Contemplating Worship

This puts words to a common thought I often have following worship on  Sunday morning. Kyle Strobel writes about some of the practices of Jonathan Edwards that facilitate deeper communion with God, in particular contemplation. One temptation of contemplation is diversion:

…the temptation for diversion is the result of a soul that has not learned to rest in its Lord. Edwards worried about the reality, not only in contemplation, but particularly after Sunday worship. People leave church after having their minds set on Christ, and they immediately divert them to world things. But these times are ideal for focusing our minds on Christ. Your mind is primed and ready. Instead, we often waste by moving onto worldly problems and concerns. Think how easy it can be to go to church, hear God’s Word and then immediately watch a football game. The seed falls on the shallow soil and dies because it has no depth of soil (Mt 13:5). In contemplation, one can often subconsciously seek diversions to avoid the reality of who God is. When our minds wander to things that make us feel better about ourselves, it is a sure sign that our flesh is seeking to protect us from God. These things are nothing more than the bushes and fig leaves in the garden––ways to hide from the presence of God.



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