The church could fit into any city in the United States. The lights...musicians...camera crews to broadcast online...children's programs. And we found ourselves singing familiar songs...though in Spanish (thank goodness for projected lyrics!). And I was reminded of a song by the Newsboys.
The pastors at my church, Robert Dickie and Eric Stewart, often include petitions in their pastoral prayer that the sounds of worship rise to heaven as the earth rotates into the sun's light each day. And as we began worship in Guatemala City...two hours after my own church had begun their service back in Michigan...I felt like I was living that prayer out...I was struck by the unity of the Body of Christ. I listened to a message that could have been taught in my own church...taught from the same Scripture that I open up daily to teach my own children...I felt at home...3000 miles away from home. It felt like a little peek of what the throne room of heaven will be like...with praise rising from many. And now, I will always remember that...though sometimes it seems like our culture can drown out the message of the Gospel...I am not alone. There is a body of believers spread throughout the Creation, offering praise, and living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20 each and every day.
This entire memory came rushing back to me yesterday...exactly one month after that morning in church...as I darted around in my busy life back at home. I was in the car with kids and Chris Tomlin's song "Our God" came pouring out of the speakers. It was one of those "familiar" songs that we had sang. And I was transported back to Guatemala City... worshiping Jesus with my new friends from the States and my Guatemalan brothers and sisters in Christ.