Rooted Worship and the All Girl Band!
I took a look at the backyard of the abandoned drug den we now call home. We had already discovered the crap left in the toilets and the party paraphernalia awaiting our cleaning. We had no running water, no working appliances, and the front door wouldn’t even fully close, much less lock. I’d pretty much had enough when we found the beautiful purple grapes hanging on a sorry excuse for a fence. Finally, a good surprise…and an inspiration: we can make wine! My Argentine self was excited. I fought the bees off and grabbed some grapes, only to discover their sweetness. These grapes were not good for making wine, but rather grape jelly. #concordnotmalbec Fantastic wine requires a bold grape.
Vines that grow in dryer climates produce bold grapes.
Plants that have struggled a bit produce rich grapes.
Roots that have had to dig deep for survival produce the best grapes.
The deeper the roots, the bolder the grape, the better the wine.
Worship invites us to dig deep, to be rooted. We have had our ups and downs in our faith. We made mistakes and we have victories. We have seasons of rain in which we enjoy the refreshing waters of the Spirit rushing over us. We also have dry, cracked-earth seasons that drive us to desperately go deeper looking for nourishment. Yet even in these the Spirit is doing a work in us. Worship allows us to be rooted in what He has done, is doing, and will do in our lives, our city, and the world.
Two weekends past I had the honor of leading a team of worship leaders in a conference that talked about being rooted. This team included Kelly Redmond, Angie Hong, Melissa Vallejo, Joy Pettigrew, Mary Nikoo, Nicky Pizana, and Laquita Lott, friends and neighbors who are committed to rooted worship. They are also women who know the impact of where God has rooted them in their families, ethnic communities, and church family. They each brought the gifts of their experiences, traditions, and values into worship. They didn’t leave their identities or the stories of their people at the door, they brought them in as tools to compel deeper rootedness. They were lovely, brilliant, and the most amazing all girl band ever!
Worship was rich! Kelly “wrecked” us all with her vulnerable pastoral leadership in this medley:
I can’t walk without you
I can’t talk without you
I can’t sing without you
I’m nothing without you
I can’t live without you
I can’t breathe without you
I can’t be without you
There’s no me without you
So pull me a little closer, take me a little deeper
I want to know your heart
Cause you love is so much sweeter than anything I’ve tasted
I want to know your heart
Angie led us powerfully through “Cornerstone” and “Anthem”, her voice inviting people to root their identity in Christ alone who is our foundation. The voices of the women filled the sanctuary as they called out the truth of the gospel.
Our God is risen
He is alive
Él vivo está
He won the victory
Él ha ganado
He reigns on high
Worship at Rooted Chicago invited women to consider that Jesus is sweeter, higher, and stronger than any other. It reminded us that in Christ we find our healing, freedom, redemption, courage, and calling. The practice of worship roots us in the reality of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and future coming. It deepens the truth as we sing it into our experiences. My hope is the we won’t just see worship as singing songs but rather rooting ourselves deeper in God! The deeper the roots, the bolder the grape, the better the wine.
*For those who were asking…here is the set list from Rooted Chicago 2016
No Other Name (Spanish / English), Freddie Rodriguez
What Can I Do /Closer, Medley, Tye Tribbet / Bethel
The Anthem, (English, Spanish, Korean), Planetshakers
Glorious, BJ Putna