By Sarah Jennings

Voices from different countries, a chorus of accents, blend beautifully into one voice. As they lift up the name of their Father and King, the room fills with the peace of God.

With chills on her skin, Loulou Koborsi reminisced, “It was the first worship event I attended after COVID closed everything. Everything was good. You felt the presence of God. I remember the songs talking about God’s care.” 

As the administrative assistant at LSESD, Koborsi is witness to many powerful ways that the Lord works through people and their mercy to the vulnerable. Each day brings another story of God’s provision. Yet, there was something unique about this warm July night. 

LSESD and Lighthouse Arab World came together for a time of worship, teaching, and prayer for the country of Lebanon. Speaking outdoors on the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) campus, Jordanian speaker Dani Samarneh encouraged the worshippers with a message of God’s sovereignty amidst the current crisis. 

“Whatever happens, God is in control. He is the One who said that a hair doesn’t fall from your head without his knowledge… What really clicked in my mind is that whatever happens, He made it for his glory and for our best,” said Koborsi, as she remembered his words. 

B Sharp Band, a Lebanese Christian band, then led the group in songs about the Lord’s provision and love for His people. Worship is a gift from God that sustains us through our darkest periods, lifting us out of our own minds and turning our thoughts fully on Him. 

In a time when Christians are struggling to stay together, whether due to a physical exodus in the Middle East or philosophical divisions across the world, communal worship is an essential tool for reminding us that we are all one in Christ. Whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, rich or poor, left or right – we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body. 

Songs of worship are unique in that they connect both head and the heart in faith. In the lyrics, we gain theological understanding, combatting the lies of our own hearts and secular wisdom. In the music, we gain access to our emotions, which are sometimes locked out of theological discussions. We forget our small internal worlds and fears; we can move forward with a new identity as the saved son and daughter of an omnipresent God. 

Koborsi observed, “It’s His desire to hear us talking to Him. This is our thank you… And when we go up [to heaven], the only thing we’re going to do is worship.” 

Perhaps this is why worship is mentioned so much in the Bible, especially alongside stories of suffering. Paul and Silas worshipped together in jail (Acts 16), David wrote songs while on the run from Saul (Psalm 7), and Jesus sang with his disciples at the conclusion of his Last Supper (Matthew 26). Surely, he must have been grieving his future sacrifice, yet he modeled this tradition for his followers. In Jewish tradition, it’s likely that they sang hymns from the Hallel (Psalms 113-118), which praise God for his protection and plan of salvation.  

As we wait, let us turn to communal worship to remind us of God’s constant presence and to experience a taste of his kingdom on earth. For though creation may groan in waiting, we – the children of God – may sing freely of the glory that is to come!

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