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Hungry for Worship

“Blessed is the one who hungers and thirsts for what comes from God, for in your hunger you shall be filled.”

That is my paraphrase of Matthew 5:6, the fourth beatitude. I receive it as God’s assurance that when we come hungry, God will feed us. When we hunger to grasp His word for us in Scripture…when we come to God  in honest prayer…when we give God our best…when we fall before our loving Father with broken, humble hearts…when we open our hearts in faith, even anxious, doubting, heels-dragging-in-the-dirt faith…God will fill us, teach us, restore us, convict us, save us, and direct our gaze to eternity.

And here is the catch. This applies to me as well as you. I need to come in my brokenness and openness…not from on high but at the foot of the cross.

That is why you see me do some things in worship that may not seem “normal” for a Pastor. I often move to the front pew for the choir’s anthem or other special music ( though not always); I sit in the front pew for the reading of the Scripture lessons; lately I have been receiving prayer from the other Pastor (in this case, my dear wife) before I begin the sermon; and when I am not preaching, I sit in the front pew for the sermon. For me, it puts me in a position of receptivity, a place in which I am not “presiding” but receiving. It is a  way for me- physically- to come hungry. I know the choir and musicians and even my wife, our Temporary Associate Pastor (for a little while longer) stay up front, bless their hearts. It is simply a way for me to remind myself that I am in worship, that I too, need to receive what God has to give. It helps me to get a few precious glimpses of grace.

Meanwhile, please keep in prayer Robbie Ytterberg and his family in their time of transition. The logistics of moving a family with young children (and a big dog) across country, along with the goodbyes in their native Washington (Abby) and Colorado (Robbie), can feel overwhelming. I am so excited about Robbie’s future with us and what God has in store for Bethany. But do pray for the transition.

And always, keep your heart and eyes open for those glimpses of grace.


See you on Sunday,

John Hamilton

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