From the Desk of Pastor Courtney

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    Ron and I attended the Toby Mac, “Hits Deep Tour” concert at Verizon arena with the young adults and some Middle Adult chaperones this month. Toby named the tour “Hits Deep” because it was a night with hopes of reviving each person there in a deeper way as well as a night filled with beats that hit deep. We witnessed quite a show of musical instruments such as trumpets and trombones as well as band style drums to all sorts of light displays and imagery to bring the message of the music as well as the message of the kingdom deeper to each of our hearts.

     While I haven’t been to a Christian concert in about 20 years, I was enriched by the experience and sure loved seeing our young adults enjoy this experience. The night included a rich four hour concert with worship leaders and Contemporary Christian singers (Matt Maher, Mandisa, Mac Powell, Capital Kings, Ryan Stevenson, Hollyn) of all sorts of genres from country to rap to old faithful gospel songs like “Amazing Grace.” The night was filled with the Gospel message of God’s grace as well a call to focus on the Christian message of loving others in spite of our differences, even political ones. Toby Mac’s song “Speak Life” reminded us that our words matter. And that God not only speaks life over us but we have the power of our tongues and speech to speak life in all situations. We also can speak life to and over others as God’s light and city set on a hill in the midst of darkness or rather division and messages of gloom and doom.

     Another theme that emerged from songs and testimonies was the reminder that in God’s sight “we are overcomers” and we must continue to trust in God throughout all of life’s difficulties and “move” or rather “keep movin’ on” as we remember to “lift your head,” and believe “it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet.”

    But above all of the music we heard that night, for me I was most touched by Toby Mac’s older song called, “Steal My Stage.” The artist shared how this song came forth as he for years would head out on stage to perform and the prayer of his heart was that God would empty him as a vessel and that God would indeed come and steal the show and make it God’s show. As Toby shared this story he was on a stage in the midst of the audience with all lights on him and suddenly the lights went out and spotlights shined on the large stage as if to indicate that the stage was still God’s and God was invited to come now and steal the show. The lights pierced the empty stage as the artist sang lyrics such as “We’ve got a packed house. The crowd is calling out. They want the beat to drop but what we really need is you. If you wanna steal my show. I’ll sit back and watch you go. If you got something to say. Go on and take it away. Need you to steal my show. Can’t wait to watch you go. So take it away…” It was a very moving experience to see this demonstration of the arts to remind us of such a simple but often forgotten reality in our lives as Christians.

    As we approach Lent and Easter 2017, my hope and prayer is that we too will be reminded that the reason for the show (or life) is God and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most masterful, poetic, tragic, as well as sacrificial demonstration of God’s love for us all. The show is indeed God’s so let’s invite God this Lent to come and steal our show whether that’s during our Worship services together, our time in community or in outreach, or in the mundane of our everyday lives.

 

Lenten Sermon Series: Responses to Christ’ Death and Resurrection

Look for sermons focused on people’s responses to Jesus as he journeys towards death and is then raised from the dead!

“Peter’s Denials” Sunday, March 12

“Rulers Pleasing People” Sunday, March 19

“Simon Carries Jesus’ Cross” Sunday, March 26

“Soldiers and Civilians Mocking” Sunday, April 2

“The Responses of Two Thieves” Sunday, April 9

Thursday (pm), April 13 Maundy Thursday “It Is Finished” John 19:30

“Disciples Afraid and Rejoicing” Sunday, April 16 Easter Sunday

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