Unity in Worship
Worshipping in Indonesia brings with it an interesting paradox for me. On the one hand it is steeped in tradition and a familiar form everywhere we go. Yet on the other hand, there is a tangible presence of the Holy Spirit and a deep hunger for worship. It is not difficult to connect with the heart of Indonesian Salvationists as we unite together in songs of praise in both Bahasa and English.
Today, I had another opportunity to preach, following on from last week's message in Joshua with the theme - 'What Next?' God had prepared Joshua to take over the leadership of Moses and lead the Israelites into the promised land. In the reading today we picked up from when Joshua told the people of Israel to "go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own" (Joshua 1:11). Joshua was READY, the plan was SET, all that was left to do was for the people to GO!
At the conclusion of the service, after a moving altar call that saw many in the congregation respond to the call to 'go' and take possession of God's promises, I was confronted by the final prayer of the Corps Officer. He prayed for Christian churches in Aceh that had been burned down last week. Knowing there had been fires across some parts of Indonesia, I asked Nyoman if these churches were affected by the fires, but was informed that they had been burned to the ground by militant Muslims. There is something very sobering about worshipping in a country alongside Salvationists who don't pray for the persecuted church from a distance but from a very real position of vulnerability.
After two previous attempts to get home, we accompanied Stav to the airport in the afternoon for his third attempt. And yet again, his flight was cancelled! Even with boarding passes in hand and baggage checked in, Stav was grounded for another night. It seems Garuda didn't listen to my message - READY, SET, GO!
"What next?" We try again tomorrow morning on the early flight.