Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thank You for Meeting With Us

I haven't shared much about my family of origin. I was and remain the youngest of three offspring born to my parents in Baltimore, MD. The one essential family occurrence every week was our attendance in Christian worship. The wheres and hows are unimportant, right now. Elementary to my life was attending worship.

Denominationally, we were United Methodist. If another tribe occupied that same building, I think we'd be affiliated with them. Maybe, maybe not. Such decisions were made by my parents, and, again, the whys and wherefores are irrelevant. Sunday mornings, we walked the one block approximately and crossed a major thoroughfare in Baltimore County, and we arrived to learn about and worship God.

Scores of families and individuals had and continue to exercise such practices on the designated day of worship. Where they worship and with whom was decided after consideration and prayer, or by tradition, or by convenience. Regardless, many Christians still worship God weekly and communally. This same practice has shaped me perhaps more than any other in my life. Its made me who I am. I'm thankful for the life I have.

My last post was a reflection on intercession and believing what is prayed is received. I'll close this post with another prayer of thanksgiving, believing in the power and love of God manifested in recent experiences of worship all over the land.

I want to share two additional thoughts. First, I've been inspired to write the last two posts, I believe, to prompt the readers to express heartfelt praise to God for what is happening among all and through all Christians. There is something happening in the Spirit that is drawing believers together. This, I believe, is essential for what the Lord has started in this part of the world that is tantamount to a spiritual revival. A significant revival will not occur in fullness without unity among sisters and brothers. Giving thanks for what God is doing to draw believers together to pray in agreement for his grace, mercy, power and love is a wonderful, faith-filled affirmation. Be grateful for what the Lord is doing in and through all of us.

Secondly, I believe the Lord wants partners in what his will is to be in this world. That partnership will be realized only when there is trust between the two parties. In Hebrews 11, it says that it's impossible to please God without faith. I also believe God wants to trust us. When we've been faithful to treasure and practice how he's called all of us to live, more of what he is will come out of us to impact a world we love as God does. That's partnership.

Worship is the heartbeat of this partnership, this love affair. When we gather in the name of Christ and worship him like no one else, he comes among us. As he comes, his essence is on display. Our souls and spirits and bodies cannot remain the same as they were prior to joining in worship. His resurrected glory makes our songs and prayers and words and blessings to one another mirror images of what he would do among us. The glorious, mysterious and merciful matter to it all is he is doing it among all of us. For this, we give abundant praise and worship! Alleluia to our God!

Great God, for what's taken place in times and places of worship and gatherings recently, we're thankful. Many have gathered where colors and images signify changes to seasons. Many others gather regularly where the setting hasn't changed but is always appreciated because the worship space is
considered holy ground. It is here we and our ancestors before us have encountered the God of our salvation. In familiar territory, we've met our God, and he has blessed us richly.

We praise you for what took place in the last week when worshipers joined to sing and listen and pray and bless one another. We sang familiar and unfamiliar songs and hymns that brought glory to the name of our God. Angels and heavenly beings joined us in lifting praise. The environments were suddenly changed because the earth in that space heard the sons and daughters of God worshiping. Creation knew we stepped into our destiny, even for just an hour, of joining heaven and earth together by revealing the Lord of Lords afresh in song and declaration. Earth and sky reflected heaven as we sang and spoke of his glory! Alleluia!

Holy Spirit, you stirred hearts and minds and bodies to be aware of how they live now, and what life could be in days and seasons ahead. Your children underwent transformations when we uttered the name of Jesus. He healed us, perhaps spontaneously or with the dawning of a new season of correction in cells and muscles or thoughts and concepts. We were changed, or we witnessed change and conversion. What only you could do happened when we gathered to worship you, our God. We are thankful for miracles.

Daddy God, I praise you for repentance and faith and tears and laughter expressed in your Presence as the family of different nations and races and languages sought your face, and all that occurred thereafter. Alleluia!

Our world changes every time we come together and speak your name in praise. The gathered ones are sculptured into a new form that reveals the heart's desire of their Father. Great God, you want to reveal your will to your children, and through your Holy Spirit, you display yourself again to us as a source of grace and mercy. We seek you and fall into your embrace every time we worship you; however, we don't have to wait our turn to feel your hug. You engulf us with grace when we enter into the time and place of rejoicing with friends and strangers in worship. There is no other time like this, and no other Father like you.

With all we are, and all we hope to be, we lift your name on high! Great is the Lord God Almighty!

Great God, Daddy God, I love you!

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