Why would we check our baggage at the door when we go to meet the God who is able to do more than all we ask or imagine and who invites us to cast our cares upon Him? Rehearsing the gospel in the service of worship and partaking of the means of grace remind us that God is with us and for us. He is able. He cares. He has provided and will provide. He who did not spare His own Son, will He not in Him graciously give us all things?
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
How many times have you heard a pastor or leader invite you in to a service of worship with the words, “Leave all your preoccupations, all your problems, all your cares at the door”?
Perhaps the idea is for you to get away from it all. Put your worries out of your mind to more fully enjoy the presence of God for a brief period. You can pick them up when you leave, like getting back to work after a much-needed vacation from the grind.
Or it may be that you are being encouraged to singleness of mind and focus. You don’t want worldly cares competing for your attention. You’re here to worship. Give God your full attention. You may even be urged to put away your cell phone. Sure, your digital Bible is on it but so are those distracting pop up notifications and social media temptations.
We can well appreciate the value and appropriateness of immersing ourselves in the presence of our triune God who meets with us in the assembly of the saints for the worship of His name. But to truly come before God we need to come as we are – sinners, sufferers, sojourners.
We carry baggage with us as we make our way through this fallen world. It weighs us down. We find the rest from our burden that we crave not by checking it at the door for an hour’s respite but by bringing it to Jesus. He has overcome the world. His grace is sufficient for the day. We live in the knowledge that our struggles are temporary but our hope is eternal. We are burdened and we need Jesus.