Today we had the pleasure of worshipping at the church we will be part of here in Czech. The church was actually significantly larger than we had originally expected. In fact, we were told it’s the 3rd largest church in Czech with about 250 people. For the most part, the worship service ran very similar to what we might experience in the States, and we were super encouraged by the music and teaching of God’s Word. Obviously, everything was in another language, but our friends Mel and Amy were helping translate for us to keep us in the flow of the service. It’s especially sweet to hear Czechs sing in their native language and it’s actually a really helpful tool for language learning as it slows down the words and you can clearly hear the annunciation.
We sat upstairs because we were a little worried about our kids disrupting the service. There was no Sunday school this morning because many of the moms and kids were gone at a camp so we had the kids with us during the entire service. Avery was especially tired this morning as she was up really early, so we were trying not to be a distraction. At one point the pastor called our family to the stage and Amy introduced us to the entire church. It was fun to stand up there and see people smiling. I wish I could’ve taken a photo. The pastor shared a few encouraging words to us while we were up there which Amy translated into English. He was so gracious and kind and Bethany and I thought we were going to cry.
In the photo below the pastor was actually talking directly to the couple you see in the front row. This was a baby dedication and they are holding little Daniel. One of the things that struck me was that the pastor was sharing with them how they are raising their son in a very dark and evil world, but that they need to be an example to him and show him Christ on a regular basis. He emphasized teaching and being an example and that both had to be at work in their parenting. It was fun to watch the pastor care for this young couple and he had the congregation stand and had the couple pray. What a blessing to participate in that.
The sermon this morning was around the book of Daniel in honor of the baby’s name who was dedicated. The emphasis was on the character of Daniel and how he served the Lord faithfully. One quote that I thought was interesting was that the pastor said, “The Bible says nothing bad about Daniel, even though Jesus was the only one who lived a perfect life.” He charged the congregation to live like Daniel in this wicked world and serve the Lord faithfully. Who doesn’t need to be reminded of that?
After church we drove to our other teammate’s house, John and Erin Kloosterhuis. Even though Erin is basically full-term with their first child, she was kind enough to cook us a great meal and have us over for the afternoon. John and Erin serve on the Creative Communications team with us and they are a joy to be around. Thank you, John and Erin, for your hospitality and for sharing a meal with us. We’re praying that baby comes soon!
As I close my day here in Czech all I can think about right now is worship. I don’t just mean the act of singing songs, though that’s definitely part of it, but just the idea that we are all created as worshipers and will by our nature seek to worship something. The Bible teaches that we were created to worship the one true God, but so often we don’t and we worship our own idols and false gods who will never satisfy. Oh sure, I may never worship a literal golden calf, but I’ll bow down to the god of comfort in a heartbeat.
All of that to say my heart needed to sing with my brothers and sisters this morning the simple chorus to the song Here I Am To Worship. “Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that You’re my God. You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.” That may be a simple truth, but it’s a great reminder that we exist to worship a worthy and wonderful God.
Here’s a little video of the chorus from this morning’s worship service.