Devotional Observations Relationships

Happy New Year??

Okay. So, the New Year has come. Throughout the old year, especially near the end, we look forward to bringing in the new one. We look forward to starting things fresh, renewing our vows to ourselves and turning a new leaf as we turn the calendar.

Last night, we celebrated by going to church. Now, as the lead musician for our church, I am not only there in a celebratory mode but I’m also there to work. So, my attentions are in multiple places at all times. And because of that, I tend to notice a lot more than the average attendee.

Our service was combined with several ministries. That was very cool. I think that churches should come together. We should fellowship together and NOT just for once a year event. The service was great. I arrived close to 8:45 pm to setup my equipment and prepare for the service. The worship service was conducted by a guest worshiper. It was great. It was a little long but, it was great. Did I say it was a little long? The worship lasted more than two hours. The funny part for me, as I played the organ, was watching the audience. I must say that you can tell who came from which church by how they responded, or interacted, with the worship. At any given moment, there were a number of people lying on the floor, standing, jumping, screaming, singing, crying, sitting, waving hands or just watching. It was very good…

We make the switch and our worship leaders take the stage. 2012 is coming to a close. The service is in full throttle by now. No one is sitting. The excitement is in the air. The countdown… 3… 2… 1… and everyone SCREAMS!!!!! On a scale of 1-10, the praise is now at 30!!! We all are going crazy!! It is phenomenal…

There is a lull in the excitement. We came down to 20, so I step over and I wish one of the people Happy New Year. There was no reply. Then I step over to the other person next to me and the same thing… nothing. They both just looked at me. No smile. No “Happy New Year to You”.. NOTHING!!! I was totally thrown. Because of this, I started looking into the audience. There was so much exuberance, excitement and ecstasy over the coming of the new year but, it was all individualized, just like it was on the stage. People were celebrating in the crowd but they weren’t celebrating together. I saw very few people that actually interacted or hugged each other.

The part that was disheartening for me was that I was physically under attack during the last 2 ½ hours of the service. I was fighting my body to play. All of a sudden, I started sweating like crazy. My breathing became labored and at one point, I could barely stand.  My energy was zapped and I was hurting!!!! On the stage, surrounded by ministers, preachers, singers, musicians… in front of several hundred people but in shear agony. I felt like I was going to collapse. Does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Unified in the building but still separated…

Then “Jackie” rose up. Why am I here in the first place? Let the truth be known, I could care less about a New Year’s Service. Who cares that the calendar switches from one year to the next? It is just a calendar flip. ‘Man, I wish I had used their equipment. That way I could just leave and not have to tear down.’ All of these things are going thru my mind.

Then God rose up… and all I heard was this simple statement. “This is all for me…”

I started to remember some of the things that He had brought me thru just this past week and I began to celebrate Him, and not the calendar. The stress on my body was still there (some of it still here now) but, my head was in a different place. It wasn’t about being there for the people but about being there for God.

Christmas and New Years are two wonderful holidays. I’m glad they’re over. The celebration of Christ should be every day. The celebration of a new day should be every day. Without Christ, there isn’t a new day. Tomorrow is not promised to you. So, when each new day comes we should have a party…

Happy New Year?? I don’t know yet. I pray for unity. I pray that we go to the next level together, hand in hand, celebrating one another and the One that made it possible.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,

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