I'm writing from St. John's, Newfoundland, and we're a little over halfway through our tour. It's been amazing so far. Great churches, beautiful vistas, and of course, piles of food!
This past Sunday morning, we played for my childhood church, St. Thomas'. During Communion, we stood near the front of the sanctuary as the congregation walked up and down the centre aisle to reach the altar. It felt busy and beautiful as people of all ages made their way to receive this precious gift of faith.
We had invited the choir to join us on the chorus of Hallelujah (Psalm 104). If you know this melody, you'll know that it's soaring and evocative. It can bring us to a holy place of worship, and in the midst of this wonderful busyness, the worship was growing.
On each chorus, I would turn around to direct and encourage the choir in their singing. As we neared the end, I turned to bring them into a soft, sweet ending when my eyes caught those of a young man with Down Syndrome. He was standing behind me and singing. He reached out his hand in response to mine, and for that moment, everything was vividly present. I could hear Gerald and the choir. I could feel the congregation moving back and forth around us. I could feel the movement of the song and hear my own part. But I was also in a pool of stillness, holding hands with this boy, staring into each other's eyes, and singing a song of praise together.
When the song ended, he kissed my hand, I wiped my eyes, and made my own way up to the Communion altar.
It was a powerful moment, and one that few people saw. Some of the choir members witnessed it, but even Gerald who was standing next to me wasn't aware of what was happening.
I've tried to figure out what message I could share with you, how this amazing and unexpected moment might encourage another worship leader, and I just have this:
Always be open to God's plan for worship.
I'm thankful that I knew my song well so that I could both continue to lead while also experiencing this beautiful blessed communion. How many other moments does God have planned for us in worship!
Be alway open to His mystery and wonder...
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Our Newfoundland Tour continues until Sunday night,
and we're continuing to post photos on our Facebook page.
You don't need to be a Facebook member to view them, but if you are, we'd love your Like!
You can view the photos HERE.
Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page & visit us every Wednesday!