7.3.11 Worship Confessional

“There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry out, ‘This is mine. This belongs to me.”

These words from Abraham Kuyper, Dutch journalist, theological and political leader shaped my thoughts for our worship gathering this weekend. I must confess I struggle with finding ways to build bridges in worship to secular holidays like Father and Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and yes, the Fourth of July. I especially wrestle with the Fourth of July and am concerned about the way some Christians and churches wrap themselves up in the flag, assume that the United States possesses most favored nation status before God, and the declarations about the United States being a Christian nation (or the need to win America back).

Here’s the bottom line for me: God transcends nationalism; but God is also deeply concerned and involved in the affairs of the nations, including the United States of America. And therefore we should seize an opportunity like a national holiday to think deeply about what it means to live as the people of God in the places that God has set us. A national celebration like the Fourth of July provides a wonderful space for us to not only practice our faith but faith our everyday, ordinary practices as well. I included a link to the message this morning if you are interested in hearing more of my thoughts on this.

Question: What do you do as a leader to connect secular holidays with your worship gatherings?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Call to Worship: Psalm 90:1-2 and Mark 12:29-31
  • Call to Worship (Matt Redman)
  • Psalm 24:3-6
  • Crash This Place (Matthew Reed)
  • Our God is Mercy (Brenton Brown)
  • America the Beautiful (Traditional)
  • Offering and Announcements
  • Message: Spiritual Practices for the Fourth of July
  • Awakening (Passion)

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

Stay connected…

Comments

  1. Including patriotic songs in worship is a subject that stirs emotions and I believe it is for the wrong reasons. Yes we need to be thankful for our country but also be concerned…we are no longer a God centered country.

    This week both myself and our pastor were confronted over the fact that we did not use patriotic songs in our service or display a flag. It has become a teaching moment, trying to help people understand that patriotic songs often become ‘worship of our country’ songs and that is wrong.

    I addressed this topic in my Sunday Setlist post.

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart Terry. I, too struggle with secular holidays and how (or should) they fit in the Sunday morning worship. The 4th of July is actually easier than Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I pull the focus to our need and command (1 Timothy 4) to pray for our leaders, including city and state as well as our countries. As I was writing this it dawned on me that I could and probably should pull that focus to Mother’s day and Father’s day as well. Worship is about God and him alone and am grateful that I don’t have to deal with the pressure of having a “boy scouts day” and the like. But I think using these secular holidays as a reminder to lift others up (which we should be doing already) isn’t a bad thing. Forgive me for rambling… Blessings!

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