5.22.11 Worship Confessional

This morning we continued our series, “Beautiful Exchange” and the focus of our gathering was reconciliation.  Our primary text was 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and in this section of the letter Paul articulates the work of reconciliation that God did through Christ’s death on the Cross. God first moves toward us in Christ Jesus and then God calls us to move toward others, as God has entrusted His people with the ministry of reconciliation. This is one of my favorite texts of Scripture and I loved creating an environment of worship where our people could engage more deeply in its profound realities.

We opened worship a bit differently this week. Instead of starting things off with an uptempo set of songs, after a walk-in song (“Bless Your Name” by Eddie Kirkland) we created a more liturgical, purposeful opportunity for people to present and offer themselves to God in worship. This section flowed as follows:

Call to Worship: Joining All Creation in the Praise of God

Reading of Psalm 98 (The Message)

Sing to GOD a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves, He set things right.  2 God made history with salvation, He showed the world what he could do. 3 He remembered to love us, a bonus to his dear family, Israel—an unstoppable love. The whole earth comes to attention. Look—God’s work of salvation!

Shout your praises to God, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band! Round up an orchestra to play for God, Add on a hundred-voice choir. 6 Feature trumpets and big trombones, fill the air with praises to King God.

Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, with everything living on earth joining in.  Let ocean breakers call out, “Encore!” And mountains harmonize the finale—  a tribute to God when he comes, When he comes to set the earth right. He’ll straighten out the whole world, He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.

From God comes the wonder of creation.
We will worship God the Creator.
From God comes healing for the brokenness we see.
We will worship God our Redeemer.
From God comes the strength to face the new day.
We worship God our Sustainer.

Song –  Here for You

If you are not familiar with “Here for You,” I would encourage you to check it out. The lyrics are draw from both Scripture and parts of traditional liturgies and the song creates a wonderful space to “welcome God with praise.” The bridge of the song includes these words:

“To You our hearts are open
Nothing here is hidden
You are our one desire.”

These words are taken from a historic prayer from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (1662):

Almighty God, to whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Take a look at this episode of New Song Cafe to learn the backstory.

Question: What  role does liturgy play in your worship gatherings? How do you create space and provide opportunities for your people to engage in some of historical worship practices of the Church?

Our complete worship set included:

  • Bless Your Name (Eddie Kirkland)
  • Here for You (Redman and Maher)
  • Forever Reign (Hillsong/One Sonic Society)
  • The Earth is Yours (Gungor)
  • All Things New (Brett Younker)

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

Stay connected…


  1. Sweet plan Terry! Love the liturgical / contemporary blend. I’ll check out “Here for you”. The Lord be with you!
    Rob Still recently posted..Worship @ Sonlife Church May 22

  2. Very nice. It’s been awhile since I’ve done an intentional call to worship. Did you actually do a leader/congregation response kind of thing? I’m thinking I should get a copy of the Book of Common Prayer.

    Sometimes I like The Message for moving past the poetical language of the Psalms.
    Matt Owens recently posted..A Journey Observed

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