Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Unthinkable in Worship

Today at church, the new people were standing to introduce themselves, say where they're from, and whatever else. Though they don't seem to be any less embarrassed about doing this that Americans would be, they don't seem to mind doing it.

One new guy sat in the front row, wore a suit, and introduced him and his wife as believers.

Then the welcome song is sung to them and all the other first time visitors....

Another song or two later and the church leader says goodbye to everyone.

But not before the guy in the front row stands up, grabs the guitar, announces that he's a praise song teacher, and starts playing and singing. Now the unthinkable comes in when you imagine this scene in the church you attended last week. Can you imagine a visitor bum-rushing the show at your church? The response here? Everyone heartily joins in and sings loud and with feeling the chorus: "We sing your praises Jesus!" Under Jesus I guess we're all just part of the family, visitor or not. It was a funny but refreshing experience for me.

A footnote, we were visitors ourselves. We drove 90 minutes north at the invitation of our church in that city. Our pastor put together a drama, worship and testimony team and conducted half the service. The local pastor and worship leader preached and led songs for the other half. The last song...well, next to the last, was a joint effort by both song groups. Then came the guy who jumped up front for the unplanned finale.

I hope God enjoyed his children cooperating in worship as much as I did.

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