Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Worship and Drama

Y'all! It's only 13 weeks until Christmas! Only 13 more Mondays...we can do it guys! So what does it all mean?! This means Christmas Program time 🙌🏼 This means more practices, Christmas music, (I mean who doesn't love Christmas music in September?!) and the Christmas play! Y'all, it's time to celebrate the birth of Jesus! (And also pray Pastor Brad doesn't turn into "Passion Play Brad" before we even make it to Passion Play time 😳😬)

I'm so blessed to go to a church filled with so many wonderfully talented people...a church that not only has an amazing choir and worship team, but one that also has a drama team--I'm so thankful for a church that sees that worship can take place in many different forms! 

Before I became involved with the drama team at MPBC, I had never done many plays in a church setting. I'm a theatre major; I'm used to performing in front of hundreds of people, but the first 2 minute skit I ever did in front of the congregation was one of the most terrifying things I'd ever done! The pressure you feel to get it right is overwhelming! I mean this isn't just for entertainment, this is someone's life! This is the Word of God being spoken, not just meaningless lines on paper...it's a big deal! You get to be a messenger of truth and hope, and just like singing lyrics to a song (no matter how upbeat or how serious) the same can be done through drama when you come with your heart ready to receive the presence of Jesus! 

I'm ready, are you?!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Back to Church Sunday

Mrs. Hodges bust through the door and said with a sense urgency, and almost panic, “Turn on the TV, quick! A plane has hit the world trade center!”.  Mrs. Howell got the remote and turned the TV on (I don’t think it really mattered which channel it was on that day, the news was everywhere) to see fire and smoke coming out a huge hole in one of the two tallest buildings in New York.  We were too young to realize the weight of what just happened, but we all new it was bad. There was not a sound in the room other than the news men and women.  As we focused in to see what was happening
there came another plane which crashed into the second tower (which I had the privilege to see just a few months earlier on a trip up north with my family over spring break 2001).  The explosion was so real and happened so fast that even hundreds of miles away, we could almost feel it.  The rest of the day was a lot quieter, there was no noise in the halls or classrooms other than people talking about what had just happened.  I was in the 7th grade when America was attacked on September 11, 2001.

That next Sunday churches were FULL of people looking for hope, community, answers, and maybe Christ.

I don’t remember when the phrase “Back to Church Sunday” came about, but I know that the Sunday after September 11th is “ Back to Church Sunday”.  It is a day that we should all reflect back to that Tuesday and remember those who died during and after the World Trade Centers were attacked.  As you recall it, think of all the times that God has come through in His time, to answer your prayers, give you strength, and calm your weary spirit.  The reason so many people came to church then was to find what “we” have, even if they didn’t know that’s why they came. They may not have even heard of the Christ (so how could they actively seek Him?), but the masses hoped the comfort they were seeking could be found in the church.  The truth is, it can be found only in a relationship with God through Jesus, but people have to hear the Word first, and that’s where the second part of “Back to Church Sunday” comes in.

The second part is you and me inviting some people to our church next Sunday. People who we cross paths with everyday that may need to hear the preached word.  Just think of it; if 600 people invited 1 person and they all came on Sunday.  Now, you and I both know better, so let’s say 25% of them come on Sept 17th. That would be 750 people which would be like Easter or Christmas numbers.  MPBC has had that many before which means there are people willing to come. People might be willing to come if they’re invited, and who would invite them except us?  Interesting how that chain is linked together.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to just see numbers because each of those 750 would represent a person.  Each one will have troubles and good times, debt and blessings, and most importantly, each one is a soul that God has made unique in His own way.  Those souls are the very thing that we want to see reconciled with Christ.  Tell them about our Flag Football League, the Soccer League in the spring, the Passion Play, the Christmas Candlelight Celebration Service, our Worship Time, the teaching of the Bible verse by verse, the community that you have even at a large church, the MPBC App, and just why you go.  Talk to them about where they were “when the world stopped spinning that September day” (to quote Alan Jackson) and ask how they remember it, what they felt, and how they responded.  Tell them it is “Back to Church Sunday “ and you would like them to come.  Go to them with the sole purpose of steering the conversation towards September 11th, 2001 and then steering it toward MPBC, which will lead them to the hearing of Christ. Which is the entire goal anyway.  I hope this week you and I both will have the courage to take this challenge, possibly for the first time.

I say go for it!