EXPERIENCE OF WORSHIP
We have all seen the signs at church’s on our drives. Worship at 10. What is that really? How can a ‘church service’ be also called worship? It would seem that worship is the most important thing to be conveyed to people driving by, looking for a convenient time to pop in. We know there is teaching or a sermon of some kind. Is that worship? Or is worship perhaps singing, music of some kind! Pianos or an organ played by the professional keyboardists? The pastor up on the stage, waving his arms, conducting the off key choir of my sister and myself. There, on the solid-tombstone-like sign is also an announcement of ‘Sunday school’. The memories of stiff, starchy shirts and one-day a week shiny black shoes and a suit coat also worn once a week. Unpleasant images of school on one of two days off and stories from a well dressed, older woman holding up a picture book of arks and oddly clothed people. Maybe that’s why we wear odd clothes so we can identify with the books people? Incomprehensible words and recitation of forgotten things we were supposed to study quickly on Saturday evening so we looked and sounded perfect.
Usually hot in summer and winter and in a basement room with other kids, rolling their eyes at the teacher when she wasn’t looking. Such a pleasant memory of childhood that sign brings to mind. Sunday school. The bright side was dinner out at Hart’s with the baked chicken that Gramp’s liked too! The chicken was worth the trip.
Now as a father, I see what I had not seen in my childhood. Beauty and sermons that take your breath away with the truth of them. The music has similar words, but minus the organ. Now with electric guitars. Good coffee and the kids are with us! There is an eagerness to be with friends to experience the Lord and His words. Love letters,scripture. Jack sings now and plays the notes he hears, has always heard. Now he is joined to a Christ lover music team that sings to the Lord. The music starts a life of it’s own and a path opens up to them. And so goes the romance of all loves . The love that lasts. The sound of the best sunset you can ever remember. A realization that nothing else even comes near. An attempt to describe how it feels to touch the heart of eternity. Waiting with hushed voices at times, glancing side to side to see that Man that is there. The Man with fire in His eyes. Musicians and scholars seeing for the first time the bridegroom. The singers sing and the scholars dig into old languages, seeking the reason for this romance. The focus. The looking glass of a telescope fixed on light that is impossibly old. On our side of eternity it seems like the flame on a guttering candle. No one can see what you can see, no one can sing what you can sing. There is no one like Him so open up your eyes and see. Getting to the place where our souls can rest while the fires are banked and steam is rising. A sharp intake of breath. Astonishment and once again time starts anew. The worship, akin perhaps to David’s worship in the wilderness or the 40 years of Israel in the desert.
This music team has played in many places, worshiped in most of them. Quite a few times at the end of a session of several hours there is hushed singing with no instruments. The team can hear others from the room also softly singing. They finally stop and there is a feeling that comes to Jack that he cannot lie down and he cannot stand. Absolute silence in the room that is radiating Jesus’ presence. Stunning joy with some tears. People are baptized with John’s water and the Word must be baptized with fire to go into our hearts. A blazing bush drew Moses and a blazing church will draw the world. Music and the truth of scripture are the kindling and you are the fuel that responds to the flames of love coming forth. It’s pretty good Jack Gator