Set Apart

The following is the introduction to this Sunday’s (April 6) worship service:

Today’s service will look quite a bit different than usual. The seating arrangement isn’t straight rows of chairs, but groups of tables and chairs. Our usual two services have been combined into one larger service. The music selection is more eclectic than what you would expect. Communion will be served in a way that might seem unfamiliar to you. We’ll have a meal together after the service, something that we don’t do regularly. And then we’ll have our annual meeting, something that we reserve for a once-a-year
occurrence. This morning will just be different.

Sometimes being different happens on purpose. Sometimes it takes effort to set ourselves apart from everything and everyone else. Today, we’re being different on purpose. It’s easy to come to church on a Sunday, bow our heads for a few seconds of prayer, sing four songs, listen to a sermon, and go home. But it takes intention to be different. This morning, we’re being intentional and incorporating prayer
throughout the entire service more heavily than usual. Why? Because the opportunity and privilege of prayer is one of the things that sets us apart as Christ-followers, and we want to take full advantage of that privilege! We often talk about the importance of prayer, but sometimes we neglect to actually engage in prayer. Sometimes we trust in our own strengths, our own ideas, our own plans, and our own resources in order to get things done.

But today, we will be intentionally different. Today, we will choose to lay aside our own strengths, ideas, plans and resources so that we can focus on God and His strength, His ideas, His plans, and His resources. Today, we look to His priorities and plans, and ask that our priorities and plans would align with His.

Today, we choose to take our place as a House of Prayer (Isaiah 56:7).

— Terra Penninga