Monday, February 18, 2013

Selah Service

Tom and I sat quietly in St Aiden's Episcopal Church last night, waiting for the Selah Service to begin. We've attended this service several times before, this time of scripture, songs, and silence led by Jeff Johnson of Camano Island. Last night's crowd was small -- often the church is filled -- but the main guest, the Lord Himself, was with us.

Jeff led us from the keyboard as we followed along in the printed program. Apart from Great is Thy Faithfulness and Holy, Holy, Holy! the songs were mostly new to us. Meditative, drawing you to the heart of God, easy to learn and powerful to sing, these songs were written by Jeff and others in the contemplative movement.

The thing about the Selah service is that you are led into quietness so that you can worship from your heart. Readers from the congregation read scripture throughout the evening; last night it was Psalm 62: For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken. Then a moment of silence. Again the reader: For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress, I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. More silence. The reader concluded: Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

More singing, more scripture, then a song written by Jeff Johnson and Erik Ronning, our high school's choir teacher. We sang, When my eyes cannot see, And my heart cannot feel, When my soul longs for mercy, I call to You. Take my eyes, take my heart, Take my soul - make them whole. I am lost if you won't hear my prayer. (copyright Erik Ronning&Jeff Johnson/Sola Scriptura Songs)

I don't know what happened, but these words and everything that had gone on before in the service penetrated a part of me I didn't even know was there. The sense of my great need for God and his gracious availability stirred me in my deepest self. And the words we had sung earlier, "God alone suffices," were confirmed in my heart. Indeed, God alone suffices -- nothing else, no one else, no provision I can make for myself, God alone.

Rest, my soul, today in the knowledge that God is enough, and he is mine! Sing praise, sing praise!

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A special "Way of the Cross"Selah Service will be held Monday, March 25, at 7:00p.m. in Beachwood Lounge, Warm Beach Senior Community in Stanwood, if you would like to attend. You can learn more about the Selah Service here. And here is a link to a video of Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunning, and Wendy Goodwin performing Christ Has Walked This Path.

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