Maybe you know someone who pays an individual to do their house cleaning. Almost everyone I know who has a house cleaner actually cleans house before the house cleaner arrives. I suppose one must pick up certain bits of clutter, but otherwise, I’ve never quite understood why people clean house, and then pay people to clean house for them.
Yesterday, I had the ducts cleaned in our house. (No, I didn’t succumb to one of those robocalls with someone from south Asia, representing heaven-knows-who.) It was just time to get the job done.
But, like many people with their house cleaners, I found myself preparing for the visit by cleaning house. We dusted and vacuumed in areas where we don’t always remember to dust and vacuum.
Because, I reasoned, if we’re going to have clean ducts, why would we want the cold air returns sucking in the dust and dirt and hair we had not cleaned off the floors? It would negate the whole purpose of getting the ducts cleaned.
This got me thinking: in some ways, coming to worship with God’s people is a bit like getting your spiritual ducts cleaned. And there’s value in being prepared for it.
Do you prepare for worship?
I don’t just mean by getting to church five minutes early so you can catch your breath before the gathering begins.
You can prepare for worship even the night before, by setting out your clothes (and maybe those for other members of the family, if they need help in that department), having Sunday’s dinner ready to go – things like that.
But you can also prepare your heart.
While time in silence and solitude, meditating on God’s Word, is a good practice for every day of the week, it might be especially helpful on Saturday evening as you prepare for worship with the church on Sunday. It can quicken your heart to be ready for God to speak to you. It can ready your soul to open up in praise of the Lord who made you, who redeemed you in Christ, and who sustains you every day by his grace in the Holy Spirit.
It is the dusting and cleaning you do before you get your spiritual ducts cleaned. And it can make all the difference. Give it a try tomorrow night before you go to bed!
“Worship the Lord in all his holy splendour” (Psalm 96.9a, NLT).