Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Favorites: Corporate Worship

A couple of weeks ago, I had back-to-back worship experiences in one weekend. On Saturday morning, sixteen people were sitting in a church classroom. Worship leaders, musicians, servants of the Lord. They had gathered for a worship seminar. It was the first one done by the organizers, but hopefully it will not be the last.
I will sing of my Redeemer -
Tell about the grace I've known
Here on earth with those forgiven,
And one day around His throne.

I will sing of my Redeemer,
Lift my voice to praise my Lord!
Ransomed by His blood and mercy,
I am His forevermore.
I was there with them giving support and helping with behind-the-scenes tasks. One of the graces I've known is how God has given me this wonderful job that allows me to use the gifts and life experiences that He's given me. The added bonus is getting to hear these worship leaders singing worship songs and getting to lend my voice out in the hallway.
In need of grace.
In need of love.
In need of mercy raining down
From high above.
In need of strength.
In need of peace.
In need of things
That only You can give to me.
In need of Christ, the perfect Lamb,
My refuge strong, the Great I Am.
This is my song, my humble plea,
I am Your child, I am in need.
There were needs in that room. There are always needs wherever people are gathered. Worship leaders don't get to worship corporately outside of the spotlight very often. Their hearts need grace, peace and strength. They need Christ, the Perfect Lamb.

The next day was Sunday. Probably my favorite day of the week. I am typically running late to the worship service and that day was no exception. I got there and found my sister, brother-in-law and niece and joined them on the row. The congregation was already singing "Praise Him" and as I started singing along, Erica came over and wanted to "stand" by me to sing (since she's three, she stands up on the chair, but I picked her up and held her on my hip). She held the bulletin up for me to see and was singing the chorus of the song with great gusto. I couldn't help but just look at her and sing, matching her enthusiasm for a song I already know and love.
As long as the sun awakens the day,
Praise Him, praise Him!
Sing to each other and lift up His name,
Praise Him, praise Him!
What a precious memory that is for me! I hope that I get to share in lots of other corporate worship settings with Erica and Mary Lane as they grow up.

Corporate worship doesn't have to happen in a large sanctuary. It can be wherever the worshipers are gathered:  in a classroom, around a hospital bed, at a campsite, before a baptism by a river in a country where it is a great cost to take that step. I want to keep on singing with my fellow believers and can't wait until we all get to worship corporately around the throne of God!

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