2.20.11 Worship Confessional

Wow – what a weekend it was. Jubilee came to Pittsburgh this week and our community of faith was deeply immersed in it. It began with Jubilee Professional on Friday. Jubilee Professional was designed to bring together Pittsburgh professionals and national thought leaders and practitioners in business, education, theology, science and the arts to explore the role of faith in our everyday, ordinary lives. This was a rich day and included talks from people like Will Messenger, David Kim, Deb Knupp, Kim Tillotson Fleming, Charlie Peacock and Mel McGowan. I will be posting some thoughts and insights about this experience later this week.

On Friday evening over two thousand college students converged upon the convention center for large group plenary sessions along with breakout seminars that covered just about every topic imaginable. The theme this year was “It Could Change Everything” and speakers like Gabe Lyons, Lisa Sharon Harper, Bob Goff, Soong-Chan Rah, and Eric Mason rocked the students world and challenged them to live faithfully for Christ in whatever venue of life to which God has called them.

The goal for our Sunday morning gathering was to bring a part of the Jubilee experience into our worship space. One of the ways we did this was by inviting Dr. Curt Thompson, one of the speakers to share the message with our community of faith. Curt is a psychiatrist in private practice and founder of Being Known, a ministry which develops teaching programs, seminars and resource materials to help people explore the connection between interpersonal neurobiology and Christian spirituality which lead to genuine change and transformation. His book, Anatomy of the Soul,  is a powerful demonstration of  how insights from interpersonal neurobiology resonate with biblical truths about God and creation—validating the deep human need for meaningful relationships as a key to a life of hope and fulfillment. Again look for a post later this week with more details about Curt’s work and the impact it is having upon me. In the meantime you can listen to Curt’s message, “How Well Are We Paying Attention” at our audio site, “Thinking Out Loud.”

Our worship gathering was shaped around paying attention to our hearts. One of our central texts was Psalm 86:11:

“Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.”

Allow me to recommend a powerful song from Vicky Beeching called, “Undivided Heart.” This is a simple song musically (nothing but vocals and piano) and the simple sonic landscape allows the strong lyrics to carry the day:

Brokenness has brought me to my knees
Face to face with all that’s dark in me
I can barely see You through my shame
Jesus come and wash me white again
Flood me with Your healing light
Help me choose what’s true and right

At the cross I find Your open arms
Reminding me there’s grace for all I’ve done
With Your blood You wipe away my past
Taking on Yourself my sin and scars
By Your power help me change
Break off every single chain

Give me an undivided heart
I want to love You with every part
Give me an undivided soul
I want to be Yours alone Yours alone

You make all things new
So take my ashes and make them something beautiful
Do what only You can do
Take my ashes and make them something beautiful

The rest of our music set included:

  • All Things New (Brett Younker)
  • Hosanna (Paul Baloche)
  • Love the Lord (Lincoln Brewster)
  • Undivided Heart (Vicky Beeching)
  • Come Thou Fount (Traditional)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

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