Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Meditations

I'm still thinking about our worship service yesterday. That's a good sign! Ideally, attending a church service should be uplifting, thought-provoking, strengthening, and life-changing. It shouldn't be possible to walk out the door and never think about it again. If I do, it may not be the fault of the church or the pastor, it might be my problem. We all need to come to worship with expectation that we will meet God there.

There were two things from yesterday that I am still thinking about today. The first is that we had an opportunity to hear from a younger dad in the congregation who is leaving with his wife and and four young children next weekend to spend most of the summer in Malawi. He is on staff with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and he is leading a team of college students who will go with him, as they all work to minister to AIDs patients, and do AIDs prevention education. One of the striking things he said was that as of yesterday, he had no idea where his family's housing was going to be. So, think about that: he's taking his wife, and children ages 4 through 11, to Malawi, the poorest country in Africa, and they don't know where they are staying when they get there. How would you feel about that?

It was also neat to think about the fact that as he was speaking, we also had a team of about a dozen people that had just landed in Honduras to work at the children's home we support there.
I love the way God is moving people to serve the poorest of the poor.

I am also still thinking about a men's ensemble I organized to sing in recognition of Father's Day. Not all of the 15 men that sang were fathers; however, that is not entirely the purpose of having them sing. When we do this each year, I choose a song that can be sung in unison and will appeal to men, and serve the purpose of a testimony and challenge to the congregation. This year I chose the wonderful Graham Kendrick song, "Knowing You, Jesus". They sang with gusto, and, as usual, I got all choked up as I directed them, because they ranged in age from 12 to 81 and included two groups that were three generations of two different families, as well having two races represented up there. I don't know why that gets to me, but it just does. I love the idea of Christian camaraderie, and I love the idea of older generations setting the example of Godly living down the line to younger generations.

Anyway, here are the words to "Knowing You" by Graham Kendrick:

verse 1
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now, compared to this:

Knowing you, Jesus, knowing you,
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
And I love you, Lord.

verse 2
Now my heart's desire is to know You more,
To be found by You, and known as Yours.
To possess by faith what I could not earn,
All surpassing gift of righteousness.

verse 3
Oh, to know the power of Your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings.
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best
You're my joy, my righteousness,
And I love you, Lord,
Love you, Lord

That's powerful stuff, thought provoking stuff. Men who sing those words sincerely, those are the kind of men I want to know. Those are the kind of men who help me meet God when I come to worship.


Going Crunchy said...

Oh, you sound awesome!

Here is a link to our church, and the music ministry page. THEY ROCK.

I think it is one of the most moving parts of our services, be it the formal one or the contemporary one. My kids have also adored being in the Carolers.

Keep on singing!!1!

Joyce said...

Shannon, the music ministry at your church sounds fabulous! It's far more extensive than ours, especially for children. You are so lucky! I hope you sing?? Of course, I think everyone should sing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the note! It is always encouraging to find like-minded folks. :)