Sunday, April 16, 2006

Big Hill... Better than Disneyland

Years ago, we lived in a house that had 14 steps up to the front door. One Halloween a tiny little guy dressed as some in-vogue super-hero made the long climb up the stairs while my wife held the door open and waited for his magic words that would deliver candy. "Whew... Big hill" was what came out. Ever since, "Whew... Big hill" has become the code phrase in our home for "That was a long, hard day."

In my job, there are two times a year that are crazy-busy big hills. Christmas and Easter. Today ended the second of those for me. This past week was a grueling big hill that had most days starting at 4am and ending at about 11pm. By all rights, I should be feeling burnt out. My body and my brain are tired. But I feel a deep sense of gratification tonight.

This week, we ran a worship experience we call a Christ Centered Labyrinth. It is a multi-sensory, multi-media encounter with God that left most people only able to whisper "wow" as they left. We held a Good Friday service where we unashamedly grieved the death of Jesus, but not through "Easter eyes". People allowed the gravity and injustice of the crucifixion to wreck their evening and their weekend. At the end, the incense rose up through the gnarled cross hung in the center of the room and we moved through a "virtual" Stations of the Cross and the 7 last words of Jesus, many wept uncontrollably. Today, we celebrated that Jesus is no longer dead; that he didn't stay in the grave, but rose to secure life for all who would follow him. What a journey.

Last year I had a revelation... an epiphany. After hosting the labyrinth all day, I figured out what I love about this week. I'm a worship leader. And at its core, that has nothing to do with music - and everything to do with connecting people with God. That's what I get to do during Holy Week. Help connect people with God. What a privilege.

One woman came out of the labyrinth crying and struggling to find words to express her feelings. After a few minutes she said, "that was better than Disneyland." Yep, it is. Thanks to all who helped pull off this week. Thanks to all who came to experience it. Thanks God, for showing up. You're a lot better than Disneyland.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hindu Woman Describes a Worship Leader

An elderly hindu couple came to church today with a friend. Because of the language barrier, there was much they did not understand. But my friend told me afterwards that they were very moved by the worship time after the sermon. Speaking of the worship leader, the hindu woman said that "... his spirit became one with the Divine Spirit."

Humbled, and honored.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bono - fied

I have a lot of friends who worship Bono. Really kinda bugs me. Bugs me like Amy Grant worship did in the 80's. Bugs me like Beatles worship bugged my father-in-law in the 60's. So many Christians look for any hint of spirituality in their heroes so they can justify worshiping them. Stupid. You like their music? Great. Listen to their music. But quit trying to convince me that they are the next Billy Graham.

Anyway, Bono's a great musician, hugely popular, and that gives him a platform. My opinion is that most famous people should shut up and sing, or shut up and act, or maybe just shut up. Too many times they go on and on about stuff they know nothing about, and because they sing good - people listen, and follow.

So, a friend sent me this link to a speach Bono did at a prayer breakfast at the Whitehouse. I thought... "O great, here we go again." Wow, was I wrong.

This is a great speach. I don't know who wrote it (probably not Bono) or if he even said everything that's in print here, but it doesn't matter. This blog entry isn't really about Bono. It's about being Christ in the world, and these are powerful words about that. Hope it gets you thinking like it did me.