this morning, i was at church early because i was supposed to meet a girl from youth group for a music practice. she was going to sing a special song this morning. and we needed the final rehearsal. but either i didn’t communicate well or for some reasons she couldn’t make it on time, i was there by myself for a good while.
i’d never been to church this early before. i usually got there by the time the service started, around 10:30am. but today i was there at 9:00am. the meeting room was dark and quiet. the door was unlocked. so i slipped in and saw the guitar, the one many hands have tried on to bring out beautiful music to our beloved God, sitting on the table….inviting me. i picked it up and struck the G and i was there…in tune with Him.
we sang. we walked. and we talked. me and Jesus. i was brought there early to have this solitary moment with Him. as i was walking in the morning sun, He led me to think of people who i love: my family, my church in nonthaburi, my friends at compassion and my new family here in chiang-mai. but He didn’t stop there, He showed me that there are others who need prayer too. someone like vendors outside the church door, who are busy with their lives and whose minds are blocked to the Gospel by wrong beliefs. someone like other christians in the whole world who were worshipping at the moment. as i spoke each name or group of people aloud, i knew that the Spirit was being in charge and taking care of the matters for me…for us.
then at 10:00am, people started arriving and we had a half and hour of singing contemporary songs, not hymns! please don’t get me wrong, i love hymns…but i’d always wondered if they ever sang other than the hymnal. and it was refreshing. now that i have a better understanding of the language, though not as much as i’d like, i’m beginning to be there in the spirit of worship. you know, when you don’t have to try to understand something…when you can just listen and hear it…the words are overflowed in your heart…and there’s nothing to stop you from singing, smiling and thanking God.
during the service, there was no one to translate for me as the rule was made yesterday. “only karen language for mink” said jor dahbu. and i was fine with that. i admitted that i understood only 10% out of the whole sermon but i was able to read the story of elijah defeating baal worshippers at mount carmel in 1 kings 18. it was a thrilling story. there were emotions and actions through the chapter.
when i read to the part where it was elijah’s turn to call on the name of the Lord, i had to try to not be too excited. the story was coming to its climax, and the power and authority of God were to be revealed to all who were there. then elijah prayed:
“Lord God of abraham, isaac, and israel, let it be known this day that You are God in israel and i am Your servant, and that i have done all these things at Your word. hear me, o Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (36-37)
the next verse says:
“then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.” (38)
wow! the Lord our God is indeed powerful and mighty. even the water couldn’t resist the fire. i’m impressed and challenged. elijah was a man of God. he put his life at the Master’s disposal. whatever He commanded, he followed.
such zeal and passion. such bravery and devotion.
it is my prayer that you and me will do the same thing. by being in tune with God, we are able to hear His voice more clearly…and the Spirit will equip us to do His will.