Shout to the Lord: A Night of Worship in Jerusalem

by Amanda Bieniek, senior

I step out into the busy streets. Darkness covers this beautiful city. The Jaffa gate stands visible as I pass through and continue on to my destination. My heart is excited; light in anticipation of worship. The group rushes on through the streets, along the meandering city wall and on towards Jaffa Street. Twenty minutes later we find a spot to sit. The group piles onto the ground, ledges and cobblestone steps. Tonight we consist of two schools: Murrieta’s Calvary Chapel Bible College and Concordia students have been staying at the same hostel, and tonight we find ourselves together on the cement stairs.

Our eclectic compilation of instruments are scattered between the two groups to form one worship band. Holy is the Lord, we sing. I close my eyes to focus on the words I’m singing out to God in this crowd of people with one purpose. I open my eyes after this first song and the largest group has appeared around us. Christians stretch their heads out of surrounding stores and restaurants, couples and families stop to see why we have gathered-to understand why we sing these praises.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Some passing tourists stay the full two hours, others stay for a song or two. Soon individuals shout out song requests with various accents of English. Forever God is Faithful. The three guitars rotate between several musicians to display their own style.We press towards the center of our contrived circle to accommodate the increasing crowd.

Between each song I hear whispers permeate this sacred space. Who are you? What are you doing here? Why do you sing? Several students wander the edges to answer questions and offer prayer. How Great is Our God. Most of us take off our sandals as a symbol of this holy ground. The concrete steps have turned into God’s dwelling place. Our hearts sing Him out, our voices lift His name in praise and adoration.

The community created there can only by formed and felt because of God’s presence and the Holy Spirit’s actions in our lives. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound – this binds us together in perfect unity. May God seal up that worship time-the words sung, the prayers prayed, the witness portrayed, in Jesus’ name, in His City, among His People of Israel.

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