Monday, March 31, 2008

Can you believe this?

The 10:30 worship service at Harpeth is our more "traditional" service, complete with a ringing of the Harpeth bell and moment for silence after we make announcements and share prayer concerns.  Well, yesterday there was a new family visiting Harpeth during the 10:30 worship service.  As everyone else bowed their heads for the moment of silence, the mother of said family said to her little boy, "this is quiet time," to which he responded in a full voice, "I don't wanna be quiet."  Then, as we all stood to sing our first hymn, he said, "I don't wanna stand up."  At this point, half the congregation was chuckling and most of the choir at the front of the sanctuary was trying not to lose it.  When we finished singing that first hymn, the little boy proclaimed, "Can you believe this?"  as if to say, "Isn't this awesome!"  It was a wonderful moment in Harpeth history.  I'm still laughing about it, but not only laughing.  I've also been thinking about it.

I think that little boy was totally excited about a place where everybody sings and where a violin plays along and where there's standing up and sitting down and all kinds of other stuff to see and do.  I wonder when was the last time that any of us regular worship attendees just took a moment to say, "Can you believe this?"  Can you believe that all these people are here to worship God?  Can you believe the amazing lyrics of that hymn we just sang?  Can you believe that we get to share in a ritual of breaking bread and pouring juice that goes all the way back to Jesus?  Can you believe that we dare to put water on people's heads and proclaim to the world that they are children of God?  Can you believe all of this?  That little boy helped me to experience worship, not so much in a new way, but in a re-newed way...a way that marvels in the glorious nature of worship.


Jerilyn said...

Thanks for that beautiful post, Alan - such great reminders for us all!

Nator said...

You have a bell that you ring? That is crazy talk.

Alan Bancroft said...

Yeah, we have a big bell tower with a bell that we ring to announce the beginning of worship. Worship begins at 10:30 and the bell usually rings 11 times. I feel like it should only be 10, because only 10 hours have passed, but whatever. :)