Thursday, November 13, 2008

Inside the Brooklyn Tabernacle

Allow me to squeal a bit before I go to my real topic - The subway is sooo easy and convenient!

The Building
After going out of the subway station in Jay St-Borough Station, we were a bit confused though which way to walk towards.

North, south, east and west does not really mean anything to me unless I have a compass (which I didn't) or I can see the shadows (which in this case were absent because of the tall buildings and cloudy weather).

It was such a blessing that the person whom we asked for directions was going there too. So we were able to walk with her to the unassuming spot in Smith St. - sandwiched between other buildings.

It was a plain-looking building. Inside was a different story - the ceiling and the chandeliers were beautiful.

A distinct difference that I noticed though was that greeters were in abundance (!) in the entrance. This is unlike a lot of churches where there are a lot of information - leaflets, brochures, other media - that meet the church visitor. That people were the ones that meet you in front instead of papers was refreshing :)

We were there at 8:30am for the 9:00am service for we were told to get there early as there usually is a line to get in at their old location. At the new location, there were no lines even if we were relatively "late" and we were able to get good seats, too!

The People
The people were friendly and smiling. A contrast to the people we saw on our trip to church - mostly looking weary in the morning! In the 30 minutes that we were waiting for the service to start, there were about 10 people who came over to greet us and shake our hands.

There were mostly African American attendees and they were dressed sharply! They really looked good! There were a sprinkling of white people. And there was a small group of Asian people, too, aside from ourselves.

One thing I remember thinking about was if the people in there lit up the glum and dreary world outside of its walls?

The Sermon
Pastor Jim Cymbala's sermon is entitled Rejection and Rescue based on John 5:31-44, 6:16-21. It was a powerful message delivered very simply - no 3 points or longer.  I know I'm not going to do justice summarizing it so you can hear it for yourself at the Brooklyn Tabernacle website (download for $1.99 only)

But I do want to share the things I picked up from that preaching:
1. The Bible is NOT to be studied (so you can learn more). The Bible is to be read to OBEY it.
2. Like the Pharisees, if you gain biblical knowledge but do not obey (reject) what God commands in the bible, your heart will be hardened.
3. Like the disciples, "stormy weather" is what brought Jesus to them, not "sunny days". When the disciples were willing to take him into the boat, the boat reached the shore immediately.
4. So if your circumstance is stormy, know that it is an opportunity for Christ to rescue you.

So, I must be willing to take Him into my boat - trust Him, let Him take over the boat - and I will immediately reach the shore of His will.

The Choir
When we entered the sanctuary, some choir members were already in the stand. We were hearing music but I thought it was piped in recorded music. Wrong!

The song was being stopped in the middle and then resung. So upon putting on my glasses, I realised that the band and the choir were making last minute polishing of the songs! Wow! That was just practice?

We were able to capture 1.5 songs. The video is grainy but I guess it will do. You will not just be able to see the singers expression and body language as they sing, but you will be able to appreciate the powerful singing! Enjoy!

If I Tell God About My Problems
(He'll Work It Out For Me) - not really sure what the title is...

We Need You Lord

So whaddaya think? You convinced of adding the Brooklyn Tabernacle to your NYC itinerary? :)


A Few of My Favorite Songs

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