I was so broken and longing for something transcendent, for something higher than anything this world has to offer, that I decided to go to church. I didn’t even change my clothes. I jumped up and ran out the door.
I arrived late and found my way to the only seats still available, in the balcony.
It wasn’t long before I realized how different everything was in this place. I immediately sensed the distinctiveness of God. In the music, in the message, and in the mingling afterward, it was clear that God, not I, was the guest of honor there. Having suffered the bankruptcy of our society’s emphasis on self-fulfillment, I was remarkably refreshed to discover a place that focused on the centrality of God.
I didn’t understand everything the preacher said that morning, and I didn’t like all the songs that were sung. But at that point the style of the service and what people were wearing became non issues. They could have all looked Amish or all like hipsters from Brooklyn; they could have been singing old songs or new songs—it didn’t matter. Why? Because that morning I encountered something I couldn’t escape, something more joltingly powerful than anything I’d ever experienced, something that went above and beyond typical externals. Through both the music and the message, the transcendent presence of God punctured the roof, leaving me—like Isaiah when he entered the temple—awestruck and undone.
~ Excerpted from Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.