I attend a contemporary, non-denominational church in a nearby town. The worship portion of the service includes drums, electric and acoustic guitars, and three to five people leading the songs. Every now and then, we have a choir join the worship team. This has become my favorite part of the singing because of the people in the choir. There are a couple people who become so enveloped by the lyrics they are singing that their hands are soon raised, heads tilted back, eyes closed. It is no longer about joining us to sing, it has changed to singing directly to and for Jesus alone.
Yesterday the choir sang again. I immediately looked for the two gentlemen who are all in when it comes to their worship. If I have come into church in a funk or I am tired or disengaged from the Spirit, I just have to watch them as they sing. Soon after, I am lifting my arms, remembering the goodness that comes from singing praises to God. My burdens are lifted, my irritations have subsided, and I am in His presence once more.
As I left the sanctuary to go serve in another area, I was stopped by another woman who told me that she loved worshiping behind me on Sundays. I was a bit surprised, “Really?” She smiled and answered that standing behind me encouraged her as she sang the choruses and hymns because she saw me all in when I sang.
I was reminded of another conversation, at another place. I had just started working at a school when a mom stopped me exclaiming, “I know you!” I didn’t recognize her face and now felt caught. She continued, “You sit up front in church- I see you with your hands in the air when we sing.” I chuckled, yes, I did put my hands up to praise God as I sang. We would go on over the next couple years seeing each other both at the school and at church. I became aware of my actions in both places and the ripple effect they caused. By being a part of the believing community I was impacting others through my relationship with God.
Dear Ones, how are you interacting with God during worship? Are you a consumer, taking it in, but not engaging fully or are you a participant? Are you all in, giving your whole heart, your whole being to God? What is stopping you? O Best Beloved, by holding back during worship, you are holding back a blessing for your spirit, but you may also be holding back a blessing for another person who is coming into to church. Let’s join together and let’s let go of what we carried into our sanctuaries on Sunday, taking up the sweet Spirit that fills the space and wants to fill our hearts as well.
And they were continually in the temple complex praising God (Luke 24:53).