Worship is a way of life that takes place not just at 11:00 on Sunday morning, but every other hour of the week (John 4:20-24). Through this “Call to Worship,” we want to share some thoughts about worship, scripture verses, hymns, and songs to teach and encourage you as you seek His face daily and then hopefully together with us on Sunday!
This Week at Traditional Worship (10:00)
Maria Currey, Assistant Director of Music – Traditional
Love in Our Worship – In Keeping with 1 Corinthians 13
From Love’s Letters: A Poetic Book of Confessions by George Gunn
(Library Lane Press / Copyright 2001)
Worship is an offering we make to God. God is the audience before whom we play our roles in the divine-human drama. God is also the Director who has called us to center stage and whose worth is celebrated. Here we offer praise, as we are assured of God’s forgiveness, as we hear the Word proclaimed, and as we present ourselves in response to God’s love and grace.
Look with me at the gifts of the Spirit and I will show you one of the great ends of the Church: “The maintenance of divine worship.”
If I speak of God’s worth in the language of the psalmist and the reformers, or with the songs of cherubim and seraphim, but do not come to worship with love for God, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I bring to worship insight into God’s nature, and if I gain knowledge and understanding, in company with those who gather; and if we, as a faithful people, are in awe before the mystery of divine grace, but we worship without love for God’s service and God’s servants, we are nothing.
If our offerings of self and substance, of time and talents, are sacrificial, but we offer them apart from love, we gain nothing.
Love in our worship means to wait on the Lord; to approach God with humble hearts, without demands or complaints. God’s lovers look for ways to honor God’s ways and to celebrate God’s presence.
Love, open to hearing God’s Word in Jesus Christ, seeks forgiveness and welcomes words of peace given.
Love, in sacramental acts, makes visible God’s grace. Love responds in praise and thanksgiving, rejoicing in the truth revealed.
Love, kneeling before the Holy One, believes all things are possible, bears the burden of trust, hopes for an epiphany, endures dry seasons of inspiration.
God’s love and ours, at the center of our worship, offers endless possibilities.
But as for visions of the Lord, high and lifted up; as for sentimental journeys, they will end; as for high church liturgies, they shall cease; as for low church rituals and rites, they will play out. For we have made beginnings without end, but the journeys of the mind and heart have not yet brought us to completion.
When I sat in worship as a child, I spoke to God as a child, I thought God to be a great Chief in the sky. I reasoned that I would outgrow this Sunday morning routine. When I matured in my understanding, I abandoned these adolescent notions and came to treasure worship in the life of God’s people. Once I experienced worship as a mirror held up to God’s grace, seen dimly, then I came face to face with the fullness God intends for those whom God loves.
And now abiding in the secret place of the most high are these three things:
Faith in the renewal of the Body of Christ in our worship;
Hope for the maintenance work of the Holy Spirit among us;
Love that celebrates the grace, mercy, and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, world without end.
Let divine worship bind us together in love.
This Week at Contemporary Worship (11:15)
Kerri Roberts, Assistant Director of Music – Contemporary
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
For one who has died has been set free from sin. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Romans 6:6-7, John 8:36, Galatians 5:1
What a challenge it can be to live in the freedom that Christ has won on our behalf! We can be so quick to return to the yoke of slavery – slavery to fear, or self, or approval can just as easily ensnare us as can outward, socially unacceptable sins. Yet again, we have the opportunity to come together in worship to remind ourselves who we are and what we have been given as we sing the gospel to ourselves.
We are chosen and free! Free to be all that God created us to be! And nothing can hold us back from living and giving out of that place of freedom. This week in Contemporary worship we will introduce a song called Holding Nothing Back, by Tim Hughes. May these truths sink into our hearts as we worship throughout the week and prepare for corporate worship this Sunday!
I am chosen, I am free
I am living for eternity, Free now forever
You picked me up, turned me around
You set my feet on solid ground, Yours now forever
And nothing’s gonna hold me back
My chains fell off, My heart was free
I’m alive to live for you,
I’m alive to live for you
Amazing Love, how can it be?
You gave everything for me,
You gave everything for me, Everything
You washed my sin and shame away
The slate is clean: a brand new day, Free now forever
Now boldly I approach your throne
To claim this crown through Christ my own, Yours now forever
And nothing’s gonna hold me back
I’m free to live, Free to give, Free to be, I’m free to love you
– Holding Nothing Back