There has always existed a confusion about the identity of the Church, at least to those looking on and even to many who are involved.
In the UK, we are surrounded by everything from the tiniest chapels to the biggest, grandest Cathedrals and they all fall under the rough heading of ‘Church’. The confusion exists because these are just buildings – often built very lovingly, creatively, beautifully and with a desire to model the glory of God, but still just buildings. The church is not now, and never has been, a building! The Church is the people – the living stones, the body of Christ and his bride to be. The buildings are there in Europe to keep us dry, and warm in winter when we gather together, and as spaces to welcome us as we gather.
It has been observed in this season of lockdown that the church has been closed. Well, no – the buildings have been closed for many, but the church has carried on meeting by a huge variety of means. Technology has been mastered to provide us with virtual meeting spaces. We are so grateful for the likes of Zoom, Teams, YouTube and Facebook Live (other platforms exist!) which have enabled this. We’ve also learned a lot about getting things to sound and look good so that visitors and regulars alike are engaged rather than put-off.
Importantly, together we have learned more deeply what it has meant for our own homes to be places of worship and the centrality of our own family altar. Worship is so much more than a song, so much more than a musical performance. The Holy Place is not about geography it is about an attitude of heart.
Since lockdown began I have been aware that I need to model the altar of worship in my own home; to welcome the Lordship of Christ into my own living space and to offer him my devotion. This idea sparked a conversation with my son about how we might do that together, capture the results, and then invite you to worship with us. So we set up our lounge with a keyboard, a guitar and a vocal mic and we picked 9 songs that I’d written, stretching back over the the years and sang and played our hearts out together. There were moments of joy and laughter and moments of deep worship. There we praised! It was a special afternoon – we had a lot of fun, and God was with us in the room.
Once we had had a good cuppa, we reviewed what we had done and saw that it was good, we also realised we could do something more with it. Thus began the painstaking process spread over many months, working around two very busy schedules, to add other guitar parts, vocal harmonies, pads and organs, drums and bass until we had really full sounding songs. The final mixes sound so fresh and contemporary, despite the oldest being 20 years or so old!!
Our invitation to you will be to join us as we release them after Easter 2021 and enter the Holy Place where you are to worship Almighty God – let us honour him together.
See you there