Today was really cool. Our church is getting ready for a Christmas music presentation, so our stage is in complete disarray. This was the impetus for us to try an acoustic setup for the band, with two acoustics, a piano, and a cajon (a wooden box that the drummer sits on and thumps the front of in different ways to get various percussive sounds). It had a completely different feel for us at our 930 service, but to me, it was refreshing. This next week it will only be me on acoustic, and I'm excited about that, too. I think anytime we can tear things down and get to the real heart of the matter, it re-focuses us and reminds us what is truly important. In terms of worship through music, the things that are often enjoyable (high-energy, lead electric guitars, full drums, etc.) are not essential. The problem is that we often get our wires crossed and begin to think of the things we enjoy as necessary for us to worship, which is way off the mark. I'm not talking about style issues, because I do think there is a lot of validity to those issues, which is part of why I do what I do. However, the presentation within those formats doesn't necessarily need all the flash and whatnot. It needs to be focused on Jesus, it needs to be true, and in my honest opinion, it should be done well to avoid distractions.
Another really cool thing about today was something Jay led during the invitation time. He had single parents with kids at home, and parents whose spouses were serving in the military all stand up, and then asked our church members to go to them and be a blessing to them during Christmas. He suggested helping through prayer, through gifts, through presence, through encouragement, and the like. It was a beautiful thing to see the church reaching out to each other, when the absence of significant others is more glaring than usual. The message was essentially on generosity, and I thought this was a great demonstration of that idea. I hope those families are richly blessed because of it.
This afternoon, I'm feeling a bit helpless, because my wife and my children are all sick, and there's not a whole lot I can do about it. I can only help where I can, and do what I can do, and pray they all get better. I don't think it's a bad thing to feel this way. It is ultimately the reality of the situation. I am powerless to affect many things, and this is one of them. Meanwhile I'm trying to juggle all my class work which is due tomorrow, and planning on working through the night, just so I can be available to help with whoever wakes up in the middle of the night and needs something. The Lord is faithful.
Have a great week.