it was steve's birthday recently and as such we celebrated by going to see one of his favourite artists/friends, craig cardiff at the legendary black sheep inn.
we love the black sheep with lucy the miserable pug meandering in & around people's feet at her own whimsy (i think i may one day write a children's book about her called 'poo-tail the pug who no one would hug' but that's a story for another time).
and we love craig. and not just because he snuck us last-minute-folk into the sold out show. i love his writing candour & his witty sense of humour. his unique take on life & often moving perspectives all wrap up in melody & beat.
one of the trademarks of his shows is that he likes to get the audience's participation. he gives us our part of the chorus to sing along with him & cues us in at the right time. he usually gives us a few parts in a few songs along the way but the first song is usually lacking in audience enthusiasm, marked by the self-conscious whisperings of the small crowd following along. but craig is a seasoned artist who knows well how to ride a crowd out. and at this particular point on saturday, he stopped mid-chorus & said..."do you think we could be a little more aggressive with that... like i mean, long line to the bathroom aggressive... like hey, i-was-here-first-it's-my-turn kind of aggressive?" and the audience giggled & then belted out all choruses from that point on with a new charged kind of enthusiasm.
but it spoke to me. about worship. about praise. and my own dwindled enthusiasm at times. we've all heard of prayer warriors before but what about praise warriors? those who take ground in worship? what of those like david, in the bible, who ran to the battle line even in his own private worship with the Lord? who aggressively poured himself out before the Almighty King. i know i can make all kinds of excuses in my public worship to explain away my reserved-ness. but even if those excuses were acceptable for my lack of "i-was-here-first-its-my-turn" in public, there is not much of an excuse for it privately. i know there are times for quiet, somber worship. but for me, the aggressive kind of worship is something i've not really experienced. i know it's not for the faint of heart. or the self-conscious. only the crazy in love. the truly free. the consumed ones.
king solomon, david's son, had it right i think. he once gathered 20,000 bulls as his sacrifice on the alter. it's a sacrifice that is so embarrassing, it makes you kinda blush. and the Lord consumed them all, all 20,000. kinda leaves me breathless. imagine, watching those 20,000 bulls, fields & fields of livestock, being completely consumed by hot, raging, favoured fire from heaven, an expression of the intensity of His love towards us. king solomon's sacrifice was prepared externally, consumed externally. Jesus changed all that & made it internal. and then i imagine what would happen if i offered me like that? wholly, completely, aggressively to Him & what would that internal experience be like? to be consumed? to stare straight into the eyes that burn with such intense love for me & walk out with skin radiating presence. breathless.
over, the mountains, over the sea...
here you come running... my lover to me.
song of solomon