Week of: July 23, 2017
Scripture: Genesis 28:10-19a
"Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the LORD is in this place — and I did not know it!'
(Genesis 28:16, NRSV)
Have you ever been in the presence of the Almighty ... but not realize it?
In 2003, I led worship for a national ecumenical gathering and a guest choir was performing the prelude. I was supportive and encouraging, but I noted to myself this small group was singing off-pitch, weren’t staying together and barely in sync with their accompaniment compact disc! Having reached their final selection, I prepared to lead the congregation in some "real" worship. Then they began a song I hadn’t heard before.
“I need you, you need me, we’re all a part of God’s body ... I pray for you, you pray for me, I need you to survive.” **
Tears started flooding down my cheeks. I couldn’t compose myself and had to leave the hall, sobbing like a baby into the arms of a dear friend who was weeping too.
The choir I had judged so harshly had become the face of Christ — God’s voice was literally speaking to me through their voices. The overwhelming awe, humility, and love I experienced because of them and their song was a miraculous gift I remember to this day.
Forgiving God, release us from our judgments to see you in every person and place. Amen.
** Hezekiah Walker, lyrics – "I Need You to Survive" (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/hezekiahwalker/ineedyoutosurvive.html)
Minister of Music
Photo: Mark Miller (at piano) leads worship with the Youth Festival Choir at Pathways 2015, the biennial convocation of The Fellowship held in Indianapolis.
Awaken 2017, this year's Fellowship convocation, begins Monday, July 24, and continues through Thursday, July 27, in Little Rock, AR. Please keep our event and its leadership, participants, worship, and activities in your prayers this week as we wake up to the world around us, engage in transformative worship, and contemplate what's next.