Janet and I spent the weekend traveling to Oklahoma on a mission to deliver some material. It was pretty much down and back with one night on the road. In fact, we drove about 1100 miles and were only gone about 30 hours.
After we had been on the road a while, we were getting ready to watch our church’s Saturday livestream. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic, we have attended the services online and rarely, if ever, have we missed. That’s one of the great things about streaming – we can watch and listen from anywhere on the planet and Saturday late afternoons just wouldn’t be the same without an infusion of musical worship and listening to a theological message.
Prior to the service starting, I stopped for gas and had trouble with the pump accepting my credit card. We were somewhere in the middle of Missouri and I was instructed to see the attendant about the problem. After getting things straightened out at the register, I was walking back to the car and saw Janet bee-bopping next to the car – kind of dancing around and swaying side to side.
Now I have known Janet for almost 60 years and, quite frankly, her actions reminded me of days long gone when we first started dancing together and even attended sock hops when we were in school. When I approached the car, I kind of smiled and asked her what she was doing. She responded that she was watching the church service on her phone – getting her “Jesus” on.
Inside, I started laughing! Saying something like this reminded me even more of the old days. We have been through so much together – and faith is one of the most important things in our lives. But with all the trouble getting fuel, I had forgotten that the church service was now going on. Janet really loves musical worship and here, in the middle of Missouri, she was caught up in singing praise songs at a gas station.
I thought about all the places that we have been – large cities, small suburbs, mountain vistas, beautiful rivers and streams – and even in the middle of corn fields in central Illinois. Sometimes, we passed through stands of trees or wind farms, but in the midst of it all, God was everywhere we were – and that includes the gas station we were standing in. The truth of the matter is that God is omnipresent – He is everywhere at once.
That means that we don’t have to be in church to experience God – and there are many spiritual pathways that people use to connect with God. For example, some people find God in silence, or prayer, or nature, or community – sometimes it is in solitude or musical worship. Each of us connects with God in our own special way – and no way is better or worse than another.
Janet has always been moved by musical worship and yesterday was no exception. So here, in the middle of nowhere, I was watching Janet caught up in praise. It was so simple – so pure, so real. That’s the way worship should be – like having the faith of a child. Not worrying about what anybody else thinks – just catching a special private moment with God.
Our verse for tonight is from the book of Zephaniah, an Old Testament prophet. We are told, in Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” My encouragement this evening is that God delights in each of His children. Regardless of where we are, God is with us. My prayer is that we may each exhibit wild abandon when worshipping the Lord. After all, we should be brought to our knees at the thought of the love that God has for us. So however you want to do it, make sure that you get your “Jesus” on! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…