I’ve been mulling over the idea of posting the flow of the weekly worship that I plan, maybe including some of the ideas behind the actions. So I’ve made a separate category, ingeniously named “worship set.” My hope is that there would be some practical use for all this talk. So here’s the first week!
Sermon Text: Matthew 16
Sermon Title: The Church Militant
This week I wanted to focus on coming to grips with our un-tidy and un-neat lives and I thought a bluegrass style was best for this. Bluegrass has a great way of being open and rough and dirty- asserting our humanity. So the instrumentation and the songs are all bluegrass flavored. I’m leading from the mandolin, and there’s a resonator guitar (with slide), an acoustic guitar and a cello serving as the double bass. Needless to say, I’m having too much fun.
Call to Worship: (based on a prayer in the Book of Common Prayer, focused on the church):
Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this church family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the repentant hearts. Grant us all things necessary for our corporate life and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within Your holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then I am planning on saying a word or two about how we deal badly with our emotions and that we need to bring all of our cares, emotions, baggage, and lay them down at the feet of our resurrected Lord. This will lead into the first song (penned by Luther): Psalm 130 (From the Depths of Woe).
Then we have a confession from the 1689 London Baptist Confession on Christ the Mediator. This leads nicely into the next song, O Day of Rest and Gladness. The movement from Psalm 130 to the confession, where we get to speak together, I think naturally leads to the focus on to Christ- specifically his resurrection, of which our day of worship reflects.
The next song is an old roots-sounding 19th century tune, I Will Praise Him. I plan on prefacing this song with the truth that wherever we are in life, the lot that God has entrusted and brought us to, we can praise him. Whether we feel we are at the mountain top or the valley, God is our help, so he deserves our praise.
We will then go right into Thy Mercy, My God. This will be the last song before the offering and the sermon and I plan on focusing a prayer on the fact that mercy is the theme of our song- and this is what unifies us. This is also what allows for our diversity to be unified, for it is based on a sovereign God over all creation.
Then we have the offering and the sermon, and will finish the service with On Jordan’s Stormy Banks. The church loves to sing this song loud, and I think will complete the narrative from the depths, to the resurrection’s work in our present lives, to what we look forward to- our promised land.