“On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ He replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, “The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.”’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.” – Matthew 26:17-19 (NIV)
But God, that’s not the way we have always done it!
The Passover was a God established tradition of celebrating the last of the plagues that God used to free the Israelites from Pharaoh during the days of Moses. A special meal was served, each part a reminder of the story of God’s power to deliver his people. The meal was shared with family, but since Jesus and his disciples were traveling without their families, they shared this special meal together.
The story, meal and the eating of it were scripted. There were specific things to be eaten and specific things to be said at specific times. Each of these men had probably been through the routine dozens of times. Jesus was about to take something that was a time honored tradition, which God established hundreds of years before and turn it into a new tradition. The Passover reminded them that God spared his people from physical death through a lamb. This new “Lord’s Supper” would remind them that God spared his people from spiritual death through the Lamb of God.
There is much about what we do in church that is “predictable” in that we have done it pretty much the same way for a long time. God has used all these things we do to reveal Himself and change lives, so we are at peace with doing them. While familiarity in this case might not breed contempt, it very often breeds a spirit that is not expectant.
What are your expectations for worship, whether corporate worship with the church or private worship, just you and God? Is it predictable or do you expect that God is going to do something incredible? Do you need to ask God to forgive you for treating worship so predictably and not expectantly?