Have you noticed the “blah” or “distanced” feeling you get when you’ve settled into your daily routine a little too well? Or when you let your body carry you through each week’s tasks without engaging your heart or mind in a supernatural connection?
That’s how I am when I don’t take a little time each week to listen to worship music. I prefer music with good messages straight from the bible and beats that are a little unique–definitely upbeat–though a ballad can bring me to my knees just as much. I want music coupled with lyrics that will shoot my hands into the air and fill my lungs with praise for my Savior. Or, alternatively, push me into a state of overwhelming awe at what my Lord endured to provide a Way for me to approach the throne or mercy and grace.
Rend Collective (previously known as Rend Collective Experiment) is one of my go-to bands. I am subscribed to their newsletter, follow their Instagram, and have seen them many times in concert. During the pandemic, they offered free worship sessions live via social media which I attended as often as I could.
Why do I like them so much? They have both lyrics and sound that minister to my core needs. They remind me of the type of Savior and Lord I have. They pull me from my selfishness and push me toward gratefulness. They pluck me from my routines and focus my thoughts on Jesus, the Words of the bible, and the promises I need to remember and cling to.
Do you ever feel the need to get away? My husband and I spent a glorious Sunday with friends recently. When I first proposed this day away, guilt of “not getting any work done” almost shut the idea down, but then I decided I was going to enjoy myself and not worry about the lack of productivity. Maintaining an old relationship was enough for me. Once I made that mind shift, everything about the day fell into place.
I hadn’t planned to purchase the concert tickets. I’d seen the tour advertised many times and resisted. But something about the idea of an Indianapolis venue seemed irresistible one evening as I was preparing for bed. The Holy Spirit guided my finger to the mouse and I clicked to check out the prices. $35 for early entry tickets wasn’t out of my price range, so I bought 2. Then I texted my friend and invited her and her husband to attend with us.
The concert became a day-long event. Worship at their church (her husband playing in the praise band), a wonderful sermon, lunch at a Mexican restaurant, even a short nap–something I’d never have indulged in at home. Lots of catching up and sharing. All the way up to concert time.
If you’ve never attended a Rend Collective concert, you may not understand the experience. Though other bands also have quirky little things you come to expect, Rend is unique in my experience. Coming from humble beginnings in Northern Ireland, the band members haven’t forsaken their roots. They’ve just expanded their audience and the reach of their message.
Worship is an experience, is open to everyone–whosoever–and isn’t limited to within the walls of a church. The invitation to salvation Jesus Christ completed on the cross extends to all people, regardless of circumstances. And those who’ve already accepted bear the responsibility of sharing the message.
This is what Rend Collective aspires to do at each concert or appearance, and they do it with aplomb and no apologies. Worship is meant to be fun!
Sean Curran opened the concert with energy and heartfelt enthusiasm for Jesus. His songs speak of the joy that comes from walking out of sin’s grave through the blood of the Savior.
Using humor, gags, and exceptional songs, Rend Collective stole the show. Whether the traditional audience jumping session, the unusual instruments, or the Panda Heads got you, the entire concert was one fantastic song after another–many old favorites with newer songs interspersed among them. The audience was part of the worship, included in and integral to the experience, not adjunct to it.
We came away from the night rejuvenated, renewed, and reminded that God is Above All and In Control. What a blessing! Even now, I’m counting every blessing. (It’s a song. Check it out!)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16 KJV
If you’re in a dark place, or feeling like maybe you don’t belong in God’s Kingdom, read the passage again. It says “whosoever” and that includes you as much as it includes me. God is waiting with open arms – whether your first time in his embrace or your second, third, or thirtieth, doesn’t matter. He waits for you to return to Him with baited breath, eyes glued to the horizon, ready to run toward you and wrap you up tight.
If you need a nudge, try listening to some music –I recommend Rend Collective, but there’s plenty more bands whose messages inspire and remind listeners that God’s an awesome God, willing to sacrifice His only Son because he loves his creation — you — more than His own life.
The next time life tries to bury you in routine, break out in worship with thanksgiving, and the Spirit living inside you will explode with light, bring you peace and comfort, and set you on the path you’re meant to follow.
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Until next time, may your moments be blessed in the light and love of Jesus.