The halls of the Metro Toronto Convention Center were flooded with Christian twenty-somethings, pastors, and the curious to join the Hillsong UNITED team in worshipping God and acknowledging His presence in Toronto, Canada.
The mammoth colour-lighted screen, instruments waiting to be played, and thousands of seats which stretched to the very back of the auditorium were nearly completely filled even with a flurry of die hard fans cheering at the front of the stage. Hillsong UNITED hit the stage with high voltage songs that got Jad jumping around the stage legs flying in every direction and another guy was doing some propellers around the stage too, of whose name I didn’t know. Hillsong UNITED make worshipping God a celebration, as it should be, and if a guy can do a propeller all around the stage in total surrender to God, you know you can too in the audience. Guitars, drums, and powerful vocals and lyrics came together in harmony as the band went through their last CD All of the Above and played some favourites from their latest album This is our God.
“With Everything” sung by Joel Houston was a crowd favourite and Annie’s version of “He Loves Us” was incredible. The evening just flowed, it didn’t feel structured, which is always a good thing. When Pastor Phil Dooley hit the stage, he brought an amazing pianist to demonstrate how when something is in harmony and relational it sounds beautiful even in its complexity as opposed to Pastor Dooley’s single note playing.
Pastor Dooley had also shown how on the cross when Jesus was crying out to the Father, it was because the severed relationship with God was so painful, paling in comparison to the painful torture and mocking from the Romans and on-lookers. He said how God is a relationship, existing in Three Persons eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and how when that relationship was broken for us to be set free, how painful it was, like a person losing their spouse, like losing a best friend, like losing a parent and yet He gave it all for us knowing no matter how painful it was He would be reunited with them and would bring us to a relationship with those who trust Jesus.
In more of the social justice realm, Pastor Dooley talked about what Mother Theresa said, that we need to love until it hurts and all that can come after that is love. C.S. Lewis said in the Four Loves that a heart devoid of feeling is unbreakable, a stone that is unpenetratable and that we don’t use our heart for the right purpose if we shut it down to others. This gets back to Hillsong UNITED’s I Heart Revolution where the band is on a mission to gather people who want to make a change in our love starved world and cry with those who are hurting, feed those who are hungry, pray for those who are weary, and speak of their value to God in their love extended. I sincerely recommend going to a Hillsong UNITED conference or concert, it will inspire you and motivate you to leave changed and be the church you want to see in the world.
For more information please visit: www.hillsongunited.com and www.myspace.com/hillsongunited.
Writer: Lindsay Whitfield