Monday, March 06, 2006

Stepping back to 1720

Today I am sitting in the chapel of Mission San Jose in San Antonio Tx. A quiet little chapel in a mission that was built in 1720. I've sung in this particular chapel twice when I was in high school…brings back some memories. Everything in this building except the pew I’m sitting on is made of rock, slate, or some other petrified element. As old as everything in here looks…like the rusty chandelier that is above my head, I am confident that God is here with me now. Why am I reminded that He’s here now? There are pieces of antiquity all around, representing the faith of those who have come before me…then I look up at the “stage” area of this chapel, and there, bolted to the wall, is a column of Bose speakers! (as if they’re needed here, I cleared my throat and the sound went on for about 15 seconds) Slightly out of place these speakers…but just a reminder that God shows himself to every generation…He awaits our response to His revealed glory. People are filing past me as I type…some with zero reverence for such a cool place…and others you would think were waiting for the pope himself. Regardless, it serves as a great place for me to meet with God.

I just finished a long lunch with a friend and fellow worship pastor here in San Antonio. I like spending time with him because he has walked this road of being a worship pastor for much longer than I have. He’s one of those guys you’d like to have around at any given leadership crisis, put a quarter in the slot and wait for his answer. At the same time, doing something like that would totally repulse him, so he probably wouldn’t let that relationship exist. Regardless…I find that our occasional meetings are incredibly insightful and fruitful for me.

Today we talked about some of the ins and outs of worship ministry. Seems like he brings Zeph. 3 up quite a bit…probably be a good passage for me to become familiar with. As I look at it…heck if you look at the whole book…God is up to something. He’s putting to ruin those who despise him and leaving behind a remnant of faithful servants. Towards the end of Ch. 3 in the Message, he says this…

“In the end, I’ll turn things around for the people. I’ll give them a language undistorted, unpolluted, words to address God in worship and, united, to serve me “shoulder to shoulder” (NIV substitution). They’ll come from beyond the Ethiopian rivers, they’ll come praying – all my scattered, exiled people will come home with offerings for worship. You’ll no longer have to be ashamed of all those acts of rebellion. I’ll have gotten rid of your arrogant leaders. No more pious strutting on my holy hill! I’ll leave a core of people among you who are poor in spirit – what’s left of Israel that’s really Israel. They’ll make their home in God. This core holy people will not do wrong. They won’t lie, won’t use words to flatter or seduce. Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they’ll live at peace.”

Sometimes I think we get caught up thinking God doesn’t work this way anymore…but why wouldn’t He. He still cares about His fame and His renown. As ministries grow and His kingdom goes forward, He will continue to rid those who are going to distract from His vision. What’s left will be a core of people that are unswervingly devoted to the call of God, people who will lay their lives on the line for the gospel of Christ. Going to a worship team level…these are people who don’t get upset because you ask them to change the way they do/play/sing something. They don’t glare because you don’t put them up in the mix every week. They aren’t the ones that try to sing or play every time we stop rehearsing so you can “overhear” how good they sound and want to use them for a specific part. They aren’t the ones that come to rehearsal unprepared and looking for ways to hide the fact that they haven’t even listened to the music. Instead, what will be left are those who could care less about their own name or their own agenda, but rather, take on the “Kingdom” agenda. When we look at ministry with a Kingdom perspective; our personal preferences, perceptions, and expectations all fall to the ground. We take up the mighty vision of the Lion of Judah! He is incredibly strong and has utmost vigor for His own fame…ours is sure to take a back seat!

1 comment:

  1. Amen and amen! I would love to see the inside of this place - ah, acoustics. Heaven will be full of perfect acoustics...