In June of 1970, I sat across the desk from my pastor for a hastily called meeting.
No mention of an agenda had been made, and I imagined all sorts of bad outcomes. With barely one year of college under my belt, I reviewed all my undiscovered sins and wondered which ones had come to light. My pastor was a no-nonsense, authoritarian sort of man. I had been called to the holiest room I had ever visited. Surely, I was headed for excommunication.
Starting the meeting with a few harmless questions about college and life, the pastor soon jumped right to the point. He explained that a small church in Ohio was asking for someone to come lead their summer music and youth ministry. He and the deacons agreed I was the best choice for the position.
Shock and amazement swallowed up my imagined trial. I was speechless and stared at him in unbelief. Once I recovered from the surprising offer, I spent that night in prayer. The next morning, I accepted the position, and God has surprised me ever since.
We all have experiences that jolt us from our expectations. We often carry a low forecast for our days, taking another lap around the block with a few twists and turns. Our lives become predictable and ordinary. Our expectations are self-fulfilling and often tiresome. Events fall into predictable categories, and our days are unremarkable.
Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now. Though wedding celebrations hold a special place on our calendars, John does not mention anything extraordinary about this one. The attendees and supporting staff reveled through a day of ceremony, filled with tradition and customs.
Everything went fine until an embarrassing social faux pas threatened to spoil the party. Running out of wine could have ruined an important day. Jesus provided more wine, but it was wine from a divine press. His wine proved superior to the first offering. And His intervention took a disintegrating celebration and turned it into an unexpected miracle.
As we prepare to worship, we need to expect something so we won’t sleepwalk through another service. And so that if the unanticipated happens, we’ll be in on it?
Jesus comes to your worship. Expect Him to do something.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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John Zimmer has been married to Paula for almost forty-seven years and has three children and four grandchildren. A graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, John has been a life-long music and worship leader in churches in Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio. His passion is thoughtful and passionate congregational worship leadership. He writes a weekly blog, "Words from the Friar," which is an insightful look at corporate worship, or what he calls, faith-family worship. His emphasis is reconnecting a congregation to a unifying worship time that works regardless of worship style or resources. His writings reflect a creative and fresh look at Christian worship.