It was decided. The Lamb Wins team would attend the Generation of Youth for Christ conference to share our new musical project.
“We’ll sell thousands of CDs!” Delon proclaimed.
“At least!” said Justin.
I tried to deflate them a little with, “Let’s be realistic . . . “ but they countered with, “No, let’s not!”
“I don’t want you to be disappointed.”
So we went.
And we weren’t.
At one point, David Asscherick said to me, “I love your little posse!” referring our team—Delon Lawrence, Justin McLaughlin, Lee Givhan, John Millea, Matthew Redendez, David Kim, Hillary Blair, and my daughter Kimmy Schwirzer. I thought, I love my little posse, too.
I often ask myself how I ended up here. I led out in the production of a musical cantata based on the book of Revelation with two rap artists from urban Philadelphia, an Asian cellist who played for the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and a gaggle of other musicians, most of them less than half my age and way, way outside my demographic. Truth is stranger than fiction. The bonds we form along the path of life can sometimes surprise us.
On The Lamb Wins website, I’m listed this way:
Jennifer JIll Schwirzer- executive producer, composer, songwriter, singer, guitarist, pianist.
I would like to add: Mother in Israel. I think of all the roles I play, this is the most essential. In his process of pitching The Lamb Wins to the people sauntering by our booth, I overheard Delon say multiple times, “Jennifer Jill Schwirzer is the mastermind behind this project.”
I’m not sure I’m the mastermind, but through the grace of God I may be the masterheart, the way a mother is the masterheart of a family.
God ordained the church to be many things, the most essential being a school where we learn to love and be loved. In this process, we form relationships and play roles that resemble the nuclear family. Jesus said it one day in Galilee. He had begun to heal and teach, drawing the masses and generally creating a stir. His mother and brothers arrived, perhaps to help settle Him down a bit, but they couldn’t get to Him for the crowd. Those near Him announced the arrival of His family. Here’s what He did next:
“But He answered them, saying, ‘Who is My mother, or My brothers?’ And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother,’” Mark 3:33-35.
Jesus wasn’t in any way renouncing His blood family, He was simply affirming His spiritual family. And beautifully, elegantly, revealing the nature of the community of believers known as “the church.” In God’s plan, the church is a place where the most intimate of bonds are formed. It is a place where the social needs of social beings, created in the image of a social God, find their fulfillment in relationships that will last forever.
University of Chicago professor John Cacioppo says that loneliness has doubled from 20 percent in the 1980s to 40 percent today. Apparently the uber-connected Facebook generation is . . . disconnected. Ironic that social isolation should increase with social networking, but it has. In fact, studies show that “Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults,” some of which involves feelings of loneliness.
More can be said on this issue, but suffice it for now to say that Facebook probably won’t cure your loneliness. Unless you use it this way: Search for a vital, Christ-centered, active, Bible-honoring church near you and start attending. Get involved in service, outreach, and searching the Scriptures. In the process you’ll most likely form bonds that just may become your very own posse. The experience of mothering two biological children trained me in an art that I’ll use the rest of my life. The community of believers in Jesus affords me endless opportunities to use this training.
My name is Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, and I am a mother in Israel.