Thursday, September 25, 2003

Seminary Worship

No, not worshipping the seminary. Worshipping at the seminary...

Yesterday I had the opportunity to lead worship during chapel -- they had devoted the whole time slot to "praise and worship".

I had been recruited to do it a few days earlier by the Co-ordinator Of Such Things, who'd heard "somewhere" that I was involved in worship. She also found a couple of other people who I'd never met, and we became the day's worship team. Acoustic guitars and four voices -- nothing elaborate. The Seminary chapel doesn't even have a sound system, so it's a good thing I have "street performer" in my background -- I'm loud although not necessarily polished-sounding.

At the beginning of the chapel, I told those gathered that they reminded me of junior high students -- they're all generally passionate about God, but when they sit next to each other in a group setting, everyone's too afraid of what someone else might think, so they all play it safe. They all laughed, and I think it helped to loosen people up. They spread out from each other a bit, and I saw much more diversity in expression than I've seen to date during worship at the seminary.

We had a fantastic time singing to the Lord for the next half hour. Some were kneeling, others raising their hands, still others singing boisterously with their hands in their pockets -- quite a mix of backgrounds and expressions!

By the last song (Hillsong's Shout To The Lord), the volume level of singing was drawing people from adjacent rooms (a lot of sem students skip "praise & worship" chapel, apparently) who came in kind of wide-eyed. A number of them joined in and later said "if only I knew what was happening today" (even though it's posted on the bulletin board in the hall -- seminary students, go figure...)

My favourite encouraging comment after it was over came from one of the Nigerian brothers, who shook my hand, thanked me, and said, "I think this is what God created you to do."

That's the kind of comment that makes you feel very small (cuz you know it's ultimately God's thing, not ours), very encouraged (that you were able to lead others to worship God), and very grateful (that God would use a boogerhead like me).

Now, back to the mundanity of homework -- as I try to do schoolwork as "unto the Lord", too.

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