This weekend I was able to take the students in our youth choir (The Proclaimers) to an event called PraizFest. It was hosted by Geyer Springs, First Baptist Church in Little Rock. I had the opportunity to lead worship during an early morning session on Saturday. 8:30am. Normally I would not be very excited about such an opportunity. Most people don't really care about anything that early in the morning. The difference this weekend is that the room was full of students eager to be there and to lift up their voices in praise. Some things are difficult. Leading a room full of hungry teens to the throne of God is easy. You see, they wanted to be there. They paid their money, fought the storm (we had an ice storm), stayed up all night, got up early and came to worship God! I suppose they are unique anyway because not every student would give up a whole weekend to a weekend of youth choir. But over 600 showed up for this event.
What is it about worshiping early in the morning that seems so fresh and free? If you can get yourself out of bed it can be a wonderful event! Since God never sleeps I do not imagine the time of our worship is much of a concern to Him. Here is what I think is significant about the whole thing. Sacrifice. It is not easy to get up early. It is definitely not easy to get geared up to thrust yourself into a time of worship. It costs you something. It is not comfortable. God requires a sacrifice from us. That offering, that sacrifice is ourselves. We must let go of our desires and wants. This is the example Jesus has set for us. "Give up yourselves," He cries. "Come and follow me. Don't worry about the cost, for great is your reward!"
It will be worth it all
When we see Jesus
Life's trials will seem so small
When we see Christ
One glimpse of His dear face
All sorrow will erase
So bravely run the race
'Til we see Christ ~ Esther Kerr Rusthoi
Christ is our Reward, so, do not lose heart. Join in the song. Look to Christ and see what He is doing. He is glorifying the Father. He's our leader. Let us follow.
Grace and Peace,