It`s now Monday afternoon and a bit of a downer. The weekend that I had been looking forward to for so long has come and gone and it`s back to the daily grind. It`s always a bit of a reality check when something is over, albeit that you had a wonderful time. I just wish I could do that everyday
Ok, so let`s take a step back and let me tell you about Hillsong United and the best Friday night I have had in a very, very long time.
We left a bit early on Friday and decided to get a quick hamburger at the shopping centre adjacent to the venue. Well, let`s put it this way, we thought it was close but we weren`t 100% sure. So we had a quick burger and then went into a Christian shop to get directions. The whole shop was in party mood and it soon became clear why. Joel Houston and a few members of the band had decided to pop into the shop and say hi. The people in the shop were in a state of shock to tell you the truth. They took photos with Joel and these became prized possessions. We missed them by a few minutes and I was really disappointed but at least we were gonna be able to see them in a short while.
So Hayley and I got directions and headed to the venue, which was very close as it turned out. There were already a long line of people waiting to go in. What I find so amazing it how many young people there were. Everywhere you looked there were young couples, groups of friends and a Mom or Dad with kids. It really is awesome to see how the young people are turning to God. I also saw quite a few "Jesus Freak" t-shirts! Awesome!
We eventually got inside and by now there were thousands of people. The venue was packed with all shapes, colours and sizes. That to me was the beauty of the whole evening. Politicians in our country and in the world for that matter should`ve come to have a look. Jesus brings people together.
Then we saw Joel Houston, walking in the crowd saying hello to people and just being very anti-star. That was awesome to see. No superstar there, just a man of God walking around like one of us
The music started and the crowd went mad! The band came out and I saw Brooke Fraser!! Man that was cool cos as you know I heart Brooke Fraser. Then we started singing. We sang so loud, I nearly lost my voice. Shame, the poor people next to me must have had a rough time hearing angelic singing in one ear and my own personal howling in the other. Stereo isn`t always a good thing.
I must say, hearing thousands of people singing and worshipping like one was one of the most amazingly wonderful things I have ever experienced. God was there on Friday night, of that I have no doubt.
Pastor Brian Houston came onto stage and spoke a few words and he was followed by OUR Pastor Phil Dooley (sorry Aussies, Hayley and I have decided that we want him as our own) who gave another magnificent sermon. Pastor Phil is the most gifted speaker I have ever had the privilege of hearing. His message was so apt, so well delivered and so to the point that the whole congregation was completely taken by him. Not an easy job for an aussie in South Africa!
Then the worship continued and they sang my favourite current Hillsong tune, This is our God. That was awesome, just awesome. I felt so privileged to be able to experience that. Then, Brooke sang Hosanna and of course the crowd went absolutely mad. That song has made a massive impact on a lot of people. The crowd sang like I have never heard a crowd sing before. That was the highlight of the night. Such a personal song for Hayley and I and we could experience it with thousands of other believers.
The night came to an end and we headed home. It was one amazing evening filled with the wonderful love of Jesus and his followers. I am such a lucky man to have experienced an evening in the presence of Hillsong United. Like my friend David always says, those guys are really blessed.