Last night was our Progression worship service at church. I normally will post something on the Progression blog about our time together, but not on my personal blog. But, today I’m really feeling like I just need to share this with y’all. I have to admit that as much as I love Progression it’s historically has been somewhat a struggle. Being a “different” type of worship format that most Lutheran’s aren’t used to it really takes a lot of hard work to get it off the ground.
So here’s what happened yesterday.
As usual it was a challenge to put the worship together. As usual the laptop would not cooperate, YouTube decides to do maintenance thereby really slowing down the process, and we consistently have tech challenges with our worship program. Couple that with a cold front coming through and a sinus headache to beat the band, Jon is battling a cold and fielding countless numbers of phone calls from people not being able to be there because of a school event and soon I was ready to just chuck the whole thing. After all- no one is going to be there to see the fruits of our countless hours of prayer waiting on the Lord to see what direction He wants us to go with the worship time together, not to mention the countless hours of just putting everything together, setting up, etc. Yep- at that point it’s all about me! But, we press on. I have to admit that the times I find myself really tossed into an intimate and worshipful time with God is through song. One of my favorite groups is Sons of Korah and one of my very favorite songs of theirs is “Forgiven” based on Psalm 32. I’ve been wanting to put that into the Progression worship time but was really unable to find anything great on YouTube. So why not create something of my own? I’m not creative in the least little bit, so I will say that the entire slideshow was the work of the Holy Spirit working through me! And I had no idea that Jon was going to focus on the Psalms and David. Okay, slide show is put together, it’s taking forever to upload and process through YouTube because of their maintenance (in the middle of the day???), I’m getting frustrated trying to find other YouTube videos for the songs that we wanted to use – you see we don’t have a band so we do what I call “Christian Karaoke” and sing along to videos- the computer is acting up, etc, etc. Finally everything is put together, set-up and it’s time to gather. One, Two, Three- pretty soon there are nine people gathered. It doesn’t sound like much but after all “where two or three are gathered…”. People are stressed, tired, cold and I’m right there with them. And it begins….
I sat through the first song and it starts to hit- the second song and I’m starting to see a trend here- the third song (my slideshow) and it is perfectly evident. I’m smacked straight upside the head with “Aren’t you listening to me? I’m here to bring you peace, hope, redemption, release and forgiveness”. The theme of David crying out to his Lord ran through each and every song, the message, the prayers and the people that were there, for we too were crying out to the Lord for the same things that David was. Was this all planned and coordinated by Jon and I? I think not!!! I love it when the Lord speaks to me. In fact I’ve actually received an audible from him while in Israel! But, far too many times I forget to sit quietly and listen. I forget to be still and listen for that whisper in my ear, for that still, strong voice of the Lord leading me to where I need to be and what I need to be doing. It may be a struggle putting everything together, and we may feel like chucking the whole thing because only a few are coming. But, for those few if that quiet time together with just a few others, sitting in a quiet and comfortable darkened space listening to the words of the Psalms helps to lift their burdens, relieve their strength, give them hope and peace then it’s truly the work of the Holy Spirit working through our Progression time together. We’re just the vessels riding the rough waves and fighting the storm to provide this time for them.
And yes, for me- I’m listening Lord! Maybe one of these days I won’t need a reminder!