today was a humbling and wonderful day. it was an eye-opening day. i participated in a community Good Friday service. i was asked to lead a prayer, which i did. but then a strange thing happened- i worshipped from the bottom of my heart. i felt emotion when i thought about the words uttered by Jesus- 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' i cried today as i sang 'beneath the cross of Jesus.' i got chills as i thought about the word becoming flesh and taking on my sin. i felt conviction as the words of the message asked me which of the characters i played as i stood at the foot of the cross. i experienced the presence of God.
i understand and fully acknowledge that i am not the only one to experience emotional worship today. but the reason i write these words is because i realized something as i had this experience. i cannot remember the last time i experienced something like this. i cannot remember the last time i was truly moved to tears over the thought of Christ dying for me. i cannot recall the last time i held back tears as i sang a song in church. i cannot remember the last time i truly worshipped with all of my heart.
this was an amazingly saddening realization to come to. i am a minister. i lead devotionals and bible studies and teach class all the time. i lead worship nearly every week. my entire vocation is centered around God, and yet i had to honestly confess to myself that i was caught up in worship today for the first time in a very long time.
i don't know if i get into a rut or if i am so focused on getting it right so other people can experience God that i neglect to do that myself, but this honestly was one of the most eye opening days i have ever had in my entire life. at the age of 28, in the midst of my first long term ministry opportunity, i found myself in the throne room of God and it was unfamiliar territory. i pray that i am alone in this, but i fear that i am not. i pray that church has not become more about the building and the do's and do not's than about God, but i fear that it has. i pray that ministry has not become about programs that lead others to deep spirituality and allowed us as ministers to neglect our own spiritual health, but i fear that it has. i pray that i have not been so concerned with everyone else experiencing God that i have at times forgotten to allow myself to experience Him, but i fear that i have.
my prayer in this is that God will allow us to seek Him, not a religion that simply admires Him. i pray that we will strive not just to be fans and spectators of our Savior, but strive to be followers and disciples of the Christ who died for us. and i pray that God will renew our passion for living in His presence.