It’s no surprise that I’m not a big show kind of person. Meetings that are overblown and overstuffed with things to make ‘us’ look good or look like we’re doing the most good and celebrating ourselves instead of our Creator.
While meetings can be overdone, I am over critical. Sitting in the crowd, trying to disappear and just get through.
We were going to a week of these big meetings. Thousands would be there from all over and I just wanted to go to England again and see it with family this time. The meetings would be an obligation.
Do you remember somewhere around Jr. High age when you didn’t want to go somewhere or be part of a school group but your parents kept pressing, assuring you it would be good for you?
Daddy always made me play in the school band. In those days I was often the only girl playing a brass instrument and I learned quickly how to ignore rude boys not use to a girl in their section. Especially a girl who wasn’t half bad.
I fussed, but turns out, it was good for me. I learned more about music, which in my opinion, is never bad. I also learned how to not let stupid remarks lower me to another’s level.
Funny thing about this big celebration in London, it was good for me too.
I forget that our coming together is more than celebrating our heritage, it is celebrating why we have this heritage.
We come together to blend our accents and languages in prayer and praise, to come away from the burdens of the everyday and soak up the affirmations that God has raised an Army of believers to serve the lost and last and least.
We come together to be reminded we are the lost, the last, the least, and God calls us through His power and Spirit to be grace and give hope.
We come to be reminded this mission is bigger than ourselves, bigger than our local units, it really is a world-wide Army for God.
We come from over 100 countries to this city where it all began. Where God called a Methodist minister to come away from the safe and practiced church and “Go for souls and go for the worst”.
He and his wife would fill their tent services and store fronts with men still stinking of alcohol, with the curious wondering what this odd lot was about.
“You’ve heard of The Salvation Army, what an odd lot of people they are.
They sing and they shout Hallelujah, as daily they march on to war.
They form in a ring on the corner, they kneel in the street e’er to pray,
While others tell out the sweet story, how happy they are night and day.”
from the song, I’m Glad I’m a Salvation Soldier
Catherine Booth said, “If we are to better the future we must disturb the present” and disturb it they did with their bands playing tunes heard in bars but the words replaced with words of salvation and God’s love.
They gathered on street corners and used military terminology and ranks to identify their ministers (officers) and members (soldiers).
William Booth was a visionary and if we are to be true to his vision, and God’s calling, change must come. But change doesn’t wipe out the past or our foundation.
So we celebrated our heritage and challenged ourselves to continue this war on sin. A war fought with love and mercy. Armed with truth and grace.
And it was so very good for me.
To view video clips of Boundless2015 International Congress, Boundless2015.