Friday, February 24, 2006

We've Come A Long Way From Petra, People

Last night David and I got to spend a little time with Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Louie Giglio. I think the title of the tour says it better than I ever could:

To be honest, when it was finally time for the concert, we were exhausted (planning, cooking and serving three meals at a church without a kitchen in the main building can be a little, er, challenging). David was such a trooper...he took care of cleaning up after breakfast and serving lunch so that I could concentrate on getting everything ready for supper. Everything turned out great...and all the people involved - musicians, crew members, promoters, etc. - were really gracious and humble and appreciative.

I really can't even wrap my head around their lifestyle...last night was their 21st show in 28 days, and they were leaving our church and heading straight to Tyler, Texas, where they'll perform tonight. Yesterday I kept thinking about how exhausted they must be, how it must take everything they have just to get on that stage and sing / play / speak day after day after day. No comforts of set real way to distinguish one town from the next. I mean, I'm thrown off if I have to drive more than 3 hours over the course of a weekend...I can't imagine living on the road.

All that to say: we saw an incredible concert last night. INCREDIBLE. It's hard to even put into words, and you know me - I'm wordy.

D. and I love so much of the music we heard...we are pretty much contemporary Christian music geekazoids, so a Chris Tomlin show is right up our musical alley, and OH, did we ever sing along. Matt Redman was great, too (I had no idea that he had written so many songs that I love), and Louie Giglio gave a great, fresh perspective on what "God of the universe" really massive, how powerful, how HUGE God really is. I won't say much more than that because I just can't do his message justice...but if you have a chance to hear him in person, GO.

The concert was sold out, so there were about 2,000 lively people there - and I can't imagine that a single one left disappointed. While we were there, I was trying to think of adjectives that would describe the experience, and I kept coming back to one: Spirit-filled. Now, I know a lot of y'all like a more traditional worship style than I do (several times I tried to picture my brother in that setting, but I couldn't even imagine it, aside from him saying, "Why do all these people have their hands in the air? They need to put them down. I can't SEE!"). BUT, I don't know how anyone who is a Christian could have stayed in his or her seat last night. You just had to move, to clap, to sing, to jump, to SOMETHING - there was, as Mama would say, "a Presence," and it was palpable. Awesome.

All in all, these guys weren't performing as much as they were leading worship, and they were so careful to keep the audience focused on God and not them. The end of the show was no exception...the last song was "How Great Thou Art," and as the audience was singing along, the musicians very quietly put away their instruments, walked off the stage, and left the audience with nothing but an empty screen and some a capella singing.

And then, after about a minute, the screen went black, and these words emerged in white:

"Thank you, Birmingham.
His love endures forever.
His love endures forever.
His loves endures forever."



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