Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, August 23, 2015

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a beach house. It is owned by my grandparents so my whole extended family is able to go whenever they want. I grew up going to the beach with all my cousins and family and would often bring down my best friends. As I got older I began to cherish the beach house more and more as I reflected on all of the memories I had there. While I was in high school and college I would grow in anticipation as I thought about the beach house. I could not wait to get away and be able to spend time at the house. I believed that all the joy that I found at the beach house was in someway tied to the house itself. I thought to myself, if only I could get away to the beach I would be happy no matter if I was alone or not. One summer I went down to the beach house with just my sister and I. I had been looking forward to spending some time there. However that week was very joyless and frustrating. My sister is very content being by herself and at times it seemed as if I was alone in the house. As I wondered around the house and on the beach I reflected on how it wasn’t the house that brought me joy, but it was the people that I was able to spend the time with that brought me joy.

As we reflect on heaven during this sermon series we can gravitate to some of the peripheral realties of heaven and think that they are central. Of course it is not bad to reflect on how we will no longer experience disease, death or sin, but the central reality of heaven is that we will be in the presence of Christ. This is where we find our joy. It will be a joyous thing to find that we no longer suffer, but our true joy will rest in that we will be with Christ. Therefore as we go through this life as Christians let us cultivate our relationship with Christ knowing that that is where our true joy is found. 

THE WORD

Scripture: John 14:1-3
Sermon: The Greatest Joy of Heaven: Jesus

SONGS

Beautiful One
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Jesus Messiah (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Jesus I Am Resting Resting
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Fairest Lord Jesus
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Song of Preparation:In the Secret of His Presence  (arr. Chris Miner)
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Song of Response:Be Thou My Vision (arr. Traditional)
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