Tonight I am thankful for Eliza's piano recital. Her teacher explained that this was a "pre-recital," where her students were learning how to perform before an audience, the etiquette of responding to applause. They might make some mistakes, but because it was a learning experience, a wrong note here or there was OK. Before each presentation each student was asked what they learned that their choice of music highlighted, and before their second presentation, they were interviewed about the composer of their particular piece.
Tonight's recital was a pretty good example of what Sunday morning worship is all about. Each Sunday is somewhat of a pre-recital where we learn how to present ourselves to the Majesty of our Lord. Corporate worship is not a concert performance where the worship leaders entertain the congregation; it's where the congregation learns the etiquette of heaven, how to be in the presence of God. We don't get it perfect, as a matter of fact, whenever we think we've gotten it right is when we probably have missed the mark completely. We are still sinners redeemed by grace, coming humbly before the glorious Creator and Redeemer--how can we presume to "get it right?"
As in tonight's recital, there is no room for a casual, lackadaisical approach to this pre-recital; we must prepare ourselves for worship, ready to be questioned by God himself as to how well we know the composer of life. It isn't necessary to get everything right, but it is necessary to practice, to prepare so that the recital doesn't degenerate into a cacophony of discord. Tomorrow we gather for the new week's pre-recital. May our daily practice be evident as we worship in the beautiful harmony of love.