We have a lot to say about this topic (listen to this link – from the 14-minute mark – for more), and it’s difficult to explain, because you have been lazy and you haven’t been listening. Although you should have been teachers by now, you need someone to teach you an introduction to the basics about God’s message. You have come to the place where you need milk instead of solid food. Everyone who lives on milk is not used to the word of righteousness, because they are babies. But solid food is for the mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between good and evil. – Hebrews 5:11-14
This Sunday at church I had one of those opportunities that requires tons of preparation, involves the highly coordinated cooperation of a variety of different people, balances on a knife edge of success or failure, can be pivotal to the tone of the entire worship service, yet lasts barely four minutes before it is done.
That’s right, I sang a song at the 9:00 Praise service. And, once again, I tried something new.
The song – “Multiplied,” by the contemporary Christian band Need to Breathe – is a fairly simple worship tune that I fell in love with after my friend George shared a recording about a month ago. I listened to it a bunch of times to get the tune and the chord structure imbedded in my consciousness, then reinterpreted the song to fit my style and abilities.
What’s really cool, and why I’m writing about it this morning, is how it played out once other people got involved. I started (and you can barely hear it on the recording below), with a very simple light guitar accompaniment. Then, after a while, Hans comes in with bass. Finally, after the first chorus, you can hear Brett’s drums and then David’s lead guitar. None of this makes it off the front of the stage, of course, without Jim working his mojo with the soundboard at the back of the room.
There is one more element you pick up only if you listen closely, and that is the sound of people in the congregation singing along with the chorus. The picture quality on the recording is terrible, but the sound is actually fairly good, beginning around the 44-minute mark of this recording (WFPC Praise Service).
Sanctuary vibrating with life!
The other part of this morning’s post is the message. Rebekah preached from the Hebrews 5 passage on “maturity” (she begins speaking around the 14-minute mark in the same video), and she hits a number of points that speak to her ongoing theme of Being Christian in an Election Year.
There was a lot going on in 11:15 worship and the sanctuary was wall-to-wall people. It was also “Boy Scout Sunday,” and our good friend John Akerman received special recognition on the eve of his retirement, which made me think about how the idea of spiritual maturity dovetails with some of the principles that have made his career so meaningful.
We cannot become mature and effective in the way we live out our faith unless we become more disciplined and intentional in our approach.
Learning and re-learning:
I’m not suggesting we hand out Christian “badges” like the incremental series of competencies and awards a Boy Scout checks off on the road to becoming an Eagle, but I am thinking about the song I did during the Praise Service, and how it required commitment, and practice, and preparation, and learning, and re-learning, and – so importantly – the support and encouragement of others.
This life of following Jesus is too important to be haphazard, approached as an afterthought, or barely engaged other than a function of personal convenience. We need each other, we need the community of faith, we need support and encouragement…
And – this is important!!! – the world needs us, it needs us at our best as disciples, it needs Jesus in us and through us.
Again, as I can say most Monday mornings, I am encouraged and inspired because of another good Sunday. Peace and blessings – DEREK
pics from “Boy Scout Sunday” 11:15 service…
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.