I had a real privilege last night to attend a concert with one of my favourite bands – Rend Collective. They are an Irish folk worship band who have a great variety of songs that resonate with me, and many others. When I heard they were finally coming to Australia I was determined to see them in person and was delighted to procure tickets to their only performance in Melbourne.
They did not disappoint. From the opening moments they declared that this was not an ordinary ‘performance’ type concert, but a worship experience and they were true to their word. All the lyrics were projected on the giant screen and I loved every second of their time on stage as they engaged us all in singing, dancing and praise of God.
What I have noticed about their repertoire is the honesty within their lyrics. It is especially easy to worship God when things in life are going brilliantly, but the songs speak often about being able to praise Him, especially in the darker times. There are numerous references about choosing to realise that God is still near and watching over us when things in life come our way that cause us pain.
If you have never heard of this musical ensemble, let me encourage you to look them up. Some of my absolute favourite songs include “I will be undignified”; “Revival Anthem”; “Build your kingdom here”; “My Lighthouse” and especially, “The Joy of the Lord”. I am pleased to say that all of these songs, along with a number of others, were performed amazingly and I was truly blessed to be a part of it.
Something happened earlier in the evening that I realised blessed me just as much. Due to the universal appeal of this group I was aware that a number of my friends would also be present at this event, and some I had not seen in person for at least 3 years.
How delighted I was to be able to wander around and reconnect with these friends as we waited for the concert to begin. One of my friends said that she had seen me in the distance earlier in the evening as I hugged a mutual friend but she wasn’t sure it was me – until she saw me smile and knew immediately it was. Wow! I was recognised by my smile! That meant so very much.
I’ve always wanted to be known for my joyful example in life, and it ties in with the Rend Collective song that declares that the “Joy of the Lord is my strength.” No matter what my circumstances are, I want to be able to identify that God’s love for me is enough to to still bring joy to my heart, and my face. It is straight out of the bible where in Nehemiah chapter 8 verse 10 it says, “… This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
I feel that God knew exactly what type of blessing and reassurance I needed last night and I was especially grateful to receive them – one I was completely expecting, and one that I was absolutely unprepared for. I will continue to do my best to demonstrate God’s strength in my life by being joyful in my circumstances. I hope I can encourage you to do it as well.