Friday, January 6, 2012
Bigger Than My Neighborhood
Sometimes God pulls back the curtain a little bit from your own four walls and lets you be a part of the bigger picture ... the grander scheme ... the metanarrative. That happened to me this past week.
With a friend, I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Passion Conference in Atlanta by serving last weekend in the green room prior to Passion's opening session on Monday evening when 44,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 eagerly arrived and filled the massive Dome. What only two days prior had held a logo of a cow during the Chick-fil-a Bowl and the evening before a Falcon's game, became a place of worship where the rafters were blown off in holy praise. My small part had only been to be a cupbearer for two days to the musicians who were rehearsing for the event. I could have easily changed the words of Snow White's seven dwarves from "Whistle while you work" to "Worship while you work," for indeed, I did just that. At one point when there was a lull in my duties, I sat down on the wooden floor just behind the black curtain on the stage, positioning myself next to the drums. Placing my hands on the floor, all other instruments faded as I allowed myself to literally feel the worship as it coursed and beat its way through every fiber of my being. It was a powerful and holy moment unlike anything I had experienced before.
But when Monday rolled around and thousands upon thousands of high school seniors and college-age kids were heading downtown, I was heading to north Atlanta to keep my grandson for his mother to take 18 of her youth group girls to this massive event. And so for the next 4 days, I rocked and I played and I read and I fed and I did all those things a grandmother would do with her 10 month old, and when time allowed, I watched the live stream of what was happening downtown. And that's when I understood that what was taking place and what I had been and was being allowed to play a very minute roll in, was a lot bigger than my neighborhood. This was global with global impact!
Speakers such as Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, John Piper and Christine Caine brought excellence in the way of teaching to the stage. Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, David Crowder, Hillsong and the Passion band rocked the house in praise to God. And Falcon fans have never made as much noise as those young people did as they worshipped and danced and celebrated Jesus.
But excluding the Lord Himself and the worship of Him alone, the most powerful thing that took place in that dome was the beginning of the uprising of this generation against modern day slavery in which 27 MILLION people on this planet right now are enslaved. That's epidemic, my friends! And these young people are not willing to sit back and do nothing. They began emptying their pockets and gave ... not pledged, but GAVE ... over 3 million dollars to go to causes to end slavery around the world. But more than that, I believe they left with hearts that had been changed by the gospel to do justice and to love mercy as Micah 6:8 says. If you did not catch it, please see what CNN had to say about the event.
Yes, something huge happened in Atlanta this week. Something much bigger than in just the neighborhood. And tonight I sit back in awe and while I do, I take note of my own heart's conviction "to do justice."
What about you?
Just an ordinary moment...