Awkward Church Services
I became convinced of one thing this morning. There will be no awkward church services in the new heavens and the new earth. Anybody had one of those? This morning was more awkward than running into a talkative ex-girlfriend who wants to know about the last fourteen years of your life… All sorts of awkward.
I was leading worship. My mic went out sometime during the first song. Part of the problem of being in a church with a very young demographic is that a lot of your key guys who are usually serving are off seeing family somewhere. So naturally, we were down a sound man. So our fill in guy had the worst job in the house – trying to figure out what in the world went wrong when he’s staring at 14 bazillion buttons and lights all lit up like a carnival. He freaks, starts unplugging wires and moving things around. Monitor mixes?! We don’t need no stinking monitor mixes!
So we’re on Death in His Grave, playing 10 BPM too fast and the drummers on 2 and 4 when I’m on 1 and 3. The key to it all? Smile and nod, baby! Act like you know what’s going on, because, well, there might be one person in the audience that is convinced by your sheepish grin that says “Someone wake me up from this nightmare where there is a train barreling at me!
It actually may have been our saving grace that the preliminary stuff went so long we had to cut three songs, because I don’t know if we would have made it. But in the new heavens and the new earth, there will be no need to fake like you know what you’re doing (at least that’s what I’m praying for!).
It’s so easy to lose perspective in the middle of these things. Here we were gathered together as a church to worship the risen Christ, and I’m worried about the fact that singing unplugged over a drum set is not gonna happen. My drummers worried about the fact that now he only hears the piano in his headphones. The background vocalists are singing along and smiling like nothing is happening. Our one-handed pianist is glad he picked this week to nearly slice off his birdie finger, cause otherwise he might’ve been tempted to use it on whoever was driving this wild bus.
All this is why I love Mark 16:1-8. This was our Call to Worship this morning, and fittingly so.
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
(Mark 16:1-8 ESV)
Jesus has been raised from the dead! It’s all supposed to be better now! But yet everyone is running away scared, living like he’s still in the tomb. This is our temptation. This morning, it felt like Jesus was still in the tomb, but we are reminded that “He has risen; he is not here”! Jesus is alive, and that changes everything. Even when it doesn’t feel like it. Even in an awkward church service.
Easter’s almost over for this year, but will you live Monday as if Christ is risen from the dead?