The Hebrews were wandering around the desert for forty years after escaping near death and re-captivity at the hands of their former Egyptian slave owners. It was a narrow escape and one that came with much lamenting, confusion, and frustration. A major concern they encountered had to do with what it was that they were going to eat. Thankfully, God doesn’t deliver us without a plan and a way to sustain us in life. He provided them with food. It was weird food, but it was food that didn’t involve harvesting or slaughter. The Hebrews called this food “Manna”.
Manna simply means, “What is it.” Seriously, they didn’t know what it was. It was a gift from God and the name they gave it was, What Is It? What it was exactly they did not know, they simply knew they needed it and it was provided for them and it was good for them. This is kind of how I feel about “eleven20”.
The eleven20 service is one of 5 worship services offered at 1st UMC Lakeland. However, if you ask people in our church what is “eleven20” you will get many different answers. Maybe they’ll call it Ancient Future. What does that mean? “Well, it uses Old stuff and new stuff dude.” Ooooh kaaay. Possibly you will hear that it is called Modern… “Does that mean your worship leader has a Flock of Seagulls haircut?”… only if we’re lucky. There are also the terms blended and contemporary and PoMo. What I have found is that the more we try to describe it the more I’m left just wanting to say “It’s Manna Man”
What is it? eleven20 is worship. eleven20 is community. eleven20 is a gathering of people encouraging one another to grow in their faith, live a life of freedom loving God and one another and figuring out what that means. We’re not here to point out what’s wrong with you but what’s right with God. Of course we’re going to find out there are things wrong with us, but we are a group of people trying lift one another up in God’s transforming light. We are a community of believers desiring to be less defined by our artistic preferences and more defined by our desire to seek God, love life, and live into something bigger than ourselves. The eleven20 blog will be one of the ways we chronicle that journey. Chelsea and I plan on journaling our worship experiences and expectations. We will share with you the music and scripture for the coming weeks worship service. We will explore ways to go deeper into the scripture and ideas explored on the previous Sunday. There will be guest bloggers, links, and random musings.
Our hope is that you will journey with us through comments and dialogue, and that as God gives us “what is it” we will be formed by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in community together. We all have to wander through life, but we don’t have to wander alone or without intent. Our God is a God who calls us to community and provides for our every need. “What is it?” It’s manna man, and it’s really good with a bunch of friends asking the same questions. I am excited to see how God is going to transform us together.