The Lord is worthy of our full and undivided attention. He is worthy of our preparation, and the prelude provides a wonderful opportunity to do just that. Don’t neglect that opportunity. Instead use it as a spiritual appetizer in preparation for the feast of your Lord’s Day worship.
Imagine the scene: you are fresh out of Sunday school and you are catching up with your friend in the church foyer. Maybe you have already made your way into the auditorium and you are greeting the newest visitor. You are asking them where they are from, how they heard about the church, and maybe even inviting them to come to one of the discipleship groups that meet during the week.
You hear the first note played on the piano. You know instantly, I have five minutes before the service starts. You just keep on visiting. You look up and see some child run past you, grateful that it wasn’t yours running down the aisle. The next thing you know, the pastor is getting up to call the church to worship, and you still have not found your seat. You scramble to get to your chair just in time to open your Bible or look up to see the first words pop up on the screen. Does this scene sound familiar?
Have you ever stopped to wonder what the purpose of the prelude is? Have you ever wondered what purpose the music plays?
In our culture, music often acts simply as a filler. It is on in the background, but we are not really paying much attention to the substance of it. It just fills in the blank space between talking or our moving between one task to another. There is nothing wrong with this in itself. But we also know that music can do so much more. The music played during the prelude serves a purpose—it is not a simple add on.
A musical prelude is not just a sound that reminds us something important is about to happen; rather, it reminds us that it is time to prepare ourselves for that something. This is why we can’t neglect the prelude.
There are at least three opportunities that a prelude provides for us as worshipers.
The Prelude Provides an Opportunity for the Right Heart Posture
The corporate worship service is the highlight of the week for Christians. It is a foretaste of eternity. When the prelude starts, this is a time to set our affections on things above (Col 3:1). We are about to enter boldly into the throne room of grace (Heb 4:16).