Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. – Psalm 98:4
Day 1 of the pastor’s conference is in the books. It went from approximately 6:00pm-9:30pm local time. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the pace has been an adjustment here compared to the busy lifestyles and full schedules we keep in America. Knowing that and experiencing it are two different things. As we arrived at the conference, we were rushed from our car to the open air worship area and were ushered to our seats. Many of the pastors and other locals were already there. Some have traveled a large distance as Babu has been involved in planting 40+ churches in the area.
Music began as we waited for the rest of the attendees to arrive. While waiting, they worshiped God through music and song. And it is not quiet. As Phil and Freddie had prepared us, the volume is set at 11. The music has bass, treble, volume, and NOISE! Of course, I do not understand the words, but I can take in and admire their level of worship to our Father. They are literally “SHOUTING TO THE LORD.” Occasionally, we can make out “praise the Lords” and “hallelujahs”. They shout that at seemingly every opportunity and that is a blessing to be involved in.
Though the next hour of this is beyond loud, as we wait for all the believers to gather, we are able to close our eyes, quiet our minds and set our gaze and focus on Christ. He is the common denominator in this place. Through him we are adopted as sons and daughters of God. In waiting, I am able to see a parallel in us waiting for the return of our king Jesus when he gathers his people from all of the nations and establishes his new, perfect kingdom. While we wait in patience, we set our hearts and meditate on the glory and majesty and love of our God through the saving work of Jesus Christ. It is Him that draws us in to communion with Himself as he will do with all those who place their faith and trust in Him. That is why we are here, and while we patiently wait, we are called to worship…in some cases LOUDLY.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8