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The Day the World Worshipped :: Catch a Glimpse of the 2017 Eclipse

Photo Credit: Richard Sparkman

 

We all knew it was coming - the total solar eclipse. It's been sending waves of expectancy and anticipation across our nation to all who awaited this incredible experience of a lifetime on August 21, 2017. 

 

We had 38 years to prepare for it. Some drove hours or even days to get to the path of totality across our nation, hoping to experience the eclipse with family and friends, or even with a crowd of strangers. Some ordered special viewing glasses, some created homemade viewers out of cereal boxes. Some skipped the first day or school or took off from work, setting aside this special and momentous time to experience something truly rare & wondrous.

 

It was cloudy and overcast on the Central Coast of California yesterday, and though I was unable to see it myself in person, I absolutely *loved* watching others experience it around the country via Facebook and Instagram, through photos and videos, and through personal stories shared.

 

Something profound and powerful hit me last night while I watching a video that a friend of mine took in Nashville during the eclipse. Even just watching his experience second-hand, I was incredibly moved and actually began to cry. 

 

He was filming on his iPhone in a wide open park with a crowd of people somewhere in Nashville. There were picnic blankets and pop-up tents, snacks and beverages out with picnics happening around him, and of course everyone sporting all the goofy glasses. He mostly filmed the reactions of the people around him. And. It. Was. Priceless.

 

As the eclipse began to take place, everyone basically hopped to their feet if they weren't already. Then it was like this celebratory eruption of cheering and amazement came over the crowd - kind of like "the wave" in a baseball stadium coming out of nowhere and just taking over. 

 

People were exclaiming "wowwwwww" and "whoaaaaaa" and "wooohooo" or "ahhhhhhhh" or even "oh my gosh!" Everyone was either shouting or clapping or cheering or whistling. Some were even raising their hands. What a powerful moment!

 

Some people started laughing hysterically. Some were crying uncontrollably. Some were doing both at the same time. I even heard one woman say, "Can you imagine if you didn't know what was happening right now?!? Such a surreal experience!"

 

Some people were jumping up and down and some guy even started playing his bagpipes in the park. It was basically the party of the century crammed into 2-3 minutes time (depending on where you were watching it). All eyes were lifted in the same direction, looking heavenward in utter amazement. All attention was focused on the same incredible, unbelievable, astounding thing. 

 

And. Every heart who caught a glimpse of the eclipse bursted forth with complete joy, celebration, praise, and wonder. 

 

What happened was: they WORSHIPPED. 

 

It is proof that no one has to teach us how to worship, and proof that we are actually totally hardwired to worship when something is TRULY remarkable to us. I was texting with my friend in Nashville afterwards and said to him, "It seems like it was a glimpse of heaven!" He responded, "For sure. We were full on crying. It was beautiful."

 

It seems the whole world was nearly euphoric and buzzing like crazy afterwards. The wave of response crossed across our entire nation in a few hours' time. Everyone was talking about it, unable to keep the experience to themselves. I even saw an Instagram post by Apple that said - "It was a 360 degree sunset, and everybody started screaming at exactly the same time."

 

So if you have you ever wondered, "What is worship?" or "Can I really know how to worship if someone hasn't taught me how?" I believe that the world totally worshipped yesterday - most without even knowing it. They worshipped without being taught that they should worship. And they worshipped without anyone showing them/telling them how to worship. Nobody had to do a teaching on, "Appropriate Responses to the Solar Eclipse" or "5 Ways to Express Your Heart in Meaningful Ways During the Total Eclipse."

 

You see, when we TRULY catch a glimpse of the awe and wonder and majesty of God - no one has to teach us HOW to respond. We just do. Our natural, automatic, human response to such a thing is basically to erupt in praise! How it is expressed may look different from person to person, but I think ultimately, the combined expression looks and feels kind of like the greatest party of all time. ;)

 

Reality is that every day is a miraculous wonder - every sunrise, every sunset, every rainbow, every star shining in the sky, every baby born, every breath we breathe. It is all a gift. I think we just become more awake to God's gifts when it is something truly rare - like a total solar eclipse - that we may only experience once or twice in our lifetime.

 

To me, the response to the eclipse yesterday was a tiny glimpse of what I think worship in heaven may be like. I think it's also a picture of what I think worship in the Church is intended to look like as well! Think of it - all of us united together, arm in arm, eyes upward, with hearts, hands, and voices erupting towards the heavens in celebration and praise. 

 

Bring your laughter, your tears, your jumping, your cheering...just bring it on. Your pure expression & response to God's love, power, and majesty at work in and around you. If we REALLY catch a glimpse of Him, we definitely have something to hoot and holler about!

 

My heart and prayer as a worship leader has always been, "Lord, help us to catch a greater glimpse of who You are, that our hearts would be moved to respond in worship." 

 

When we see who He is, when we experience His love, when we are changed by His presence and power - we can't HELP but hop up and shout about it! And not only that, but then we usually want to share the joy of the experience with those around us. It's hard to keep something so amazing to ourselves.

 

My prayer for us all is that we could be more intentional like we were yesterday - that we could step out of our crazy, hectic lives to make room for holy moments MORE than once every 38 years - that we could come to our church gatherings on Sunday mornings every weekend with truly expectant hearts - that we would live life daily with eyes wide open, waiting and watching for the miracles that are already and always happening all around us.

 

If we could truly catch a glimpse of Him daily, our hearts wouldn't be able to help but erupt with absolute raucous praise! Bring it on!

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YES! YES! and AMEN! to ALL of the above!!!
 

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