Monday, May 29, 2006

Don't Forget To Remember

I've been feeling very unchanged lately, but today God reminded me that I am. Today in church service I did something I've never done before. I worshipped at the foot of the cross.

The folks at Living Waters are huge into two things: the cross and visualization. Both came into play, today as Pastor Mark talked about remembering how you met Jesus. Toward the end of the sermon he told us to imagine ourselves watching from the crowd as Jesus' was tried, tortured and crucified. My vision was so vivid that it was like a memory of somewhere I had actually been. Pastor Mark talked us through the trial, torture and execution, and that's pretty much all I remember of the last part of the sermon. I stayed in my vision at the foot of the cross until the service was over. I was in and out to get directions and lyrics, etc, but I was there.

Worship is normally a very self-conscious exercise for me. I'm very aware of what I'm singing, how I sound and what the people around me are up to. This time, I was standing at the foot of the cross singing to Jesus as he died and all of that fell off. We sang "Before You" (lyrics are below), which is an amazing song to sing to Jesus on the the cross. Next, we had communion. It was a...I can't even say what it was like having communion in that vision: eating Jesus' "body" as he hangs with his flesh exposed and broken, and drinking his "blood" as he is bleeding in front of you. Our closing song made for an equally surreal, and somewhat ironic, experience. It was "How Great Is Our God." Singing about how great God is as his Son hangs dead was pretty awesome. It felt really defiant, like a big up-yours to the devil.

It wasn't about the resurrection for me today, like it usually is. It was about the death, about the cross. Jesus' resurrection showed me how to live free, but it was his death that made me free. And that was what I was celebrating. Being free to worship at the foot of his cross.

Here are the song lyrics:
Before You by Steph Modder

Lovely One, God's own son, came for me. Left his home, came alone, all for me. Humbled here, so many tears cried for me. Took my shame as your name, you died for me. Before you I am made pure. Before you I am restored. In you I am reborn, all my sin you made yours. Such amazing love. The sin you've taken from me you cast to the bottomless sea, set me free. Precious Lord, the pain you bore, was Life for me. Precious Lord, the death you wore, was Life for me. Open up, oh heaven's cup, spill over. Spill over me.

How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin
The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty. Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice. He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide and trembles at His voice, trembles at His voice. How great is our God, sing with me. How great is our God, and all will see how great, how great is our God. Age to age He stands and time is in His hands, beginning and the end, beginning and the end. The Godhead Three in One: Father, Spirit, Son. The Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb. Name above all names, worthy of all praise. My heart will sing how great is our God.


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