Last night I attended this young-adult church service out at "The Chapel" over in Getzville. A friend invited me so I told him I'd go. I could see the enormous building from the highway. I knew I was in for an experience. The service was called "Vintage." I don't know why. Perhaps they're hardcore wine drinkers!
It was your typical mega-church with a cafe, bookstore, and arena sanctuary. Before entering the arena for worship I was able to get my cup of Joe just like all the other young adults who were socializing - latte in one hand, Bible in the other.
Upon entering the sanctuary the room was filled with dim light and anticipation. The stage was occupied by an nine-piece band basking in fog and green light. As I sat down in the theater style seating I mentioned to another guy, "I feel like I'm going to watch a performance." He affirmed my statement with excitement and explained to me how cool the upcoming spectacle would be.
Just before the loud crash of the drum beat the dude with the acoustic guitar invited us to come and worship - then BIM BAM BOOM the drums began. It was loud and overflowing with energy. The amps were turned up and the bass was thumping. I guess God has grown hard of hearing in His latter years... Thank goodness the drummer knew this and played with extra flare.
The light show was right on par. Various colors zoomed and flashed this way and that. On more than one occasion I was temporarily blinded by the swift gleam of a spotlight right in my face. And I also noticed a variety of shapes that the lights were displaying: suns, spyrograph-type designs, and stars.
I decided to shut my eyes and listen instead of risking another 2-second visual black-out. As I listened I noticed that I could not hear any other person singing except for the ones on stage with microphones. The enormity of the sound that came from the stage was overpowering the individuals who were also singing along.
But that didn't stop the band from really rocking! The drummer grooved and the keyboardist grinded. The crew was obviously feeling the spirit. And as soon as the saxophone solo ended and the electric guitarist faded out his effect with tenderness the audience applauded. Actually, after every single song the audience applauded. I wasn't sure who they were applauding.
At one point, however, the decibel level dropped and the emotional level inflated. The band leader repeated "I need your love" for about twenty measures and built up the anticipation for a finale that no one would want to miss - not even for a coffee refill. And of course, as hoped, the band crescendoed to a blazing piano-sax-olin jam that carried on as the spirit led.
And then finally the worship was done and we sat down.