I have had the great privilege of attending Hillsong Young and Free’s Worship Experience in Auckland last night. It was such an amazing time. To say that I am blessed is an understatement. My expectations were beyond met not because Y&F is good but because God is good. For me, the message for the whole event is summed up in these words: Broken and Chosen.
Omega Levine (Parachute Band’s former frontman) opened last night’s event. He has shared his testimony. He grew up in a Christian family but he often get teased for how he looked. When he was a teen, he made a decision, out of depression, to end his life. But God intervened then. God revealed Himself to him and now he’s sharing how good God is. The lyrics to his songs speak of hope, life, and God’s mercy. It’s such a contrast to how he was then. God breathed life into him and he was never the same.
When Y&F came out, I was super stoked. I was super excited! More than being super hyped with the fact that Y&F are playing, I was so excited because I am able to praise and worship God with all these people. Their songs narrate about God and His love for us — it is really the gospel. Even though some of their songs don’t directly say, ‘I worship Jesus’, the fact that the songs invoke of His grace and mercy makes my heart, body and soul worship God. It was amazing.
Their Y&F Pastor, Peter Toggs, went on to share God’s word a bit. It was spot on. He shared about brokenness: broken hearts, broken backgrounds, and break-ups. As a youth pastor, he mentioned that most of the guys he has counseled told him that the break-up is mutual. He’s shared about his break-up with his ex-girlfriend, who is now his wife. He then went on to share about the biggest break-up that wasn’t mutual — it all happened in Genesis 3. God wanted to be in a relationship with man. Yet man didn’t want to. They thought they can go their own way. Man, who should have been the reflection of the image of God, is now shattered all because man thought they can go their own way. With the broken pieces we try to make sense of life. We take a piece and say, ‘this could be love’. We take another piece and say, ‘this could be happiness’. We try to make sense of everything but we can’t — we’re already broken. But God, in His love and goodness, didn’t throw us out. He had all the reason to just throw us out in the bin but He didn’t. Instead, He took all the broken pieces, even at the cost of getting His hands pierced and feeling the pain, He put us back together. That’s His specialty. To take brokenness and turn it into a masterpiece. Time and time again, as we read through the Bible, we see broken men and women made whole in the hands of the Almighty God. It is the same for us now. We are, then, Broken and Chosen.
After the message, the pastor called for an altar call and 300+ people have decided to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Everyone in the auditorium was cheering them on. We were all welcoming them and thanking God because this is the start of a great journey with Jesus. I was overwhelmed at the fact that I feel joyful at the salvation of people that I don’t even know. How much more in heaven? With the Lord knowing them all by name, how much more was it for Him? It must have been one heck of a celebration up there. Really, praise be to Jesus!
It was one thing to listen to their songs, another thing to see them perform/worship lead live, and another thing to actually meet them off stage. I was blessed because they are all so down-to-earth and humble. When we met them, they were like the friends we have in church — we took photos and they made faces — it was so much fun. They were ordinary young people. It made me realise that Hillsong is made up of ordinary people. These young men and women have given their lives to serve the Lord. I’m sure that the little that they have, they chose to gave it to the miracle-working God, and now they are being used greatly. It’s not just them, though. It’s the same for all of us. As Christians, we are equipped with the Holy Spirit — the same power that conquered the grave. Therefore, all of us have the same anointing and empowerment but we have different platforms and assignments. Their platform may seem bigger than for some us but they are all equal. After all, we are working under the same Kingdom and the goal is to make the King of kings known through all the world — every bit of work, be it small or big, is vital.
So, this is how my weekend has started. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity that God gave me to spend with these beautiful people. I am so thankful for the words that have pierced my heart and it is just humbling me. We are broken and chosen. Our God is truly great. There is no one like Him — no one on the heavens above or on the earth below. God is so good! And we are young and free in the love of Jesus Christ!