From the very first moment that I knew we were going to be church planters there were some events that I really looked forward to and tried to picture. One of those events was our first baptisms. Of course the reality with the portable baptistery was very different from anything that I had ever pictured, and it was much more amazing and awesome than I ever dreamed to see people deciding to follow Christ.
The other event that I was really looking forward to was our first communion together as a church. Technically, the first communion took place in my living room with the launch team this summer. That was absolutely incredible to share the Lord's supper with people who shared our vision and our lives. At the end of that beautiful, emotional evening, I leaned over to a friend and said, "You know that the next time we do this it will be with the friends in Anna that we haven't made yet."
So this morning we did. We shared the cup and the bread with our new Anna friends. As Shawn prayed over us right before we took the communion, I just totally lost it and bawled like a baby. Prideful to the very end, I leaned on my knees and let my hair fall forward to hide the tears as they poured down my cheeks and dripped onto the floor. I was overwhelmed that God is allowing us to walk this road with him. He is using us, even though I fall a far ways away from perfect or holy or righteous.
It was great for Shawn to be speaking again. He is such a gifted speaker. I enjoyed the sermon, even though I was almost certain it was a rerun. Course, I'm not sure that enjoyed was the right word as Shawn described the crucifixion and explained how Jesus took my place of punishment so that I could have his place as the beloved. God convicted me pretty hard during the sermon. I treat Jesus' sacrifice as cheap, take it for granted. Then on the other hand, I ignore lots of sin as "lightweight" instead of confessing and repenting.
Out of the worship set, my favorite was Paul Baloche's, "Your Name." I loved the line about the nations singing. I was reminded again about the urgency to reach the nations so that all people groups can be represented in worship in God's throne room. Honestly, I did not expect to be blown away by this song. I had heard Phillip, Craig, and Dean's version...it's alright, but a bit dated. Then as I listened to Paul Baloche's version I kind of thought the same thing. However, as time passes, I'm starting to trust the worship dude more and more about songs, and so I put in the practice time last night to get it right. And with our band, and his vocals, and the beautiful background babe, and the congregation joining in.....it was stunning.
A good day at The Crossroads. I am still pretty emotional, extremely exhausted, and dreading working on school stuff this afternoon. But the hardest thing of all is waiting a whole week for it to be Sunday again.
*For those of you interested, I did update the worship blog. You can link there through my profile. Be patient with me on this one. I have not yet decided exactly where I'm headed with it. Or how I want to structure it. Some of the posts I am not satisfied with. I have been debating for several weeks about just deleting it, but instead decided to simply use it to ramble about worship until I discover God's plan. It did take me all afternoon to get it published because of technology problems, which is usually a good sign for me that I'm on the right track. So hang in there, eventually some order will emerge from the chaos.