January 29, 2009

How Great is Our God

“God is great.” We say it. We sing in. But once in a while we experience it. And we see a God who’s way bigger than the walls of our church. Who spans generations, demographics, ethnicity and denominations. Who simply Is. In those moments our souls see Truth and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, we’re undeniably connected by something—someone—amazing.

That’s how it was on Sunday night when my two girlfriends and I went to the Chris Tomlin concert. People of all ages and walks of life, including some of my other church friends, joined together in a Philadelphia nightclub (where who-knows-what went on the other six nights of the week) to hear this phenomenal talent and modern-day hymnist do what he does best. We were strangers united by praise.

Chris Tomlin has a heart for worship that’s intoxicating. The crowd enthusiastically clapped and sang along to every song. For over two hours, the band held us captive to His presence.

If you didn’t know, Chris Tomlin wrote the beloved worship anthem, “How Great is Our God” and has sung it all over the world, in many different languages. There’s something about his simple lyrics that binds our souls to the Almighty in a way few songs do.

As I joined the crowd singing with full voice and hands raised, I realized this song woven into the fabric of my Christian walk. I recalled all the different places, and with all the different brothers and sisters in Christ with which I’ve sung it:

  • First, as a new believer in an Alpha course where I received the words, so fresh and vibrant.

Then, in the years that followed:

  • with my church family on many occassions,
  • with future Alpha classes as I helped shepherd new believers,
  • with tens of thousands of women at Women of Faith conferences,
  • with 30,000 youth at Creation Northeast,
  • around the campfire as my husband strummed it on his guitar,
  • in my car as I sang along with the radio,
  • and most recently with the inmates we minister in prison.

One song. One voice. One God. One amazing Love.

How great is our God that no matter how different we may look, worship, live, or speak, we are bound together, you and I, by the only One who can bridge our sometimes massive difference. When I stop to ponder its magnitude, the power of the cross leaves me breathless.

“The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn't even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, 'That's mine; you can't have it.' They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.” (Acts 4:32-33, Message)

On Sunday night, as I have on all those other occasions, I marveled in the awesome fact, that though my life is just a speck in this world, the God of the universe will receive me in His presence.

Watch this video and take a moment to worship the God who was, and is, and always will be. And marvel in the reality, that as a follower of Christ, you are part of the story.

Chris Tomlin, “How Great is Our God”

Random Concert Quote:
“You don’t have it all together. And I don’t have it all together.
But we have a God who HOLDS it all together.”

-- As said by Chris Tomlin on 1/25/08 at the Electric Factory in Phila.


Sassy Granny ... said...

I LOVE this song! Some months back, with the lights dimmed and everyone in our church holding a light, we sang it. The roar was deafening; the silence and tears following, beyond description.

We make Him small all too often. How good to know, and to be remindeded that our God is, indeed, GREAT!


Anonymous said...

We'll be seeing C.Tomlin in March, I'm so excited... especially after reading this post. Thanks Kelli.

Gail W. said...

Oh my goodness, Kelli! I am a rabid Chris Thomlin fan and can only imagine the magic you experienced on Sunday. Thank you sooo much for sharing it with us. Your heart brought me to tears as I read this post - praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Chatty Kelly said...

I love this song too! What a wonderful chance to go to the concert!

Carol said...

This is one of my Favorite Worship Songs. I would love to see Chris Tomlin.

There is something special about singing worship of all kinds, it's a tiny glimpse of Heaven.

Lori said...

Oh Kelli,
Thank you so much for sharing that with us. This will be my song and my prayer today!!

God Bless!!

Runner Mom said...

This song is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing the you tube of it! So glad that you had the opp to hear him!!Hope that your weekend is great!! Miss you!

Sue J. said...

I started with the CD and then I got the piano music so I could play some of the worship songs (and work with the kids at church on learning a few, too). He's definitely part of the next wave of modern Christian hymnists, after Matt Redmond and Jack Hayford, who are truly keeping us singing His praises. Such a gift!

In worship, it's always anticipated that the band drops out on the last chorus, so it's just our voices to God's. You leave a night like that energized and ready to serve!

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, thanks so much for sharing the song. As you know, we are going through a tough time, and listening to this song tonight so ministered to my spirit and help me worship our Lord and remember how great He is. He WILL help and uphold and lead and guide us through the difficult decisions and days ahead. How I praise Him!

Amy Bayliss said...

I just wanted to come by and say congratulations for being one of the Internet Cafe's Top 100 Christian Women's Blogs of 2008! You are truly a blessing. Thank you for the many ways that you serve!

Reborn said...

I saw Chris Tomlin and Israel Houghtin (sp?) in concert for the first time two Saturdays ago! It was amazing!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love this song too! Thanks for an uplifting reminder of a post that we serve an awesome God!

Laurie Ann said...

I just wanted to stop in and say congratulations for being one of the Internet Cafe’s Top 100 Christian Women’s Blogs of 2008! Your blog truly does bless!

Amydeanne said...

one of my favorite songs that's for sure. thanks for sharing such a vital part of your faith with us!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

One of the true modern-day psalmists of our era. He is as real in person as he is on stage. The way he pens his music via his heart never fails to stir my heart for Jesus. So glad for your occasion to worship.


Debbie said...

Wow, a Christian concert, how fun! I love Chris Tomlin. I'm glad you got to go...the perfect pick me up on an otherwise ordinary day.

There's something so powerful about being in the presence of believers and worshipping the one and only living GOD! It's awesome!

Love, Deb :)