This past Sunday night people from across our church and city gathered in a gymnasium to worship together and to celebrate the release of Austin Stone Worship's first studio album, Everflow. The album, written and recorded over the last year, is a collection of songs written from and around the themes of the book of 1 Peter.
While I didn't have anything to do with the writing or recording of the album, it truly was a gift to be able to participate in it's release; singing these new songs together and celebrating what God has done throughout the creative process. I joined a group of several others as a part of an onstage "choir", singing and leading through countenance while the band played the album from start to finish. Between songs we took moments to pause and reflect on what we just sang (selahs) while scriptures from the book of 1 Peter were read or displayed on the screen.
As we closed the service singing "How Great Thou Art" a cappella, I looked out into the auditorium, seeing a room filled with people of all ages and walks of life, freely and joyfully worshipping and was reminded of a scene out of Revelation 5:
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"
While on a much smaller scale, Sunday night was at least a small taste of what that might be like and a picture of the beauty of God's people coming together in worship and celebration.
Everflow releases on Friday, November 17th -- be sure to check it out!