Pentecost Sunday ends the extraordinary season that began on the first Sunday of Advent. In approximately six months the church has been carried through all the saving events of God—his incarnation, manifestation to the world, life, death, resurrection, and ascension as well as the coming of the Holy Spirit. All these crucial events form faith and the spiritual life. . .
Worship is both vertical and horizontal. What I mean is that it should start with praise for who God is, but also call us to be the church in the world, on the mission of God.
Worship is both transcendent and imminent. What I mean is that it should remind us that God is the awesome creator of the universe and our Dad.
Worship is all of that and more.
The song, “Build My Life”, has aspects of all these things. It praises God, who is worthy of every song, all our praise and even our very breath. He is holy and beyond us and yet we can build our lives upon him and take his love to a lost world. But it starts with a God who is worthy of praise…
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring.
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe.
We live for you.
In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
…to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jesus the only one who could save.
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe.
We live for you.
Oh we live for you.
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
There is none beside you
Open up my eyes in wonder
Show me who you are and fill me
With your heart and lead me
In your love to those around me.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
And I will put my trust in you alone and I will not be shaken.
Father, show me who you are today. Fill me with your heart—all the things you love and want me to love—and empty me of the things which don’t build up your kingdom. Then lead me in your love to, in turn, love those around me with the love of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I had the chance to travel to Israel and share a number of psalms from different locations. We shot Psalm 65 on the ancient temple steps…
Bread and wine, these elements of creation, become the symbols of re-creation. For his body broken for us and his blood spilt for us are the signs of renewal and restoration.
In the ancient church pastoral prayer was nonexistent. Prayer belonged to the people and arose out of the congregation.
Thinking through this as we include more time of open prayer at our church. We read scripture and then pray through it, trusting that the Holy Spirit will guide our hearts and minds. What do you think…thoughts?
The purpose of the meeting between God and the Hebrews at Mt. Sinai was clearly to establish relationship with them (see Exod. 24:1-8). . . . Christian worship is like Hebrew worship. In worship, God renews his covenant with us. In worship, our relationship to God is deepened and strengthened when the order itself represents God’s speaking to us and God’s saving us through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son.
Worship is a meeting between God and his people. Like all other meetings between two people, a certain amount of form is necessary. . . . God has already established the structural ingredients needed in a meeting with him, and we cannot improve on these forms. We simply need to understand what they are and practice them in faith, believing that we really are meeting God in…Preparation [Gathering], Word, Table [Communion], and Dismissal [Sending].
As Lent begins and we head towards Easter, we are going to learn a new song called, “Resurrecting”. I was drawn to this song because of the interesting use of tense in the song’s Bridge. It presents the idea that not only did Christ rise from the dead, but he is continuing to give us life or, as the song says, continuing to resurrect us. But, it all starts with Jesus…
Vs1:The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now
The Savior knelt to wash our feet
Now at His feet we bow
…see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…
Vs2:The One who wore our sin and shame
Now robed in majesty
The radiance of perfect love
Now shines for all to see
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. -Hebrews 1:3
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Corinthians 15:56-57Ch:Your name, Your name
All praise, will rise
To Christ, our king 2x
Vs3:The fear that held us now gives way
To Him who is our peace
His final breath upon the cross
Is now alive in me
free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. -Hebrews 2:15
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The theme of “ashes” in scripture is one of defeat and grief. We see it in the book of Job when he says,
I am reduced to dust and ashes. -Job 30:19
BUT, in Jesus we have resurrection and life. Jesus said this himself…
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.-John 11:25
As I said before, notice the change in tense in the word, “resurrection”! Jesus gave us life and continues to give us life! He was resurrected from the dead and now he has and will continue to resurrect us…and our response is one of praise…
…thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Corinthians 15:57
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.-2 Corinthians 4:10
Vs4:The tomb where soldiers watched in vain
Was borrowed for three days
His body there would not remain
Our God has robbed the grave
It seems to me that congregational [participation] cannot occur without two very basic ingredients: the congregation must understand what they are doing, and they must intend to make the responses that are part of worship. Worship is a verb.