Wednesday, September 21, 2011

he Knows his Sheep

This was big, really big. And confusing. I wasn’t sure where the entrance was, where the worship center was. It was a like being on a college campus with numerous buildings and never quite being sure where I was supposed to go. But I plunged in. I wanted to see what worship was like at the infamous megachurch—10,000 worshippers at five weekend services.

The first thing that impressed me was that I found a parking spot that was walking distance to where I thought I was supposed to go. Impressive, especially since I am not a fan of large crowds, or of parking shuttles from distant parking lots. The next thing that impressed me as I walked in and found a seat was the ethnic diversity of this church. It was as if I had entered the throne room of heaven where worshippers from every nation and tribe and people and language express their adoration to the Lamb. I actually had to turn around and look at the faces of so many different races, all worshipping the same Savior. This is the Body of Christ as it some day will be!

But maybe what really caught my attention is that this pastor knew his people. And his people responded to him. There was a shepherd-sheep connection that was unexpected for such a huge church. His preaching was directed specifically to his people. And they were engaged. Listening, taking notes, responding to his tender calls for interaction. It struck me that there are pastors of much smaller churches that do not have this kind of knowledge of his people. It reminded me of Jesus whose sheep know His voice and follow Him.

But perhaps the most lasting impression I took from here was that the name of Jesus was exalted and lifted high. They were just beginning a series on Revelation and it was made very clear that this final book of the New Testament is all about Jesus. King Jesus. Savior Jesus. Lord Jesus. Messiah Jesus. The one and only name worthy of our praise and worship and allegiance. This was a beautiful expression of the Bride of Christ, an earthly, localized Bride that is deeply in love with her Groom.

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