There was a chance of severe thunderstorms last thursday night, according to the weatherman, but nothing was going to deter us from going to church. Our choir had been practicing for this worship service for weeks, and we were not going to miss it.
Earlier in the day our church played host to a one day song writing conference. Some of the most influential song writers of our time were there to teach seminars and evaluate the songs the attendees had written. The evening session was to be the highlight of the conference.
We gathered in the huge sanctuary of our church and listened as the artists who had written the songs that have ministered in churches all over the world sang. There was such a sweet sense of the Spirit's presence as the familiar words wafted over us.
It was an informal setting, each one stepping to the microphone or sitting at the piano with such humility and grace, inviting everyone to sing along:
Lenny LeBlanc - "Above All"
Glenn Pakiam - "Your Name"
Jennie Lee Riddle - "Revelation Song"
Laura Story - "Indescribable"
When Laura finished her beautiful song, it was our turn. The choir, about 250 of us, filed onto the stage and into the choir loft. My friend Jan and I climbed the stairs to the very highest row - tiny little specks when viewed from the seats.
Tommy Walker ("Only A God Like You," "He Knows My Name") stepped onto center stage and the worship service began. He is not only a gifted singer/song writer, he is a gifted worship leader. It was an amazing time of praise and worship. We all, every person in that place, sang our hearts out.
For just a fleeting moment, as I looked down from my high perch and thought about the way these gifted artists were being used by the Lord to bless so many and bring glory and honor to Him, I felt rather insignificant.
Just as quickly, I saw with the eyes of my heart a picture of Jesus standing beside me. He gently put His arm around me and said, "I am so pleased with what you are doing for Me." Then my eyes traveled down the long length of that loft to where Tommy Walker was standing. Jesus was there too, with His arm around Tommy's shoulders, whispering in his ear, "I am so pleased with what you are doing for me."
"For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly..."
If you would like to see pictures of our worship service, there are a few on our church website.