Do I Need To Bring a Torch?
It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday morning; the birds are singing, and music emanates from a building in an industrial estate. It’s the home of a local Church. A Pentecostal Church. It could be any denomination really.
I walk in through the foyer, still brilliantly lit by sunshine and enter the doors to the auditorium…it is black, no lights other than those emanating from the two large screens where YouTube music videos are being played.
A lady turns around and welcomes us. She smiles and gives me a hug. I happily accept it.
However, I can barely see a thing in front of me. My eyes have not adjusted to the change in lighting, and I almost stumble to a seat in my proximity. I’m not feeling comfortable at all. I ask my husband, “Why are we in the dark?” he shrugs and says, “Beats me!”
When the music finishes the houselights come on and that is almost as startling. If one watches YouTube live video worship, we see many churches worshiping in very darkened churches, auditoriums and stadiums.
There is the element of show business about it; and sometimes they are indeed concerts that attract thousands of people. I guess that is an experience many of us have become used to. And it has its place. Many will say, “Well, we want young people to come to church!”
I was 24 when I came to accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and I was blown away by my first Pentecostal church experience. It was something I didn’t expect, and it wasn’t dark! It was the opposite of the club and pub scene that I experienced before my husband and I married. But that is what captured us! The newness of this joyful Christianity! This is what set the atmosphere to receive the Word of God that evening. To in fact receive Salvation that night.
My question is this, from a merely personal perspective; are we the light of the world? If we are, it’s quite a dichotomy. Perhaps there are people who find it cozy or less threatening. Perhaps they find it easier to be surrounded by the dark to enter in. Or perhaps they could simply close their eyes as they sing and worship? It’s dark there too.
There is always the possibility that a music worship service appeals more to the soul realm of our lives than the spirit. If the ministry is soulish, the outward man will probably enjoy the experience, but what of the Spirit man? Are we then changed in the presence of the Lord, or participating in a merely feel-good experience?
I was listening to Dr. Kevin Zadai a few nights ago as I lay in bed; he said something that struck me, especially in light of our own musings…
He said words to the effect, “no amount of smoke machines and flashing lights can cover up for a church that is Ichabod” (the glory has departed).
Be it not on our watch, Lord!
It's a question that perhaps we all need to ask ourselves as church leaders, worship leaders, musicians and parishioners.
Revelation 22:1-5 NLT
1. Then the Angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2. It flowed down the centre of the Main Street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. 3. No longer will there be a curse upon on anything. For the throne of God and the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship him. 4. And they will see his face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. 5. And there will be no night there-no need for lamps for sun-but the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
Perhaps we should be getting ready for the Light rather than sitting in darkness? (Matthew 4;16)
In the meantime, do you need to bring a torch?
This excellent piece was written by Leonie Robson who is a song contestant and part of the Firstfruits Music Awards family.
To listen to some of Leonie and her husband Ivan’s song click here: