Brothers and Sisters,
Routine sometimes gets a bad rap, especially when it involves any flavor of discipline. Popular culture can often glorify the “spontaneous” or the “innovative,” the “fresh” and the “unprecedented.” No one wants to be “stuck in a rut.” And yet, wouldn’t we all appreciate some well-worn ruts at the moment? Like, for instance, the “rut” of open schools, or thriving businesses, or just a simple handshake. When everything is thrown “out-of-whack,” suddenly routine seems rather glorious.
My point here isn’t to downplay the beauty of spontaneity, or the importance of innovation, or the wonder of that which is fresh and unprecedented. But, perhaps we should pause for a moment and simply appreciate routine. Consider that God built routine (or, should we say, “regularity”) into the fabric of the universe, and our life depends on it! The earth turns according to a 24-hour routine. We routinely orbit the Sun every 365 days or so. The seasons change with predictable routine (despite whatever may or may not be the case with global warming). Not only in creation, but also in worship, God demonstrates the purpose and value of routine. Read the Old Testament Pentateuch (Genesis – Deuteronomy), and you’ll find awesome “routine” patterns of worship that God commands Israel to remember and enjoy. Finally, consider Jesus himself. He was, if anything, incredibly innovative, and yet he was a man of holy routine. He taught regularly in the Jews’ synagogues (not to mention gathering there for worship as a God-honoring Jew himself). Each year he routinely visited Jerusalem for the feasts prescribed in the Law of Moses. Perhaps most importantly, Jesus was a man of routine prayer. Luke 5:16 (ESV) says, “But he [Jesus] would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” The same verse in the NASB reads, “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” For Jesus, life involved life-giving routine.
Tomorrow is Sunday. Sunday is a day for God’s people, followers of Jesus Christ, Christians, to routinely gather together for worship. Such gatherings are one of the great, holy, irreplaceable, life-bringing routines of living this side of heaven. We’re walking through a moment of great upheaval, with strange realties and unprecedented new norms. In the middle of it all, we’re reminded about the necessary beauty of holy repetition, sanctified regularity, glorious routine. While we cannot meet as is our practice, we’re nonetheless thankful for the gift of technology that allows us a measure of Christian routine even in the midst of COVID-19. Please, avail yourself of Sunday routine tomorrow. Do so with your Felton Bible Church brothers and sisters, most especially through our Facebook Live broadcast at 9:30 am. Our innovative God calls us to routine worship. Let us delight in hearing that call!