01.25.15 Worship Confessional

beforgivingBe kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude. (Martin Luther King)

Yesterday we continued our series, “The Five Ways of Being” by centering our attention on forgiveness. As we explored Jesus’ teaching in Luke 7:36-50, I found the words of Kenneth Bailey instructive:

“There are two kinds of sin and two kinds of sinners, namely Simon and the women. Simon sins within the law, and the woman sins outside the law. Sinners like the woman often know they are sinners; sinners like Simon often do not. Thus repentance comes hardest for the ‘righteous.’”

The Scriptures make it clear that “all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23). Some of us tend to be religious sinners and others, irreligious. My prayer is that my heart will be tender toward God and the amazing grace God offers to me daily through Jesus Christ. I have been forgiven much and I pray that the forgiveness I have received will overflow in forgiveness toward others.

This week, how will you extend the kind of forgiveness that Jesus Christ extended to you?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Forever Reign (Hillsong)
  • Sing, Sing, Sing (Chris Tomlin)
  • The Apostles Creed
  • We Believe (Hillsong)
  • Our Father (Bethel Worship)
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (Be Forgiving)
  • Amazing Grace: My Chains Are Gone (Chris Tomlin)

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

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01.11.15 Worship Confessional

PhiloxeniaLove must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13)

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:7-9)

Today, while the world gathered in Paris, the people of God gathered in places as diverse as ornate sanctuaries and public school gymnasiums for the activity of divine worship. Our community is in the midst of a series, “The Five Ways of Being the People of God” and today we explored the biblical mandate to practice hospitality. The Greek word the New Testament uses for hospitality is philoxenia which translated literally means “the love of strangers” (philo: love + xenia: stranger). While many may be not familiar with this Greek term, there is another word with a common etymology that you may be familiar: xenophobia, which means an “intense fear or hatred of strangers” (xeno: stranger + phobia: fear).

Xenophobia or Philoxenia? Which of these reflects the attitude and action of the people of God?

Too often, I confess, I am motivated by fear. People who look different, think different, and believe different threaten me. More often then not, these fears are unfounded. And I wonder if the people that I fear, feel the same way toward me?

In light of the terror in Paris, in light of the racism in our own country, I am wrestling with this question: “how do we move from a fear of the stranger, the different, the other to love? How can we as the people of God set the pace, pursue hospitality and create space in our lives for the stranger?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Salvation Is Here (Hillsong)
  • The Way (Worship Central)
  • Unpack Your Heart (Philip Philips)
  • A Time of Prayer and Confession
  • Broken Vessels (Hillsong)
  • How He Loves (John Mark McMillan)
  • Infant Dedication
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (Be Hospitable)

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

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01.04.15 Worship Confessional

Slide1This morning we celebrated Epiphany, the day that marks the appearance of God’s light to the Gentiles. Epiphany (officially January 6) is a Christian celebration of the revelation of the birth of Jesus to the Gentle world, illustrated  in the story of three magi visiting the infant Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh found Mathew 2:1-12.

We framed much of the liturgy around the theme of light, including this opening prayer (from the Revised Common Lectionary):

O God of light and peace,
whose glory, shining in the child of Bethlehem,
still draws the nations to yourself:
dispel the darkness that shrouds our path,
that we may come
to kneel before Christ in true worship,
offer him our hearts and souls,
and return from his presence to live as he has taught. Amen.

We also included a time of intercessory prayer for our world, inviting people to use their phones to scan the news headlines and then pray specifically for the events that particularly touched their hearts.

Question for worship leaders: do you ever leverage personal technology in worship? If so, how?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Come and Worship (Bebo Norman)
  • Opening Prayer
  • The Way (Worship Central)
  • Salvation Is Here (Hillsong)
  • Prayers for Our World
  • Light of the World (Matt Redman)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (Be Accepting)
  • Communion
  • You Alone Can Rescue

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

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12.28.14 Worship Confessional

greatest gift logo 2CWhen you unwrap the unbeatable, unfailing, unstoppable love of Jesus, you laugh happiest: you are free, free, free to happily give away your gifts so other people can live. (Ann Voskamp)

This week you can celebrate Jesus, God’s greatest gift, by giving yourself as a gift to others. Consider the people around you – in the places you live, learn, work, serve and play – how can you make tangible the reality of Jesus Christ? How will you this week offer a gift of presence, grace, hope or love?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Come and Worship (Fernando Ortega)
  • O Come All Ye Faithful (Hillsong version)
  • Reading from Luke 2:8-15
  • Angels We Have Heard on High (Daniel Renstrom version)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • WE Experience
  • The First Noel (Third Day version)
  • Reading from John 3:16-17
  • Joy to the World (Chris Tomlin version)

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

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12.21.14 Worship Confessional

Slide1No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. (John 1:18)

The beauty of the Incarnation is that no longer do we need to wonder what God is like. God has chosen to reveal himself to us through the Son, Jesus Christ. And yesterday our Director of Spiritual Formation and Teaching, Dave Bindewald reminded us that God loves us and this world, God hates death and loves life.

Today spend a few moments reflecting upon these questions:

  1. In what realm of your life have you either forgotten about God’s presence or failed to acknowledge God’s nearness?
  2. How might this new awareness change your current reality?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Here for You (Matt Redman and Matt Maher)
  • Collect for Purity
  • God of Brilliant Lights (Aaron Shust)
  • His Company (Daniel Renstrom)
  • Advent Video: A Season That Forms (The Work of the People)
  • Scripture reading: Luke 1:26-38
  • Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (Daniel Renstrom version)
  • Advent Conspiracy Update
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (The Miraculous Gift)
  • What Child Is This (Third Day version)
  • Benediction

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

Stay connected…