The through-line of the night was the Good News that Jesus is there for us to cling to no matter our circumstances. We sang what is rapidly becoming my favorite Spiritual about how we want Jesus to walk with us through our sorrows, our trials, our journeys. We heard Scripture read about a God who lifts us up and doesn’t let our enemies gloat over us, and a Messiah who heals even the dead. We put that faith radically into action by praying a blessing not just for our friends, but for our enemies.
And then we got ministered to. It’s always a pleasure to have the mellifluous Southern Pentecostal tones of Jonathan Martin with us, but to have Nichole Nordeman too was a true joy. It was, of course, a privilege to have such a wonderfully gifted musician in the Chapel with us last night, but her lyrics punched just as hard as her voice. She brought to life in powerful ways the truth of Jonathan’s message, that in the darkest times and stormiest seas Jesus is a raft we can cling to. What a wonderful truth.
Jonathan continued our deep-dive into the elements of the weekly liturgy by bringing the Eucharist to life. The Table is the place that each week we get reminded that no matter what else is going on in our lives, Jesus died for us and offers us life. The Bread and the Cup are tangible proof that we haven’t been forgotten or forsaken. We can hold on for one more week. Or, more accurately, Jesus will continue to hold on to us just as he promised. Take a listen to the podcast here:
And then, of course, the fun continued when we were treated to a fantastic after-party. We gathered to celebrate the publication of Jonathan’s book How to Survive a Shipwreck with cupcakes, cheese, cookies, and soda bottles with colorful straws. The room was so full of life and warmth, and I for one hope that celebrations like that become deeply embedded in The Practice’s DNA.
And, let’s be honest, I want Rhianna and Lori to plan my next party!
Grace and Peace to you all this week, friends.