A sense of anticipation pervaded the hallways before the worship started last Sunday. Lots of people stopped me in various moments to express their expectation about the choir anthem. Apparently, choir members were excited about “Then Sings My Soul” and became contagious when sharing their own anticipation with others.
Let me make a quick detour here to say that, in my opinion, choir practice on Wednesday night is much more than a time to learn new music. It’s already an offering of worship. We sing. We pray. We reflect on the message we want to communicate. We unite our hearts around one purpose. We learn to appreciate the contribution each person brings to the mix. In other words, it’s a very meaningful opportunity to use our talents for the glory of God. If you want to check us out, please make plans to join us for an open house rehearsal on August 13.
Back to the main subject… Last Wednesday’s final preparation of the anthem for this past Sunday was powerful. God’s presence in that room was real, and I couldn’t wait for the weekend. However, the more I prepared for Sunday, the more I questioned my own expectations about the worship service. Was my excitement generated by the beautiful music planned for it or by the love for the Lord to whom that beautiful music would be presented?
That’s when I cried in prayer, asking Him to help me remain faithful to my love for Him. That first love. That genuine passion. That authentic connection with Him. After all, as much as I love music, worship is not about the songs we sing. Worship is about the Lord Almighty, who saved us with His amazing grace. Music is only a means... Not an end in itself.
When we approached the conclusion of the worship service, I was filled with amazement and awe. I’m not ashamed to share that tears rolled down on my face. Not simply because of the music. Above all, it was something greater than we could imagine… beyond what an order of worship looks like on a sheet of paper. I call it, “standing in awe of God’s presence.”
When we come to worship this Sunday, I’m praying that once again we come with a deep sense of anticipation. I hope there will be a longing to be in God’s presence. My prayer is that we come to show with passion our love for Him. May we come with the desire to express our adoration with freedom, and this Sunday, may the following lyrics be a genuine expression of the longing of our hearts: “I stand, I stand in awe of You. Holy God, to whom all praise is due, I stand in awe of You.”