Today marks a somewhat strange and surprising milestone in my life. This is the first Sunday ever that I have not been sick, and still voluntarily decided not to go to church. Because truthfully, today is one of those days where instead of being “led in worship”, I really needed to find it on my own. I didn’t feel like celebrating this morning; I felt like being quiet.
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve just been a little “off” the past couple of weeks. One thing that’s tricky about being a Bible major is making sure you don’t forget the purpose behind what you’re doing. It had been a while since I’d read my Bible just to read it. And because I’ve been in frantic finals week mode, I knew that going to church this morning would make me feel resentful. Turn in paper, get an A. Go to church, get an A. It would be somewhere else I had to go, something else I had to do, to punch the ol’ time card and say that I went. Plus, a good friend was in town this weekend, and we’d made plans to get lunch together. To be able to do that, I would have to go to early service. And since most of the people I know go to second service, would there really be all that much community? No. I would sit there alone and not be able to muster up the energy to sing after 6 hours of sleep.
After the hustle and bustle and stress and frustration and confusion of the last couple of weeks, I really just needed to be alone with God to refuel. And honestly, it was the best thing I could have done.
Instead of getting up at 7, I slept until 9. And here’s what I did.
First, I spent a few minutes journaling and praying. Then I listened to Fire Fall Down by Hillsong United and Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship. And then I got on youtube and watched Lifehouse’s Everything skit and cried. Feel free to take a couple of minutes to watch it yourself, if you haven’t.
The end of the skit reminded me of a Scripture in Colossians about God making a public spectacle of the powers of darkness, but I took a little journey through the Bible to get there. First, I read the crucifixion account in Luke through the lens of the skit, which made me approach it in a whole new way. That led me to Psalm 22, and then I went to Colossians where the verse was, and ended up reading the whole book. There was a lot that really stood out to me today, but two passages in particular:
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” –Colossians 1:22-23.
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” –Colossians 2:13-15.
The contrast of these two verses really stood out to me. Christ made me holy, without blemish, and free from accusation. But he made the powers of darkness disarmed, humiliated, and defeated.
I feel like I’ve been in super defensive mode lately, but what am I fighting? I am not my enemy. Other people are not my enemy. Finals are not my enemy. The real enemy has already been vanquished, and God finds me beautiful and perfect. And that’s what I found worth celebrating today, in my pajamas, in my bed, without any grand instrumental worship or a message from a famous guest speaker. Just me and God, and a quiet reminder of what this is all about.