I am sitting in a hotel room in Waco, Texas tonight for a "Fantastical Church Music Conference" put on by the David Crowder Band. Night one did not disappoint. Some interesting, very enjoyable music. Welcome Wagon, which I can only define as The Swell Season with Norah Jones on the piano (but the piano player is actually a larger white middle aged dude, so it's a sonic reference)... Then Gungor played later, and were very impressive with their instrumentation, arrangements, skill level... A LOT of talent, coupled with heart and creativity. I'm a fan.
But the highlight of the night wasn't musical. It was Francis Chan. He's a passionate, young(er), very authentic in front of people guy. And almost every word he said resonated deeply with me. The scriptures he quoted and preached from are scriptures that have been rolling around my head/heart for the last week or two... maybe longer. So it was amazing and very impacting to me to hear him share them to a room full of worship leaders.
The main one was out of the book of Amos, and we read in our twenty-ten reading last week, I believe. Amos 5....
18 Woe to you who long
for the day of the LORD!
Why do you long for the day of the LORD ?
That day will be darkness, not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—
pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
21 "I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your assemblies.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, [b]
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Wouldn't that be a striking word to receive from the Lord? But so important for all of us to remember. God's perspective is not man's. Just because your singing, doesn't mean He's listening...
He also mentioned the verse in Matt 5:23/24 where Jesus tells us to let our sacrifices wait, until we reconcile with our brothers. Another one on my heart this week, as a reminder I need to give as a worship leader (and remember as a worshipper).
And I'm not quick to endorse people who sit around and point out flaws in the church. Scolding, negative tones... Cynicism and pious accusations... That's easy to do. I always wait for the solution. For the challenge. And his was great. Would your life fit in His Book (the Bible)? Would it seem normal, in a truly biblical paradigm? Apart from cultural differences... Your level of commitment, your level of faith, the way you handle your relationship with Christ in your life... Would it be able to be listed in Hebrews 11, or alongside Peter, Paul, Elisha, Elijah... They were all human too. Would your story even be worth recording? Good thoughts...
Even made me write.... inspired, kind of flow of consciousness poetic scribbling. Felt really good, and really uncomfortable and challenging at the same time. If I get the guts, I might share some of the scribbles. later. For now they stay in the notebook...