07.05.15 Worship Confessional

matt11“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

“One of the greatest gifts for my life as one who serves God is observing the Sabbath. Celebrating a holy day and living in God’s rhythm for six days of work and one of rest is the best way I know to learn the sense of our call – the way in which God’s Kingdom reclaims us, revitalizes us, and renews us so that it can reign through us. Before we can engage in the practice of our call, we need to be captured afresh by grace, carried by it, and cared for.” (Marva Dawn)

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Psalm 148
  • All Creatures of Our God and King (David Crowder Version)
  • This Is Amazing Grace (Phil Wickham)
  • Your Grace Finds Me (Matt Redman)
  • Breath Prayers
  • Rest Here (Ab and Fam)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (Rest)
  • House of God Forever (Jon Foreman)

Stay connected…

(Image by Richard Lyall)

06.28.15 Worship Confessional

Slide1It is a just and illuminating thought that every system of theology should be read backwards at least once, commencing with the last things, since it is in the conclusion that we find the truest index of the whole. (HR Mackintosh)

The first thing liberated beings do is to enjoy their freedom and playfully test their new-found opportunities and powers. (Jurgen Moltmann)

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new. Also he said,“Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

Yesterday we concluded our series by exploring the restoration of work. This is our Director of Formation and Teaching, Dave Bindewald’s favorite topic to address and my favorite line from his message was this: “Work is too good, too delightful to be done away with in the new heavens and earth.”

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Forever Reign (Hillsongs)
  • Sing, Sing, Sing (Chris Tomlin)
  • I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (Delirious)
  • A Creation Liturgy
  • My Father’s World (Jadon Lavik)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (The Restoration of Work)
  • Unbroken Praise (Matt Redman)
  • A Prayer for Vocations (Steve Garber)

Stay connected…

06.21.15 Worship Confessional

Slide1“The first Adam was cursed with labor and suffering; the redemption of labor and suffering is the triumph of the second Adam – the Carpenter nailed to the cross.

The first demand that a carpenter’s religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables. The only Christian work is good work well done…then all the work will be Christian work, whether it is church embroidery or sewage farming. What is the Christian understanding of work?…It is that work is not, primarily a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties…the medium in which he offers himself to God.” (Dorothy Sayers)

Yesterday, we continued our series, “Work,” by exploring the potential of our work. Through Christ, we can offer our work, in the places we live, learn, work, serve and play and know with full confidence, that it can contribute to the life of the world.

Two notes from our gathering. We joined with hundreds of churches across of our nation, in solidarity with our sisters and brothers on Charleston, by using the One Church Liturgy. This powerful prayer begins with these words:

We stand before you today, oh Lord
Hearts broken, eyes weeping, heads spinning
Our brothers and sisters have died
They gathered and prayed and then were no more
The prayer soaked walls of the church are spattered with blood
The enemy at the table turned on them in violence
While they were turning to you in prayer

We stand with our sisters
We stand with our brothers
We stand with their families
We stand to bear their burden in Jesus’ name

How did you community of faith address the horrific event in Charleston?

And taking a cue from Tim Lomax, we closed our gathering by asking people what they would be doing 24 hours later and then prayed for that specific activity. Everything from taking a walk to having a baby and a few things in-between. What a simple, but powerful way to commission and encourage people vocations.

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • This Is Amazing Grace (Phil Wickham)
  • Your Grace Is Enough (Matt Maher)
  • Responsive Reading (Only by Grace)
  • At the Cross (Daniel Renstrom)
  • Crazy Life (Greg Steele)
  • A Prayer for Fathers
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (The Potential of Work)
  • One Church Liturgy
  • The Sacrament of Communion
  • How Deep the Father’s Love
  • How He Loves (John Mark McMillan)

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

Stay connected…

06.14.15 Worship Confessional

Slide1It doesn’t matter if our workplace is at home, in a classroom, on the factory floor, or in an office cubicle, work can be a source of great frustration in our lives. Facing an urgent deadline and having a computer crash is a big pain. Dealing with difficult customers or serving at demanding boss is a big pain. Having to let an employee go or downsize the labor force is a big pain. Facing a family’s mountain of dirty laundry is a big pain. Lingering unemployment or under employment is a big pain. Work can make us want to curse. (Tom Nelson)

Yesterday we continued our series on Work by examining the brokenness of our work. As Tom Nelson brilliantly captures in the above quote from his book, Work Matters, work brings with it a curse. While God has intended work to be a holy and sacred gift, we live in a constant tension between the brokenness of this world and the sacredness of our work. The fall has unraveled things so drastically that you can work all day and produce nothing. What does faithfulness look like in the midst of these tensions?

During worship we turned to the ancient practice of lament. Stacey Gleddiesmith writes, “Biblical lament is an honest cry to a God who is powerful, good, and just—a cry that this situation is not in alignment with God’s person or purposes. It’s a cry that expects an answer from God, and therefore results in hope, trust, and joy rather than despair.”

In my message we walked through Psalm 22, outlining the basic structure of a lament:

  1. Address (calling upon the person and character of God)
  2. Complaint (description of distress)
  3. Petition or Request (appeal to God and reasons for divine intervention)
  4. Expression of Trust/Praise (concluding word of assurance and confidence that the prayer has been heard and a vow to praise God for deliverance and rescue)

Then we put the practice of lament into practice as we carved out space to create personal psalms of lament regarding our work. The prompts were simple yet significant:

Identify an aspect of your work where things are not they way they should be. This could be in the marketplace, your home, your neighborhood, community or your church? Be as specific as possible. Using the traditional framework, create your own prayer of lament.

Today I invite you to craft your own lament around the brokenness of your work!

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Our God Is Mercy (Brenton Brown)
  • Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
  • Alive (Hillsong Young and Free)
  • A Time of Confession
  • We Confess (Glenn Packiam and Ian Cron)
  • Assurance of Pardon
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (The Brokenness of Work)

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

Stay connected…

06.07.15 Worship Confessional

Slide1If there are priests in the Church, if there is the priestly function in it, it is precisely in order to reveal to each vocation its priestly essence, to make the whole life of all men the liturgy of the Kingdom, to reveal the Church as the royal priesthood of the redeemed world. (Alexander Schmemann)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Yesterday we began a four week series on Work and throughout the month of June we will be exploring the reality of work through the narrative of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. The creation narrative in Genesis 1-2 provides a strong theological plot line that underscores the sacred nature of our work. We work because we are created in the image of the God who works and this is a high priestly calling. I love how Dorthy Sayers defines work: “The biblical doctrine of work is the gracious expression of creative energy of the Lord in the service of others to create shalom.”

How do you view your work? Do you believe that your work is a holy calling? How could you serve as a priest in the places where you work this week?

We closed our gathering by praying together a prayer for vocations written by Steve Garber, principle at The Washington Institute and taken from his brilliant book, Visions of Vocations:

God of heaven and earth, we pray for your kingdom to come, for your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Teach us to see our vocations and occupations as woven into your work in the world. For mothers and fathers at home who care for children, for those whose labor forms the common life in this city, the nation and our world, for those who serve the marketplace of ideas and commerce, for those whose creative gifts nourish us all, for those whose callings take them into the academy, for those who long for employment that satisfies their soul and serves you, for each one we pray, asking for your great mercy. Give us eyes to see that our work is holy to you, O Lord, even as our worship is holy to you. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; Amen.

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Praise the Invisible (Daniel Bashta)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy (Steven Curtis Chapman arrangement)
  • Forever Reign (Hillsong)
  • Prayers of Confession
  • Assurance of Pardon
  • Your Alone Can Rescue (Matt Redman)
  • Graduate Celebration
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (The Sacredness of Work)

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

Stay connected…