Holy Week brings with it so many prompts for prayer, so many invitations to pause and attend to the state of our souls. Those reflective days culminate in the grand celebration of Easter, when we confidently assure one another: He is risen!”

My own Easter recollections are a swirl of images: my little-girl self so excited for the morning, proudly wearing patent-leather shoes and hat and white gloves; my young-mother self bustling about, hiding eggs for my children’s baskets; my older self raising my voice with a choir in a soul-stirring rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus. Those scenes ebb and flow in my imagination, all of them converging in a gladsome mix of celebration and certainty of the Resurrection.

Now another Easter has come and gone. But I find that, if I’m not careful, my heart can feel awfully earth-bound this time of year. I can become consumed with the issues that demand my attention, the tasks that fill my hours. But as Richard Foster reminds us in Celebration of Discipline, If the Lord is to be the Lord, worship must have priority in our lives. The first commandment of Jesus is, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’ (Mark 12:30). The divine priority is worship first, service second. Our lives are to be punctuated with praise, thanksgiving, and adoration.”

So I am particularly grateful this week for the discipline of worship. Not just on special days of the year, worship every day is the act of our spirits responding to the Holy Spirit. We come into the presence of God humbly and adoringly, giving glory and praise and honor to him.

Today, no less than on Good Friday or Easter Sunday, the Spirit calls us to worship, which is our response to the love of the Father. In our times alone and in our times together, we believe and proclaim the message that Jesus died and rose again. He is risen, indeed!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.