I finished teaching a six-week class on worship last week. The curriculum focused on different characteristics of God as the basis for our worship. Each week, we had a discussion about one aspect of God based in Scripture (e.g. creator). In addition, the participants were given different spiritual disciplines and practices to do as homework to deepen their understanding of that week’s aspect of God (e.g. contemplating God in nature).
I have to confess that this was one of the most challenging courses I’ve taught. I originally wanted to do lots of cool experiential things, but was limited by time and resources. Instead, I had to rely on the fact that if I pointed people (including myself) to God, they would meet him and worship. And indeed we did.
As we’d debrief our homework, it was cool to hear how God continued to show up in many ways in different people’s practices. I learned first-hand that what people truly crave is God. Experiential stuff and slick production values are cool, but they pale in comparison to knowing the living Christ.
Last Wednesday’s class discussed how God is a reigning God. Not surprisingly, one of the key songs for the lesson was “He Reigns.” As I exited the freeway, just before arriving home, I heard the opening bars of that very song, clear as a bell.
It may seem like a coincidence, but I believe it wasn’t. I rarely listen to radio stations that would play Christian songs. The one station I do listen to doesn’t have a strong enough signal to come in near my house. Besides, it’s not very often that I catch an entire song when flipping around the radio dial. I happened to be listening to the right station at the right time that somehow had a strong enough signal to play clearly for the span of one song. Seems pretty unlikely to me.
I had to chuckle as God showed up yet again, to have the final word of the evening. I realized once again just how true the words are:
Of all the songs sung from the dawn of creation
Some were meant to persist
Of all the bells rung from a thousand steeples
None rings truer than this
It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns
Indeed, He does reign.