We had a really cool Gathering at church today. We've been in a series called "What If" during which Jon (our lead pastor) has taken one of our six core values each week and broken it down, saying "Jesus lived like this - what if we did?"
This week Jon talked about worship and used some neat illustrations. He talked about how God dares us: "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8) And that we worship out of a hunger for God - the more we taste, the more we want. And inevitably, when we hunger and actually take a taste of something, that leads to an intense thirst - in this case, a thirst for righteousness and connection with God.
We entered the Gathering room this week to the smell (and sound) of popcorn! It was 10 minutes into theGathering before Jon had the ushers pass out bags of popcorn to everyone. They loved it! Then, as he began to talk some more, you could tell another sensation was filling the room - thirst. Intense thirst. Look-around-the-room-and-wish-you-hadn't-eaten-that-popcorn thirst. And then it came - Journey Church First Impressions Team to the rescue! The ushers passed out a bottle of water to each of us. WHAT A VIVID PICTURE of how important a lifestyle of worshiping God is.
Later in theGathering, Jon had us each take a piece of clay and form either what it is that compels us to worship or what it is that inhibits our worship of God (in which case we were invited to resolutely smash it up). I could tell that it was a really meaningful experience for some people.
So next time you have thoroughly enjoyed a salty snack and find yourself parched and desperate for water, remember that when you give God a chance (NOT church or religion or ritual, but GOD) to do something new in your life, that small taste will not disappoint you.