Have you ever seen a theatrical performance where all the actors have clearly invested a lot of time to know their parts? The show’s going off without a flaw, and then one actor enters the stage who doesn’t know his lines or stage directions, and keeps ruining key scenes.
Unfortunately, that actor’s glaringly bad “performance” will become the thing which is remembered. I bring that up not merely to say, “don’t be that guy,” but also to highlight what our corporate worship ought to be. The Reformation restored the work of worship to the people, the congregation. Worship isn’t a performance of people up on stage, while the audience watches.
Rather, we are the performers. We are the actors. We are the set. Which means that our corporate worship requires work. It takes attentiveness. It takes preparation.
First off, and above all, it demands that we come in the right garments: the righteousness of Christ. Knowing that our filthy works of self-righteousness are odious to Him. But as we come to God, to bring our worship, and are dressed in Christ’s righteousness by faith, we are filled with His Spirit to render good works which God accepts. These songs we will sing, these prayers we will offer, the Word which we will hear, these tithes we will give, the Supper we will take are good works which God has called us to.
So, know your part. We print next week’s songs in the bulletin and post them on the church website/app, so work on the songs beforehand as a family so as not to be caught off-guard. Get the ironing done Saturday so that you’re not scrambling for clean trousers on Sunday morning. Do all this so that together, as the congregation of the Lord, we execute this service of praise to the Lord as a thing of glory.