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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)

TITLE: And so...
By TJ Nickel


And so…

The people file in so that they might each partake of these ninety minutes. And so…there must be something for them here. They settle in as the man begins to speak, “Thus says the Lord,” and they bow, having been conditioned. And so…I look around. I see them all surrounding me. Today, my eyes can barely contain their water.

He prays for us all, up there on that platform raised just a couple of feet. He too is bent at the neck and standing before our Father, pitching our souls on our behalf. We need caps and gloves to play shortstop, but we’re dressed in shirts and ties and our Sunday bests. We should come filthy, unconcerned about the sanitary impact of having to turn a double play by leaping into the dirt. And so…today, my eyes can see.

He is not the man I come to see each week but another man. They are not the people I know but others. And so…I am not myself.

As he prays there up above and bowed - I see them now, also looking about. There are a few of them eyeing him. Three are learning, but two shoot daggers. Their eyes open wounds in his chest. And so…he bleeds, but continues to pray. The women sneak looks as he continues. A few smile and return their adoration upon their King. The others linger and tilt their heads as their husband’s closed eyes are blind, and his arm wrapped over her on the bench is asleep. And so…so must I be sleeping.

His wounds heal as they all raise their heads. The lingerers and devils double-bob into place. And he is not himself. Instead he is a lamb. And so…we begin to sing. Today, my voice will spill my tears. And so…I swallow hard.

Jerry hates the lamb for the comparisons from his wife. Miguel wants him to further discipline the congregation. Don puts up with anything from the lamb, and will continue until he’s ready to replace him. And so…these are the elders.

Katrina wants a better nursery. Lola wants to lead some men. Christy wants to have more laughter. And so…these are the deaconesses.

And he is bleeding as they sing. And so…my eyes close and water spills. I gather my daughter into my arms and hum and rock her in darkness.

He takes the podium. He cannot speak. His eyes swell as mine, but with enough water for everyone. It’ll all be over soon. We’ll have nailed him to that cross behind him. Such filthy work for the dress we wear. And so…many ponder whether this week, there will be jelly in the donuts.

He breaks through and begins to speak. I close my eyes and hold her. The rain falls on the roof. They’ll stay after today. They’ll go on. Even though the lamb will be slain. And so…they’ll have him slain in this gentlemanly fashion. My eyes rain outdoors.

I interrupt to stand with her in my arms. I pause to look, hiding her eyes. He pauses for me, I draw their stares. I turn her face to him, “Look. Do you see the Lamb?” “I see the angels crying rain.” And so…I bowed to him, and with her held dear, turned to face a rainy day from elsewhere.

And so…it is accomplished.

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This article has been read 787 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 10/13/07
Ooooh, I don't think I like this message:) You've stepped on our feet.

I really like this: "I interrupt to stand with her in my arms. I pause to look, hiding her eyes. He pauses for me, I draw their stares. I turn her face to him, “Look. Do you see the Lamb?” “I see the angels crying rain.” And so…I bowed to him, and with her held dear, turned to face a rainy day from elsewhere."

How very brave of you to write something like this. You have very good analogies.
Joanne Sher 10/16/07
Wow - I was absolutely drawn into this piece. A very, VERY convicting message masterfully presented. Excellent.
Betty Castleberry10/17/07
Guilty. So guilty. This has a powerful message. Very well done.
Beckie Stewart10/17/07
WOW! This was so well written......love the heart of this message and so applicable to today.
Janice Cartwright10/17/07
Such a feast here and strong meat at that. Sometimes it takes the flip side to get our attention, show us what worship is not to show us what worship is.

I want to hold this thought so that next time I start to criticize in secret I will remember I am openly wounding my Lord.
George Parler 10/17/07
Sometimes we need to know what worship isn't to better understand what it is. Good job.