Monday, September 2, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Worship

A few weeks ago, during the Tok Pisin Sunday School retreat weekend, I was charged with conducting a short course on drama with a group of local children.  I did not know how many kids would choose the class and was a bit concerned about what particular drama I was even going to teach them.

They would be performing it in the Tok Pisin worship service the next morning.  But no pressure.

During the week prior, God began to formulate an idea in my mind.  It seemed like a good idea, but as it was just bare bones, it was still kind of hard to tell.  All I could do was pray and wait for the idea to flesh out.

And try not to panic.

Finally, the night before, the idea felt complete. I found a song that worked with the mime God had given, and – ever the planner – I timed each action out down to the second.

The next afternoon, I walked down the hill to see what awaited me.

I had four boys, all under the age of 12. 

I took a deep breath and launched into “what is drama” and “why drama” and “how drama,” stumbling over the language barrier many times in the process.  They looked at me as if I actually knew what in the world I was doing, and I plowed on.

Eventually we blocked the skit, discussing the meanings of the various ideas represented.  I still wasn’t sure if it was all computing.

When it came time to do a first run-through, my mind remained fixed on technicalities such as “be sure your body is angled toward the audience,” “exaggerate your movements a bit more,” “make sure you pick up all the broken pieces of the paper heart,” and “slow down that scene right there so we stay with the music.”

But by the second or third run-through, though their backs were still often to the audience and they did not always finish with the song, I began to see with different eyes.

These kids brought me to tears, and, as they told a story, I found myself worshipping.

I was amazed.

Not only amazed at the skill wrapped up in these four small individuals, but at the hearts within that I could see beating with innocence, fresh perspective, and a desire to honour the Lord.  Amazed at their ability to take something God had completed just hours before in the recesses of my mind and make it come to fullness of moving, convicting life.

I worshipped during the fourth run-through, and the fifth, and the sixth …

The next morning, I felt (personally) totally discombobulated.  Running up behind stage as the service started to make sure all the needed props were in place.  Emerging, walking through the now-playing worship band, and sitting down again.  Remembering during the third song that I had forgotten to give the flash drive with the mp3 to the sound guys, and then realising that said flash drive was now back stage.  Making a scene, again, as I did what I had to do to get the song from behind the curtain to the sound crew stationed at the rear of the room.  Making my way backstage for the actual event (we were now third in line behind tambourines and dance), only to realise that the two red paper hearts that I had cut just that morning, and that “Jisas” needed to have in his pockets, had been left at home.  Emerging from backstage again, slinking my way through the tambourine players and back to my seat to get my keys, running across the street to get some red paper, quickly cutting two red hearts, and rushing back to the meeting house as the tambourine players were finishing.   Disappearing behind the curtain and praying desperately the only scenes that anyone would pay attention to would be the ones at centre stage instead of those involving me and my forgetfulness.

Mortified and fearful that I had totally distracted a meeting house full of church-goers beyond the ability to truly experience any of this, I drew open the curtain.

As my boys shared their drama with the crowd, I was again mesmerised. 

Later in the service, I found out that others had been brought face-to-face with God as well.

“I’m so glad I got to see the children’s drama,” one national woman expressed during the sharing time at the end of the service, the end of the weekend retreat. “It was very challenging for me.”

Another national gentleman elaborated even further.

“The boys in this drama really blessed me,” he said, his thoughtful eyes sweeping the crowd.  “It made me cry.  And it reminded me that God must have his rightful place in my heart.”

I claim no right to or genius behind this drama, and certainly not behind the children who shared it.  But I am grateful that God used me and four small boys to deliver its message.

That once again, God chose to use weak and broken vessels to draw people to worship.

"Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves ...."  John 4:23b-24, The Message

Five Minute Friday
Written on Monday in conjunction with a group of bloggers who meet virtually to respond to a given prompt each Friday … or thereabouts.  To learn more or join in, click the button above.

1 comment :

  1. yes! what a powerful way to communicate and engage with worship...and when you don't expect it. those boys leading people to the throne - what a beautiful picture. thank you for sharing!



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