During STORY, God broke me during a Friday afternoon worship session. I'd heard the message before - we sang the song multiple times during the week and it affected me each time. All the times before, though - distraction kept me from truly experiencing the truth within the song. Sons & Daughters took the stage to lead us in worship; they started playing "Poor and Powerless" and we started to sing. There was something different about this set. I glanced around, but noticed nothing. Something in my heart kept whispering, "pay attention" - so I did. I closed my eyes, focused on the words, and slowly everything began to fall away.
Shout it! Go on and scream it from the mountains. Go on and tell it to the masses...He is God.
Light breaks through the darkness of the sanctuary and I open my eyes...confused. There, behind the stage, is a black curtain. As we sing these few lines repeatedly, everyone watches the curtain open up to blue skies and the Chicago skyline.
Shout it...go on and scream it from the mountains. Go on and tell it to the masses...He is God!
The music has certainly hit a crescendo, and so has my heart. Staring at the city, the words suddenly hold a deeper meaning. Saying "go on and tell it to the masses" while you're watching people walk down the streets of Chicago makes it blatantly clear whether you believe what you're singing.
At that moment - I knew how God felt towards the city of Chicago. This overwhelming love and hope and promise took over any distractions begging for my attention.
God is so much bigger than our cities. He knows the hurt and the pain and the filth. He knows the hopelessness of those riding on the subway late at night just like he knows the plea for freedom of those caught in sex slavery across the pond. He knows the cries of the mother on welfare just like he knows the cries of a father who buried his AIDS ravaged son. He knows.
And He's bigger.
And so worth our praise.
Here's the video of "Poor and Powerless." Watch it and read the verses below from Psalm 22. Think about your city - where God has you. Think about where he may be calling you.
And then go shout it out.
Here's the story I'll tell my friends when they come to worship, and punctuate it with Hallelujahs:
Shout Hallelujah, you God - worshipers; give glory you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel. He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening. Here in this great gathering for worship I have discovered this praise - life. And I'll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers. Down and outers site at God's table and eat their fill. Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him.
"Live it up, from head to toe. Don't ever quit!" From the four corners of the earth, people are coming to their senses, are running back to God. Long lost families are falling on their faces before him. God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word.
All the power-mongers are before him
All the poor and powerless, too
Along with those who never got it together
Our children and their children will get in on this as the word is passed along from parent to child. Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news - that God does what he says.
Psalm 22:22-31 [Message]