Saturday was a cold, gray day. Frankly, it mirrored our mood. Missing Emily, feeling her absence. Deeply. So we did what we do, went on with our lives, but our hearts were in none of it. Even the cozy fire in the fireplace didn’t warm the chill in our hearts. The pall hung over us all day, hard to shake.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny. Craig ran out to catch a picture of the sunrise, as has become his daily joy.
After hot beverages, we dressed. On the way to church, early, we listened to worship music. Once there, well, how can I describe it? I can’t speak for Craig, because once there, we go our separate ways for a while–he, to fellowship with God and men, and I, to worship team practice.
Something started stirring in me at worship practice. We began by praying earnestly. Then we practiced our songs, but more than singing and playing the songs, we were already worshipping God. We weren’t PRACTICING worship, we WERE worshipping.
After practice, there was time to fellowship with the saints. Thank God for the light-hearted chat with the girls. Thank God for the heartfelt words of comfort from an older woman of God. Thank God for reconnecting with my husband through a few words and a shared smile.
Then it was time to lead the saints into corporate worship of the one, true, holy God. What an honor! To worship Him so that He desires to inhabit our praises! To invite Him into our midst in a tangible way, so that lives are touched and changed! To be a part of His purpose for this time, this place!
The congregation responded, and I tell you, there is nothing like corporate worship.
Afterwards, the message was delivered, ending with a call to dedication, while in the background played a powerful song I’d been listening to and singing all week: “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave.
“I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed.”
What a difference corporate worship makes! What a difference fellowshipping with believers makes!
Oh, what a difference a day makes!