Raw Worship

Graduation Basic“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

Can you remember the most moving worship service you ever attended? I can, because it was only two days ago, on Easter Sunday. 

My wife and I entered the Chapel Service at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas with our son wearing his sharp “dress blues.” Around us sat 1,000 young, uniformed men and women, at all stages of military basic training–“zero weekers” to “new airmen.”

Music videos played as we entered. Toward the beginning of the service, the worship leaders and band led some upbeat worship music along with a jazzed-up version of a moving hymn.

Then IT happened–the most powerful worship moment I can remember! The Mark Schultz video, Letters from War, began to play. In amazing unison, the soldiers leaped to their feet, let out a yell, and started passing around boxes of tissues. As the song began, every soldier was singing and every soldier was crying.

The moment was raw….the moment was real! They seemed to understand that God helped them through another week of “Hell on earth” as they prepared to serve our country. That week, the God of the Bible had been their God, their helper, their strength.

The most touching moment was the point in the video when the soldier came home. As his car turned down the lane to his farm on the video, the soldiers let out an enormous cheer. Wow! Patriotism and the Spirit of God was as powerful as any moment in my life.

Later, during the offering, I watched my son count out 10% of his small, military salary and place it in the basket as it passed. Words can never adequately describe how I felt at that moment!

The truth is, our churches are starving for that level of raw worship. Assimilation rates will dramatically improve if we achieve worship that is real….worship that is raw…worship that is relevant! Even though I have been a Christian for 34 years, I personally long for that kind of worship. I fear that we may have to experience a great trial in our lives, similar to these soldiers, if we ever hope to cling desperately to God again.

Prayer:  “Lord, whatever it takes. Let us see You. Let us sense You. Let us experience You. Let us worship You in a way that is raw and real. Let us serve you with a living sacrifice which is our reasonable service because You are worthy!”

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6 Comments

  1. I just attended a worship service at Lackland San Antonio Base this past Sunday.
    It was incredible! Wow what worship and such a to the point salvation sermon and
    relevant videos depicting Hell from the Bibles view and the worlds light hearted
    jokingly sarcastic view. I don’t even know the Chaplins name or the worship team members,
    but all I can say is it was the bomb- that is spiritual bomb. That lady that sang was the best and the band awesome!

  2. It’s the most popular video in the Campus Crusade Airmen for Christ Sunday school classes too. I hope your son was part of those classes as well. Thanks for a terrific post.

  3. Wow, your son does look like you. Glad to hear basic was a good experience for him. Go Air Force!

  4. Steve;

    Just the description alone was moving! Wonderful post and kudo’s to a proud dad!

    Bill

  5. Thanks Cousin Myra! I can’t deny the boy, can I? I’ll pass along your best wishes the next time I speak to him.

  6. Steve — Best wishes to your son (who looks just like you) as he begins his journey in the Air Force. I’m happy you got to have such an uplifting experience at Lackland.

    Your Cousin, Myra

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