I just returned from a few days in Paris. After a grand celebration of our Dutch worship album in Holland and Mission Worship in England, I decided to make the short flight from London to Paris to see my youngest daughter. No need to describe the joy I felt when I hugged her. A photo will do.
Since her apartment is only a few blocks from where some of the horrific events took place, we visited both areas to reflect and mourn with others who were lighting candles, leaving flowers and saying prayers. Thousands of people including UK Prime minister David Cameron and France’s President Hollande visited the sites as well. Shocking events like these force you to think about your response. The “first out of the gate” reaction may be one of anger, fear, or revenge. But after a few days, you have a chance to give a more thoughtful response, tempered by prayer and reflection.
Many of you read my earlier message about the Bataclan (here’s a link to the article online). More than 7,000 people downloaded the free songs that we gave away as our first response to the events in Paris. My personal follow up response will be when I’ll be with my family in Philadelphia celebrating Thanksgiving Day. Even if you live outside of the USA, I ask you to join me this week in expressing your gratitude to God – grateful for family, forgiveness, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing Jesus.
Often during our Leadworship Workshops (next one in Ocala, FL on February 19-20, 2016. Join us!) we invite husbands and wives to hold hands and pray for their relationship. We pray for relationships between teams, worship pastors and senior pastors. I love that I’m serving a God of redemption. As I walked by the devastation on Boulevard Voltaire yesterday, I realized I want to have a third response. Whenever the building has been repaired and re-opened, I want to return to the Bataclan. I can’t wait to have another worship night there, a time of redemption. We’ll sing Matt Redman’s song:
Blessed be Your name. On the road marked with suffering. Though there’s pain in the offering. Blessed be Your name.
May all of you experience God’s peace during the holidays.