In the last week, over a span of four days, I experienced a wide spectrum of worship experiences. It struck me the wide worship spectrum in which I had been involved in such a short time.
On Thursday night I sang with the Singing Men of Texas comprised of nearly 130 men and 2o instrumentalists. It was the last concert prior to their Ukrainian mission trip set to begin on April 20, 2015. The concert was performed in the beautiful Pilgrim Chapel of Dallas Baptist University. The music was energetic and uplifting. There were moments of beauty that came from 130 controlled and well tuned men’s voices. It also contained the full power of 150 male musicians in a hall with wonderful acoustics. At times, my breath was taken away and I just stood in the middle of the risers and let the sound wash over me.
Friday night a few of our vocalists and instrumentalists from First Baptist Temple joined together to lead worship at the Women of Prayer Ministries’ conference in Temple. We shared the time with a worship team from Mt. Zion Baptist Church, an African-American congregation in our community. Their music leadership was the best in black gospel. We joined our voices and hands, leaning from the right to the left, clapping and singing and exalting our Lord. We then led worship in our own style, different from theirs, but still filled with the joy of praise and worship. The preacher of the evening closed the night leading the congregation in a deep and resonant rendition of “I Surrender All”.
Sunday morning I joined with our Worship Team as we have the privilege and responsibility to lead our community of faith in worship each week. It was a normal Sunday morning of worship, filled with moments of both praise and introspection. The congregation sang out and fully engaged in worshi.
Sunday evening I travelled to Dallas to the Meyerson Symphony Center to hear three Methodist choirs join with members from the Dallas Symphony under the direction of Mack Wilberg for a program entitled “Sing to God”. Wilberg is currently the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 275 voices sang selections from Beethoven to Appalachian folk songs in a night of praise. The orchestra was exquisite and the organ added incredible depth to the sound. From the deep resonance of the low C in the organ to the full power of the organ pipes and the orchestra, the voices gave glory to God in the great concert hall. The two and a half hour trip home seemed so quick following such an incredible night.
Why does this make any difference? It really doesn’t at all. Except for the realization of the wide spectrum of worship experiences I had in such a short amount of time. From the sounds of a large men’s choir, to the energy of black gospel, to the engagement of my home family of faith and finishing out with a great choir and classic sounds of the orchestra and organ, the glory of God was revealed. The sights and sounds were different. The tempo and style was varied from one end to the other. In every experience, however, God was praised. And it was glorious.
The worship spectrum is vast. God is glorified in it all. My heart was overflowing with praise at the end of each of these experiences. That’s what it’s all about, after all. An overflowing heart. That’s when true worship happens.