Imagine your favorite band. Go ahead, any band. Who’s your favorite? Ok, now imagine getting to watch them rehearse and set up for a concert, getting to watch the concert from the best seats in the house, and then, to top it off, meeting them and hanging out with them after. So for you it may not be Hillsong, but it is for me, and this is exactly how it happened. Hillsong, if you don’t know them, write many of today’s top worship songs (and they are mentioned an embarrassing amount throughout my other posts haha). But I promise that this blog is less about gushing about the experience (although I could!!) but more in sharing the things I learned and gathered from it.
Maybe you love them too, or maybe you don’t even know who they are, just bear with me as I try to explain why I am a different person now than I was when I went in.
Here are the three main things I gathered from this experience:
1. They were not idols.
In meeting the band, it was obvious very quickly that they in no way wanted to be seen as celebrities or really to be seen at all. What they wanted and their genuine heart cry was for people to see Jesus in them. That they wanted to be vessels. There was no ego, no attitude, nothing of the sort. Their super-nice tour manager informed us that they don’t even call them “concerts” because they don’t want to just entertain people. It is worship.
Within the Christian music circle, they are one of the biggest. And they were so humble. Talking to them was just like talking with our friends after church. They were so normal. In a good way! They were telling us about their families and kids and it was just really neat to see that they were just super normal people but with a really interesting ministry. Their concert had all the bells and whistles of any other concert, but their focus was Jesus. Unapologetically and unceasingly. So awesome. Here we are, you know, just me and my buddies, hangin with the band lol:
2. Cancer and death are not the only “great equalizers”.
I am always amazed when I go for chemo or back in the winter when I went for radiation, and you look around and know, because of where you are, that most everyone here has cancer. There are young people, old people, middle-aged people, the parking lot is full of junky cars and BMWs, and there is no racial barrier. My point? None of us, no matter our age or income is immune to this horrible disease called cancer. And I always kind of thought to myself that it was kind of an “equalizer”. And then, during the concert, as I looked around at the people around me, all different races, classes, sizes, shapes, incomes, and it hit me that Jesus is the equalizer and that none of that other stuff mattered, not even a little, as we all stood together and worshiped the King as the body of Christ. Really amazing stuff!!
Death will happen to us all, and cancer doesn’t discriminate, but grace far outweighs them. We need to see ourselves and others as precious children of God, rather than reducing people to what they believe on one subject or another or making assumptions about them based on their appearance or socio-economic standing. How amazing would it be if we all actually treated each other as brothers and sisters in Christ? Unconditionally? What if we took off the mask of our own insecurities and self-righteousness and loved each other the way God intended? And I don’t think Jesus was kidding when He told us to pray for those who persecute us. Just sayin.
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”
~1 John 4:17-18 (The Message)
3. Some people really “got it”.
As we left the concert, after having hung out with the band (I love saying that!! Lol I’m such a dork), we were walking down the street in downtown Baltimore to where we had parked, and as we waited at a light by the stadium for the signal that we could cross, I happened to glance to my left and there I saw something really interesting. There was a homeless man sitting on the street holding a sign begging for change, and there in front of him, stooped down and seemingly genuinely enjoying his conversation, were two older teenagers who had just come from the concert. Well, I’m assuming they did as the girl was wearing a Hillsong t-shirt, could just be a coincidence, but I doubt it. I don’t know what they were talking about but I just kind of got the feeling that these kids got it. I get a little choked up thinking about it. But what Hillsong represents is genuine change for Christ and a passion for following Him and finding joy in living in God’s will, no matter what that may be. I have no idea how that all ended and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it, but it was so amazing for me to witness. I was changed by that, and I’m not even sure what I witnessed.
I can’t say enough good things about the band and their tour manager who helped all of this happen. A dream come true thanks to some of our amazing friends – you know who you are!
I’m going to include an important link here. This is a link to their page that explains some things about Jesus if you may have any questions. Also, feel free to leave any comments here, I’m always willing to be a resource so if there’s any way I could help your faith process, any way at all, just let me know!
Also, here is a link to their official blog from the night we were there. Still can’t believe that we had an impact on them as well! And the last pic, the one of them praying with us, still gives me goosebumps. But only because I am in awe that people so amazingly devoted to ministry and who sacrifice so much to spread the gospel and who I look up to so much took the time to pray with us. It’s a memory I will hold dear forever!!
Hillsong Worship Blog – Baltimore