Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”

—Exodus 19:10-11


Note how the Lord commanded His people to prepare themselves for an encounter with Him. they needed to consecrate themselves spiritually, and that even included making sure their clothes were washed.  After giving a bit more in the way of instruction about their upcoming encounter with God, He even said those who violated certain of the commands regarding consecration were to be executed!

I know that worship each Lord’s Day is not the same as the giving of the Ten Commandments, but should we not get a clue about how seriously we take meeting with God?  Is our culture’s love affair with being casual (to some, downright sloppy), even for worship, not missing something of the reverence God deserves?

I am not advocating ceremonial washings or dress codes, but shouldn’t understanding who God is, and taking seriously what it means to worship Him, inform us in some way about how to come to worship?  Here are a few points we might want to consider:

  • Pre-planning the night before so we are not unduly sleepy on Sunday mornings.
  • Being expectant that we will actually hear from God Himself.
  • Looking our best (out of respect for Him). 
  • Being on time.
  • Praying before the service begins?
  • Previewing the sermon notes and the passage to be preached on to get the most out of the preaching. 
  • Actively participating rather than passively observing.

Maybe you can think of others.

This is not a matter of being outwardly religious.  It is a matter of realizing Who we are encountering for worship and of reverence for Him.