I was in Chicago a couple weekends ago and took the opportunity to attend Moody Church on Sunday. I’ve been there before for other Sunday services, or concerts or Founder’s Week, and they have all been good experiences. But this last time, I was just so moved; so deeply touched. I am not an overly emotional person, to a fault actually (that aspect of my personality has not served me well, especially when someone is trying to determine my heart), but I had tears streaming down my cheeks and I was pitifully squeaking out the hymns from my constricted throat. If I were to guess why I was so struck by this experience, I would have to say it just seemed to be the closest portrayal to what Heaven would be like that I’ve experienced, when all believers are united together in Heaven worshipping the Lord. I looked around and it seemed that there were dozens of different ethnic groups represented, and genuinely kind people, who loved and accepted each other, and in the bulletin it showed that their income EXCEEDED their budget… I assumed it would only BE in Heaven that that would happen! As we sang, I watched one man trying to contain himself of the joy that seemed to fill his being to overflowing. He would swing his arms back and forth and then lift them up, drop them to his side only to lift them up again when once more couldn’t contain his joy. Later in the service the church commissioned a 75 year old man to missions work in Haiti and this man stated that he doesn’t plan on returning to the States-that he will spend the rest of his days doing full time ministry. Such an example of servantude and pouring out of oneself. I don’t know…just so many things captured my attention that cannot adequately describe the experience. Maybe God was showing me what church and the church body should look like, feel like, be like and how in what ways God needs to change my heart. Now, I am not so naive as to believe Moody Church is free from challenges, but this one particular service sure seemed to have all the elements of a God-filled place.
The one thing that stood out most significantly to me in that service however was just before Pastor Lutzer (a much revered author, speaker and pastor in a world-renowned church) began his sermon he said something to the effect of “Let’s pray, and as the Bible instructs it should be on our knees. Now it’s not really possible for you all to do it, but I have the room” and he proceeded to get on his knees before his Lord, in front if 1000’s of people and pray……………………….it was so moving. This man, this shepherd of this great congregation, humbled himself before God, in front of us to show his submission and reverence and obedience to his Master. There was no question who Erwin Lutzer’s master was and is and really it should be that obvious in every Christian’s life. What impressed me is that a leader, a pastor did this, and although it may have not been his motive, he was an example of how we should all approach God; how we all need to kneel in humility and submission at the feet of our Father. I sure appreciated Pastor Lutzer’s authenticity. I need to kneel more often
Thank you God for raising up those who care more about what You think of them than what man thinks of them. Please continue to transform me in this area, as I have struggled too long with this. In Jesus’ name, Amen.