Thursday, August 28, 2008

A reflection on worship

I don't go into prayer with an agenda too often; but then I pray far too infrequently. This past Sunday was one of those times where I began praying and the Spirit convicted me; these guys in the band know this all to well from me because when we pray I tend to get splayed.

The story doesn't begin on Sunday though, it begins over a month ago when I was planning on booking a band from New York to play out here. I met with a few guys from a local congregation about hosting the event in their building. I like these guys, they're real and they have a great congregation. There is no paid staff, no head pastor, and they're very open to where the Spirit moves without regard to agendas and schedules.

Unfortunately the booking fell through, but one of them (Tom) suggested we do a night music and a speaker brought in from Hawaii. I agreed. There was confusion about this event, and every time I talked to Tom he had a different plan than the previous time. I planned on one artist performing, but they canceled about a week before the event. I ended up unknowing what was going to happen at the event with nobody to play.

In a bind, got my band to play. This band is led by Brandon (my brother-in-law) on vocals and guitar, Josh on drums and myself on bass. We decided on a relaxed acoustic set, but we also asked my father-in-law (Harold) to play with us. He had taught Brandon and raised him to be the musician he is today. This was very cool.

So right up to the point where we started playing on Saturday night, I had no idea how the event would go. And we started playing worship music. Brandon would just pick a song to play and we would go into it. Harold would lead a few songs too. After what seemed like a normal length set (30-40 minutes) we were done after an intense two-and-a-half hours.

This was an incredible, free time of worship and the very intimate setting was emotional and captivating. We were all blown away at the end.

Now to Sunday night, after what seems like a whole essay was writ.

More Than This was scheduled to play on Sunday night (the following day). The format was similar, we played acoustically with Chad joining us on Cajone. The difference was the venue. This congregation has a huge facility, strict time schedules (even counting the minutes down on a clock at the back of the room) and they're not the charismatic type. After the high of Saturday we were all feeling like we were constrained and we wouldn't be free to worship as we did the night before.

And then we prayed. And the Spirit convicted me. Worship is not about where we are or how much time we have. It is an attitude of reverence in the presence of grace. I thanked God for the opportunity to worship Him, and begged forgiveness for my spirit of spite.

And then we worshiped, and it was also incredible. It was powerful ... and it was 25-minutes on the dot.

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