My usual seat is on the south side, end of the third row. We didn’t start there, but we’ve been there for several years now. We’re seated at the beginning of the service, usually stand for the first hymn, seated for the choir’s singing, then standing again for later hymns. At times, we stand for the reading of God’s word. Not for every verse in Pastor’s sermon, but for the reading of full passages at the start of a sermon.
I do hope that you have been in a church where you’ve been asked to stand upon the reading of God’s word. There is a Biblical precedent.
And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: (Nehemiah 8:4-5 KJV)
Doesn’t that sound much as our services? Can you visualize your preacher, standing behind a wooden pulpit, opening the word of God? The congregation standing at attention in respect? Not as long as these people stood, though. Think of a service with multiple speakers and see if you can come up with as many names as spoke during this one:
Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. (Nehemiah 8:7 KJV)
They did what we need to hear today.
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. (Nehemiah 8:8 KJV)
I feel blessed to attend a church whose pastor does speak distinctly from the pulpit, gives the message sensibly and opens our understanding to the reading of God’s word. That’s the purpose of a preacher. Praise for those who do so, for their people shall rejoice, then return to their homes for what could be describing today’s Sunday dinner.
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV)
Take time to plan for the next Lord’s day. Look forward to singing songs of praise, hearing the reading of His word, listening for the understanding and standing in respect, praise and awe of the One who created us all. It would be a good habit to make, since we’ll all be doing it one day.
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:7 KJV)
(The photo is cropped from an unknown source. My apologies for not having that information)