Last night our Men’s Ministry kicked off the Fall session with a cookout at a local park. Very cool to see over a hundred men, from teenagers on up, gather together to fellowship, chow down, worship and hear the Word of God. Even cooler to do it out at a public place! God gave us a beautiful (if a touch humid) night, and we had a great time together.
As I was getting ready to start worship, I had a song in mind that I thought I had with me. It’s a song that has really come to be a favorite of the men of our church, and I thought it would be cool to kick off with it. Well, I searched and searched, but couldn’t find it. I know the song by heart, but the words of the verses can get a little tricky, so I didn’t want to chance it without being sure myself!
Seemingly unrelated occurrence: As we waited to start worship, I checked on a post I made online in response to a question someone had about music in the church (not ours, just in general). It was on a forum where talk of “religion and politics” is not allowed. Well, I responded, and sure enough, within a few minutes, my post was pulled down by the moderators. Unbelievable. Amazing how many things are allowed to be spoken of in this country EXCEPT for the Christian.
As I chewed on that, I looked out at the men of our church, and looked around at the people out walking their dogs, playing with their kids, enjoying the night at the park and I thought “we need to sing a song that lifts up the Name of Jesus, the Name above every names!” So I pulled out one of our favorite songs, by Chris Tomlin, Jesus Messiah. Our church has been singing this long before my time, and I knew the guys would know it.
So out at the park, in the twilight of a beautiful late summer North Carolina day, 100 plus voices sang out, at the top of their lungs:
Jesus Messiah, Name above all names…Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners, and the ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah….Lord of all
What a privilege to sing it with my brothers last night, and what a good reminder! That’s the Gospel! That’s the hope that we have! That’s the message we need to be proclaiming, as often as we can, to all who will hear!
Those two seemingly unrelated events, an internet post censored and a time of worship, really played in my head all night long. Jesus said, in John 9:4 “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” The days are coming when will not be able to publicly, and freely, worship the Lord Jesus. We need to hold up the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as long as it is day, as long as we can, and as loudly as we can! Amen?