize or dedicate our babies, and if we use trespasses or sins as we recite the Lord’s Prayer don’t actually matter all that much. Ok, they matter a little bit as we consider our personal preferences. But what matters most… what trumps everything else… is the posture of our heart. We will worship our Lord if we come desiring to worship and if we don’t, well, we won’t. It is almost entirely up to us.
So, come away for a weekend with me. I encourage you to give yourself this gift. We will use our minds and learn about the Jewish Feasts & Festivals. And if we dare, and oh, I hope we dare, we will ask our hearts to soften, submit, and surrender to uninhibited worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace.
Gather Women’s Study Weekends
Feb 1-3, 2019
Apr 5-7, 2019
Visit livesteadyon.com for details and registration information.