It has been a busy few weeks.
I recently moved from the house I was living at to a new place in Bethlehem. It is amazing how busy moving can be. Heck, the entire process of finding a new place to live occupied a lot of my free time and stressed me out a little bit. I’ve moved many times though so I have learned to live lean, and the less I have the easier it is to move. Its crazy though how all this busyness creeps in and stifles other things that need attention. Sometimes this can stifle times of prayer and personal devotion, and to a small degree it did for me.
On Saturday evening, as is my custom, I went to Vespers. I was about 5 minutes late so when I arrived the service was already in progress. As soon as I walked in the door I was greeted with the smell of incense, which has come to be remarkably comforting. I made my way to what a friend and I have dubbed “Protestant Row” (due to the fact that we’re Protestant and we sit/stand in the same row whenever we show up) and tried to focus on what was happening. There is a line that is sung during the Prokeimenon and it says, “The Lord is King and has clothed Himself in majesty.” For some reason this part of the service stood out to me. As I stood there trying to follow along, smelling the incense, and looking at the icons, hearing the words being chanted and sung I was struck with a sense of God’s majesty. I have sung many times about how glorious God is, how majestic God is, and how sovereign and good God is, but it is not often that I have a sense of it or an experience of it. Blinking away the tears I just stood there for a few minutes and after some time silently thanked God for his goodness towards me.
On Sunday I went to my home church and a similar thing happened during the singing. I was struck with God’s majesty and goodness and it stayed with me the whole service. After the service was over Pastor asked us staff ministers to pray for people and as they came up for prayer my silent prayer for them was that whatever God graced me with, that sense of his majesty and love, would come over them and bring them comfort and peace. There are a lot of hurting people in our churches and I pray that as we provide materially for their needs, God would give them a glimpse of his majesty and love. I was reminded that what I do at church or my service to God does not take the place of my everyday devotional time with God. It may sound like a given, but it is amazing how quickly it can get overlooked.
“The Lord is King, and has clothed Himself in majesty.”
(Attached is a clip of the Prokeimenon being sung at a different church)