Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, 08.30.15

I grew up thinking heaven was one long church service, as I assume most of us did.  I wouldn’t say it was something I longed for. I am not saying that I did not long for a ‘heaven’ like place, it’s just that I thought the Christian heaven was much like the church that I grew up in. All we did was sing old hymns and hear a man speak to us from the pulpit for a long time. As I grew up I began to take joy and comfort in things that I thought heaven would be like and instead of longing for something greater I settled for the joys and comforts of this world. We have within us desires for heaven-like joys, but not finding anything on earth to fulfill these desires we settle for what we can get our hands (or hearts) on. It is very similar to our experience at a really good Mexican restaurant. The chips are always brought out first. Lacking self-control and having great hunger we dive into the chips while we peruse the menu. While we order we reach for the chips set before us without even thinking about it and before we know it we’ve gone through 4 or 5 baskets of chips and a few bowls of salsa before the real food has even arrived. 

The insufficient joys of this life are like the chips that we fill up on at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of waiting for the joy that will truly fill our souls we fill up on the cheap stuff that only leaves us feeling blotted and unfulfilled. C.S. Lewis gets at this idea with this quote: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” The Lord calls us to deny ourselves and to die to ourselves, but ultimately and even now we are given eternal life. A life that is what we were made for, not only is there no more suffering and pain, but joys that we can not even comprehend nowSpend time this weekend reflecting on this and think through how your hearts are ‘fooling about.’ Then pray and ask the Lord how you can forsake these things so that not only you can cultivate a greater joy in your walk with Him now, but so that you can also eagerly wait for your heavenly home. 

THE WORD

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-5
Sermon: Heaven Soon: Longing for the Better Place

SONGS

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go (arr. [arranger])
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We Will Dance (David Ruis)
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Soon and Very Soon  (arr. Andrae Crouch)
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Jerusalem, My Happy Home (arr. J. D. Goodwyne)
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Song of Preparation: In the Sweet By and By  (arr. [arranger])
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Song of Response:The Sands of Time Are Sinking (arr. Indelible Grace)
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