I attended a wedding on Saturday morning at a Presbyterian church.
It was through a Presbyterian church that our Lord called me a decade ago and so I carry a perpetual gratitude to that denomination. But my heart ached for it on Saturday as I looked around the church, and saw the position of the lectern.
The church was traditional, perhaps 100 years old or so, with wooden pews, two stained glass windows showing Jesus as shepherd, and not a crucified Christ in sight. I don't even remember seeing a cross...
At the front was a raised area, and the pastor moved to stand behind the lectern to deliver his word to us. Center stage.
The lectern was center stage.
This man's speech to us was the center of the worship service.
Not the cross, not the altar, not the lamb, not the body and blood shed for the life of the world. But the lectern.
Lord, may it be that some day soon all churches everywhere will return You to the center. May the world yearn to commune with you, and seek you. May they all eat of your body and drink of your blood, and so have eternal life.
And may I never stand in the way of anyone reaching you.
“The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus. When the Spirit is poured down, his people get very near and clear views of the Lord Jesus. They eat his flesh and drink his blood. They come to a personal cleaving to the Lord. They taste that the Lord is gracious. His blood and righteousness appear infinitely perfect, full and free to their soul. They sit under his shadow with great delight. . . . They lean on the Beloved. They find infinite strength in him for the use of their soul — grace for grace — all they can need in any hour of trial and suffering to the very end.”
Robert Murray M’Cheyne, preaching on Psalm 85:6, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”
They come to a personal cleaving...
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