Yesterday I wrote about the strenuous difficulty of entering into God's promised rest. This morning, I woke later than usual, making me hurry to get ready for church. Just as I was heading out the door, Harry called me, wondering when I would arrive and enter the songs into the presentation program. Somehow, I missed the email with the month's schedule. Linda had taken the truck to Matt's for breakfast, her car was getting some bodywork done, so rain or no rain, I hopped on the bike and was at the church in five minutes, only slightly wet. Fortunately, Bob was already there and on the job, covering for me. Did I mention what a great team we have at Park church? If that weren't enough for which to be thankful, there was more on tap.
We are twice-blessed at Park, with two youth bands, "Path of Grace," our junior band consisting of our elementary-aged youth, and "Faces of the Ground," our senior band. The younger kids led us in our opening worship song, providing voice with guitar and keyboard accompaniment. The older youth had full band. What was impressive was their heart. They weren't just playing notes and singing lyrics. They led us with their hearts. It's a good thing they did, because with my early morning rush, I hadn't even begun to enter into God's rest. I wasn't ready for worship, and it took their worship to lead me in. Frankly, it wasn't easy.
In the Biblical story of Esther, one couldn't enter the presence of the king unless bidden. Access to royalty and privilege is never easy. The protocol for entering the presence of a head of state is strict and lengthy; one doesn't just waltz in lackadaisically. One must be ushered in by a trusted associate. Rushed as I was earlier, I hadn't taken the time nor had I striven to enter God's rest, and I couldn't walk right in on my own. These kids today were God's associates, ushering me into his Presence, for which I am very thankful.