Beyond all our expectations and dreams God gave us a parade of power! What can I say? Lord, you are great! You are kind and good beyond all our deserving. You have blessed us. O how you have blessed us! Just like Daniel Runion prayed in the service, “God has blessed us, so that His way may be known on the earth, His saving power among all nations.” That is what God did—we were blessed that hundreds of people on the parade route might know Christ’s saving power.
I asked the lead policeman at the end of the praise processional how many people he estimated. He said, “One thousand.” I said, “Really, are you sure? Can I actually report 1,000 as a conservative, reliable estimate?” He said, “Yes,” and began to defend his number with the method they use to estimate.
I have one regret: that Tom Steller was not here to see the birth of his dream. It was Tom that planted the seed of a praise procession in our hearts last August on a staff retreat. I prayed for him early last Sunday morning as he was leaving Ndu on his way home, that God would bring the procession to his mind and move him to pray for us with power.
But compensating for my regret is the overwhelming gratitude I feel for David Michael. None of us has greater gifts for ministry-midwifery. David took the vision and for almost a year, with all his other responsibilities in Urban and Neighborhood Ministries, protected it, nurtured it, and brought it to birth amid hundreds of planning details. If you want to thank someone under God, thank David.
In the process David was learning and teaching the rest of us some deep spiritual secrets about waiting on God. He was teaching us the importance of lifting the sail of prayer into the wind of God’s Spirit rather than frantically putting the outboard motor of the flesh on the back of the boat to move us where God wasn’t going.
Prayer birthed the parade of praise. We prayed all night last Friday. We prayed two and a half hours a day together the week before. Many of you were hard after God in these recent days. O let us learn the lesson that God means to build his church by prayer (Colossians 1:9).
And what about Dean! Can you believe the range of his gifts! How many ministers of music could move in the space of two hours from Fettke’s Adoration to Kendrick’s Christian rap?!!! I praise God for Dean’s breadth of worship leadership ability.
And then there were so many hundreds of others. Thanks to all the kids who made so many great signs. And thanks to all of you Christ-like servants who sacrificed your first service in the new sanctuary to care for the children in the nursery. I encourage many others to volunteer so that during the summer the sacrifice of services can spread very thin.
And thanks to Sally Michael and Pam Bloom who orchestrated the way the parade was constructed and put together.
More than ever I feel committed to this calling: “I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to thee among the nations.”