I didn’t want to let too much time pass before I mentioned the incredible experience I had this weekend.
X-Alt took part this past Saturday in an open house event for the community in Bordeaux at Word of Life Christian Center. The church had gone all out with marvelous food, inflatable slides for the kids, “fair” fare (snow cones, cotton candy), and music.
Politicians were there (including the local legend Thelma Harper), and there was some speechifying. There was some not-so-subtle campaigning, and although many in our band probably won’t vote the same way as many present, one had to be struck by the sense of urgency and commitment felt by most present.
Anyway, that was only a tiny part of the proceedings, and when the music started, it was hard not to be swept up by the spirit present in this very hot and sticky (and windy) outdoor venue.
Susie has her own God Sighting about the event at her place (hurray, Susie’s blogging!)
Our set was not bad (we REALLY miss Mark Mills!), and by the end of the second set, we had hit our stride. The members of the Nashville “biker church” had showed up, and that coincided with us starting our rock set. The timing couldn’t have been better.
You haven’t lived till you’ve won over a crowd of bikers with your version of “Jesus is Just Alright”.
When the church’s praise team did their set, things really started rolling. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this group. It’s just hard not to get excited when they are singing.
I sometimes forget to thank God for the incredible gift I’ve been given. I have been given a small view of the width and breadth of the way Christians of all backgrounds worship Christ. I have been in high churches with great organs and soaring choirs, singing some of the greatest hymns ever written by some of the greatest composers in history. I’ve seen the quiet, somber worship of those struggling to overcome addictions. I’ve heard great scriptural teachings, and liturgies that have been spoken for centuries, and heartfelt prayers inspired on the spot. I’ve worshipped with prisoners who sing, and feel, every word of ‘Amazing Grace’.
Jesus left us with a specific prayer, and He told us that we would one day worship in spirit and in truth, but He pretty much left the ‘how’ open. He did not tell us to face a certain direction, or say ‘x’ number of prayers per day, or do this or that meditation to reach enlightenment. He did not dictate rituals that must be performed by His followers. He did not tell us to make a pilgrimage to a geographic spot, or to sing certain songs, if we sing at all.
Now, we Christians argue over these things; we have for centuries now. But, I really feel in my heart that God is pleased, not dismayed, by the almost unlimited ways His children display their love for him.
I only say this because I was struck by one particular moment. The Sounds of Life sang their wonderfully soulful version of “Trading My Sorrows”. Several people started an impromptu dance. Before I knew it, I looked up, and there were 50 or so people doing a variation of the Electric Slide. Church members, community members who had just walked up when they heard the music, tattooed bikers in full regalia, old and young, some of us west-siders – all of us singing, and dancing and shouting “Yes, Lord!”
This event was not billed as a worship service, but that’s what it was.
Surely, this is the stuff of Heaven, no?
I sure hope Ford got some good pictures for the X-alt blog. Y’all check later, it was really a great day.