This is the first Sunday of my Study Leave – perhaps this is the first day when things will feel really different for me, because rather than leading the people of God in their worship, I will be in the congregation being led by others.
It seems to have been during Sunday worship that John had this kind of transcendental spiritual event (like Isaiah): an overwhelming and revelatory experience of the presence of God.
‘I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: ‘Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea’’ (Rev 1:9-11).
When John is invited to enter the throne room of God, his words stretch to breaking point in order to describe the glory and majesty of the one who sits on the throne and lives for ever and ever. But it is there, with representatives of all creation, and with those who led the people of God (Twelve Tribes and Twelve Apostles), that John hears the songs that offer the worship that the one sitting on the throne is worthy of. It is to God we owe our existence and by whom we were created (whatever the mechanism used); it is to God we owe our worship because he is our Creator.
Now, I need to go to join with the Lord’s People on the Lord’s Day to give to the Lord God the worship that belongs to God and God alone.