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setlists & sanctuaries & service

April 19, 2011

This is one of those posts that I’m not sure how to organize so…we’ll just run with it, alright?

A couple of Sundays ago, I was blessed to be able to lead the last 10:30am worship service in the “old” sanctuary as we moved into the new one this past weekend. Our setlist went like this:

  • Everyday (Joel Houston)
  • Take Me In (David Browning)
  • From the Inside Out (Joel Houston)
  • Lead Me To the Cross (Brooke Fraser)

I love all of those songs and it was such a joyful time for me and a little nostalgic too. I got the sense that the same was true for many in the congregation that day. It was rich and beautiful and…clearly a little tough to put into words, so I’ll quit that part of this effort.

I was brought up in a wonderful Christian family. I came to love and gravitate toward music as a means of worshiping God. On more occasions than I can count, I felt and almost simultaneously shunned God’s beckoning and fueling of a desire to pursue that service further. For me, the nostalgia (absolute wonder, if I’m being honest) flooded in on that Sunday because I realized that standing in that very spot a few years ago, I had cracked. Better said, I’d been broken. During a song that I’d sung plenty of times before, I remember admitting to God that this whole life of service to Him had been much more lip-service  than anything else.

I remember feeling empty.

I believed in God. I knew that the promises of His Word are true, perfect and relevant to my life. But the emptiness came more because I knew He was calling me to more …maybe with music; maybe without music…but a life filled with more of Him  was the message.

I’ve tried to keep that message at the forefront of my life; not to be confused with some sort of unhelpful or unnecessary striving — but bottom line — more of Him and less of everything and everyone else; more of asking His advice and counsel; more of His directing in writing and leading; more of Him in living life with my family and friends and teammates…

And in that coming for more of Him,I am astounded at how He fills my heart with His love; the only love that can “heal broken hearts and set captives free”; the love drives people to serve and build and grow His Church on earth!

As we worshiped this past Sunday for the first time in the new sanctuary, it was exciting as it was to use the new technology in that beautiful new space. But, I was blessed most by the love of God’s people for one another; one which brings with it a deep caring and heart of servitude for each other; a church family that has taken in Ingrid & I and allowed us to pursue areas of service that we otherwise might never have realized was such a joy to our hearts.

That’s the trait I love seeing the most in the Body of Christ — His love outpoured extravagantly…regardless of the sanctuary or setlist; regardless of where we serve in our church or community. We carry and love each other above all else because He carried our sin and guilt to a torturous death on a cross where His love outpoured extravagantly.

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