It all started with the simple introduction of our MS150 team who will ride this weekend from Frisco to Fort Worth to raise money for those living with MS. Jim, the team captain, was moved to emotion as he told of a wife and daughter on our team who were riding for their father who has MS. The power of a 12-year-old girl and first-time cyclist wife riding 160+ miles in two days for the one they love was too much for all of us to handle.
Kenyon then put this on the screens:Nothing is as dangerous as encountering the true and living God. Why? Because meeting God redefines everything we call normal and commands us to seek first his kingdom (Matthew 6:33). This is why God's messengers speak these words of assurance again and again in the Bible: "Fear not." The righteous, holy, all-powerful God, maker of heaven and earth, is no one's peer. “Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one (says the LORD)." (Isaiah 44:8)
God cannot be tamed. God alone lives in perfect and uninhibited freedom. God is and will be God. There is no other. The witness of all who have had the closest and most personal encounters with God-- from Abraham to Peter, from David to Paul, from Sarah to Mary--agree encountering God means you will never be the same. This is the greatest (and best) danger of worship. —Mark Labberton, THE DANGEROUS ACT OF WORSHIP: LIVING GOD'S CALL TO JUSTICE
That led us into our time of worship, which was minimalist compared to our usual band and sound, but appropriate for our "Less is More" theme of the day. It was a special time that led us up to David Chisum's FaithStory. If you missed it, go here. His story will inspire and challenge you.
I then invited the church to pick up a Global Day of Prayer Guide that begins on May 1, recognized our Race for the Cure Team (David had mentioned his wife's breast cancer in his story), and asked us to pray for the family of Mike Edwards, whose body was found last Friday after missing for several days. The Edwards family is part of the Legacy family, and many know and share life with them. We stopped and prayed for those hurting among us.
We then continued our worship in song, and the closer we got to the message, the clearer it became to me that we were to pray for each other today. I asked the worship team to stay and invited the church to risk being honest with each other so that people could pray for them.
I told them they could get what I was going to say in the Escape the Blur Study Guide, but today we needed to pray. Libby read Romans 8:35-39 again and then led us in worship. People got in groups, came to the front--singles, couples, and groups; and many prayed where they sat. God heard our prayers, showed up, and we were changed.
After a truely "dangerous encounter with God," we we entered the day having experienced our untamed God. I'll mark this one as one of the reasons I do what I do: the privilege to be among my spiritual family when God does wonderfully powerful things.
If you want to know what I would have said, go here. It's an online verse from the Study Guide you may already have, but you can access it to use throughout this week if you like.
I look forward to seeing what God will do as His people continue to serve and pray for one another and for their friends. I want to be around for that again...