Recently, I went with a friend who invited me to a different assembly. Since this gathering of devotees did not interfere with my regular assembly, I took the opportunity. My friend picked me up at my house in the evening and drove to where I would meet some of his other friends and assemble with them.
This assembly is larger than Central or any other congregation I have been a regular part of. The group is large enough to require local law enforcement to direct traffic. When we first arrived, over an hour before the assembly began, we caught up with a group that was already fellowshipping with each other and I listened as they excitedly talked about the assembly that was to take place.
With a few minutes to spare, we made our way to our seats, it was crowded. Once every one was seated, I did not see more than a couple of empty seats. Soon music began to play and introductory videos played on large screens. The assembly sang along. Everyone knew the words and there were no hymnals or words on the screen to help. Everyone around me sang. I joined in on the songs I knew.
Once the full assembly began, those assembled stood together without anyone directing them too and they also knew when to sit. More songs and more group singing. There was a man speaking with a microphone and at times those assembled would shout in agreement with what he said. It went something like this:
Man with microphone: “First down, Alabama!”
The assembly: “Roll Tide Roll!”
I want to thank my friend and deacon at Central, Vince, for inviting me to join him at his company’s tailgate and to enjoy an Alabama Football game.
I thought about the experience Sunday morning, as we gathered at Central and we all joined in singing praise to the Father. I thought about it as we remembered the sacrifice of Christ during our common meal (communion). I thought about it as a member or two said “Amen” after a prayer, the scripture reading, and during the sermon.
I wondered how many of the 102,000 gathered at Bryant-Denny were gathering to worship God yesterday morning.
I wonder if we, as Christians, are excited about Christ as we are about certain players or coaches on football (basketball, baseball, soccer, softball, gymnastics, etc) teams.
I wonder if the same folks (including me) who unashamedly shout, “Roll Tide Roll,” “War Eagle,” “Geaux Tigers,” “Go Vols,” or some battle cry at first downs or touchdowns, are too timid to say, “Amen” in worship.
I wonder . . . .