02.15.15 Worship Confessional

Story Logo - Version 2Above all, Abraham’s righteousness is not the result of any accomplishment, whether of sacrifice or acts of obedience. Rather, it is stated emphatically that belief alone brought him into right relationship with God. (Gerhardt Von Rad)

As we continued in our Story series, this morning we explored the narrative found in Genesis 15. In this passage, Abram hears directly from God – “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward…Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them… so shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:1,5) And in one of the pivotal texts in all Scripture we read, “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

As part of our liturgy today, we included a time of lament. Walter Brueggemann describes both the power of lament and how refraining from lament is actually withholding from God:

“A lament is an act of bold faith — on the one hand, because it insists that the world must be experienced as it really is and not in some pretended way. On the other hand, it is bold because it insists that all such experiences of disorder are a proper subject for discourse with God. There is nothing out of bounds, nothing precluded or inappropriate. Everything properly belongs in this conversation of the heart. To withhold parts of life from that conversation is in fact to withhold part of life from the sovereignty of God.”

Our lament consisted of words from Psalm 43 interspersed with a song of lament sung to the tune of “I Will Arise And Go to Jesus.”

All: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

How long, O Lord will You wait in silence
Holding back Your mighty hand
Will You hide Your face  forever
How can this be Your perfect plan

How long, O Lord will the wicked prosper
While the righteous weep and mourn
Rise and shield Your faithful servants
Let us see the light of dawn

All: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Leader: Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? (Silence)

Where are You do You hear us calling
Will You ever turn Your ear
Come at last with perfect justice
Come and draw Your people near

Where are You do You hear me calling
To Your restless hidden heart
See my Spirit there within You
Will You receive me where You are

All: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Leader: Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. (Silence)

How I know You, how I love You
Deeper than the deepest sea
See my Spirit deep within You
There’s no need to hide from me

All: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His  arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh there are ten thousand charms

Unison Prayer: Lord, we come to you today, with a growing awareness that we are people of hope and doubt, joy and sorrow, life and death. We come in faith, believing in your goodness, trusting in your love and in need of your power. Fill our lives afresh with your mercy and goodness; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Christy Nockels version)
  • Psalm 117
  • Hosanna (Paul Baloche)
  • A Liturgy of Lament
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (Beyond the Stars)
  • Communion
  • At the Cross/Love Ran Red (Chris Tomlin)

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

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