have had a wonderful 2nd day here in sydney. the adoration (worship) last night with matt maher and the lifeteen gang was beautiful. the kids were pretty rowdy, as could be expected. but, of course, that also meant they threw themselves completely into worship. but the coolest moments where when a bishop (from lexington, ky) processed in carrying a cross (actually a monstrance, which is a new term for me — it’s a cross with a consecrated host in it), and the thousands of teenagers knelt in complete silence — i mean TOTAL silence — for about 10 minutes. it was a beautifully holy moment.
today, i tagged along with a few lifeteen peeps for a bit of sightseeing in sydney. we went down to the harbor and walked around for a bit. then we went on a small jetboat ride in sydney harbor. fantastic and fun! it was one of those jetboats that does 360-degree spins. we got totally soaked, despite wearing ponchos. but it was a total blast, and we got a great tour of the harbor and all the sights.
afterward, we made our way to the sydney opera house. man, that thing is even more amazing up close.
we walked around inside for a bit, and found they were about to have a spanish mass in one of the auditoriums, so went to that. the whole thing reminded me of the “every tribe and tongue” reality of the kingdom of god. there we were, a small group of americans, sitting in the sydney opera house, listening to catholic mass being said in spanish, completely surrounded by teenage pilgrims from spanish speaking countries around the world. very cool.
we had lunch as a waterside cafe, which had a perfect view of the downtown skyline, the harbor, and the harbor bridge.
then we walked over to the bridge. on the way, we joined the tens of thousands of teenagers from around the world who were walking through the city as part of a massive city-wide stations of the cross. lots of groups were carrying flags from their countries. again, i was reminded of the worldwide community of faith — it was hard NOT to be reminded of this!
tonite, i’m going to another worship event with matt maher and hillsong united. it’s an outdoor event, and they’re expecting about 150,000 to attend! tomorrow, we’re climbing to the top of sydney harbor bridge, which should be a kick!