Last weekend my husband and I enjoyed a getaway to New York City. We had a wonderful time visiting with a friend who lives in Manhattan, and enjoyed a half day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as a lot of walking, dining, and sight-seeing. But the highlight of our weekend was in the last-minute decision to get up early Sunday morning and go to The Brooklyn Tabernacle.
I’d heard of the Brooklyn Tabernacle’s famous choir and I’ve listened to some of Pastor Jim Cymbala’s online sermons; I’ve read excerpts of his Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. But I really wanted to enter in Sunday morning, and come to the Tabernacle as a worshiper and not a tourist. Even if the singing was phenomenal as people had said, what would the atmosphere be like, borne out of the spirit of the worship?
Well, it was absolutely wonderful. There wasn’t a hint of anything of the flesh, anything that felt like Cain’s offering, from the time we walked into the doors of The Brooklyn Tabernacle and were greeted by its friendly members. From the time we took our seats, until the time we left, everyone around us made a point to greet us and welcome us, ask where we were from, etc. When the choir or a soloist sang – and when we joined them – it was entering the Throne Room. It was awesome and powerful music and vocals – professional grade for sure – but it was spirit and truth worship.
The offering that was collected – 100% of this particular one – was to send out sixty counselors to a week-long camp to minister to children of foster care who’d suffered every kind of abuse imaginable. I listened to the details of how they were going to minister to these children, and how most of them had taken off work to do it, with tears streaming down my face. My husband and I have a call for abused and neglected children, and we felt that God arranged this Sunday especially for us to be there.
And the message! Pastor Tim Dilena delivered the sermon, since Jim and Carol Cymbala were ministering away that day. It was right out of the Father’s heart and into ours. God spoke through him three distinct directives to my husband, I discovered later in the car. For me, just about every sentence was a mini-sermon. The preaching was anointed and cleansing.
If you haven’t had a chance, by all means pay a visit at your first opportunity to The Brooklyn Tabernacle. Probably the friendliest place in New York, it was a wonderful experience of worship and fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ – and a beautiful foretaste of that day when we’re all assembled together “from every tongue and tribe and nation!”