Last week I attended the high school Christmas concert to watch the concert band. My oldest daughter plays the flute, and although she can tell me every mistake they make while playing, it is something I enjoy immensley. I left work, grabbed the kiddos, and we ate fast food in the car just to make it on time. As I settled in my seat, I noticed that it wasn’t just the concert band performing. It was the various bands, chorus, and jazz ensemble squished inside the auditorium. They were all performing.
As they began to play, I had so many things running through my mind. But it wasn’t work stuff or anything else that was consuming my thoughts. I was focused on the students, the music, and my love for Jesus. While it’s true that my thoughts can ping-pong from idea to idea, there was a definate thought pattern going on here. Even though in the back of my mind I knew that my two cats were probably hunkered down in the top of my Christmas tree at home, mastermining their surprise ambush on the dog, I had chosen to focus my attention on the music. The Christmas tree could be picked up off the floor and redecorated upon returning home.
I have to admit that I had a preconceived idea of the music that would be played. I expected it to be generic carols without Christ mentioned in them. After all, it was a school sponsored event. But to my surprise, the songs sung (and people sang along with them) were indeed about Christ. The students and audience sang about Jesus. I found myself getting excited. We were a community, gathered together, singing about Jesus. Could this be considered worship? You bet!
A community worship event filled with people who may not even realize that our Lord is being worshipped! Yay God! I found myself asking Our Father to touch those who don’t know Him. I prayed that they would come to know Christ and what He did for them. Tears #1, 2, 3 and 4 were filling my eyes.
When I listened to the music, I realized how beautiful all the voices were in this worship to Christ. Everyone singing together. The drums were loud and just booming. Oh, the drums. How could I possibly think of Christ from the deep, soul shaking booms? I thought about Christ sitting at the right hand of Our Father. Drums announcing and praising Christ, would certainly be attention getting. How loud would those drums in heaven boom? How deeply would they stir my soul? I imagined the drum beats in heaven to be the most thunderous I’d ever hear to announce The King, The Savior, The Jesus who gave His life for me.
As the voices rose and joined together in worship of song, I imagined being in heaven where Jesus is seated, where He reigns over His kingdom, and what it would be like to be joined in song praising Him in His presence. Nothing could compare! I found myself so excited to know that someday…someday…I could praise Him and join in the songs of praise to Him in heaven. Tears #5, 6, 7, 8, 9 were coming faster than I could wipe.
Now, where’s my tissue? I didn’t have one. Who tears up at a high school concert? It’s a good thing I had my gloves. I wiped my eyes, dabbed my nose, and made a mental note to remember not to put my hands in them after the concert. Gross! After all, they’d become my tissue, and it beat the alternative of grabbing the jacket sleeve of the person sitting next to me. I didn’t think he’d get it if I blew my nose in his sleeve even if I’d said, “It’s all about Jesus, man!”
I guess by now you could say that I have a very active imagination. But it wasn’t me just imagining the awesomness of being in the presence of my Savior. It was the love that I felt for Him that gripped my heart. Yes, it’s true. I am head over heels in love with my Lord and my Savior, Jesus Christ. And for the first time, I realized how excited I felt over reaching heaven someday to worship Him in His presence. I imagined lifting my voice in song as all of heaven rejoiced to Him. How beautiful and completely awesome it would be!
Now, back to the concert. As I watched the various groups, I began to see how their postures were all different. The younger and newest high school students were sitting and playing their instruments in a rigid manner. They were there, but they were not feeling the music. The older and more experienced high school students who had been in band for awhile had more experience, were more comfortable, and they seemed to let the music flow through them. One student in particular seemed so different when he played. His movements were different than everyone elses. He seemed to be in a world so different while he played his violin.
My mind being what it is began to think about this. For one, as Christians we do (and should) move differently in our lives than the rest of the world. We do let Christ flow through us and our music (the way we speak), body language, and movements (living Godly lives) are different than the rest of the world. As I thought about the inexperienced students playing (apprehensively at best) not sure what everyone would think of them if they just let loose to let the music consume them, I thought about how I used to be an apprehensive Christian.
When I was a “newbie” believer coming back to learn about Christ, I used to worship, praise, and pray just enough so that I was part of the believing body of worshippers, but still reserved. I reserved myself enough to not be considered a “Jesus Freak”, “one of them”, or a “bible pusher”. In my life, if my faith were an orchestra, in the beginning I was just there. I believed in the music being played, but I didn’t want to let it consume me. I played the music, but I resisted it just as much. If I had let it consume me, I would’ve stood out in the crowd.
As I watched this one particular student move differently than his peers, as I watched him let the music flow through his body, I watched him become alive in the music. At that moment I thought about how my life has changed. Once I let Jesus flow through me and didn’t resist him, I started moving, living, and feeling his love differently. I now stand out. I pray openly, I live differently, and I don’t hide my love for my Savior. Yes, I imagine big neon signs pointing to me that read, “Jesus Freak”, “I (heart) Jesus”, and “It’s ALL about Jesus”. And you know what? It’s exciting! Thank you, God!
To feel this much love for my Savior here on earth, to know that God is orchestrating this thing called life, to know that I will someday meet and celebrate my King, Jesus in heaven, to know that I have been saved, to know that I can share the most incredible love imaginable while I’m here on earth by sharing Christ with those around me, to know that I have let Christ consume me, to know that I do move differently in the name of Jesus Christ, is what my life has become about. I don’t have it perfect. I’m still a sinner, and I still screw up, but I’m a sinner who absolutely is in love with Jesus!
I feel His music inside my soul. And His music is love. I hope that everyone around me can hear it, and just to be sure…I’m turning it up. I love hearing His music within, and I know that someday I will get to hear it echoing in the heavens. Yes, I can’t wait!
I need another tissue. Tears of joy! Hmmm…The tissues are in the restroom, but my dog is right next to me. I’m just kidding! I won’t use her tail. I’m getting a tissue, I’m going…
As you worship Christ this Christmas, let His music and love consume you. Let it move you.