Here's our set from this week: Pre-Service: "Happy Day" [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] Call to Worship - Psalm 66:1-4 "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Welcome/Announcements/Greeting "You Alone Can Rescue" [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "It is Well" [Todd Fields, Horatio G. Spafford] Message - I Believe We Respond: Salvation Lord's Supper - "Just As I Am" [Charlotte Elliott, William Bradbury] Response - "Jesus Messiah" [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves]
This was another great weekend of worship, and we continue to build momentum. People continue to participate more, and respond to worship God through music and the Word. I am also learning more about, and getting more connected with, our people and our team. I am happy with our progress, and with what is happening when we gather each week. This week we also celebrated the Lord's Supper/communion, which is always a sweet time where we focus on remembering what God has done to redeem us. It was especially significant this week, because it followed Joe's talk about salvation, and how we respond in faith and repentance to what Jesus Christ has done for us.
We repeated "Happy Day" in the pre-service section again this week, because it is still fairly new to our people, and because it was particularly fitting for the focus this week. I enjoy this song, if only for the fact that it is simple and happy song of thanksgiving for what Christ has done. It sings of the gospel clearly in a celebrative way, and I think that is the song's greatest value. We followed the call to worship with "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)," which is a great song to follow the call to worship. It has a feeling of preparation and entering into God's presence, and sings clearly of some of the proper motives and responses in worship: "Hosanna, Hosanna/ You are the God who saves us/ Worthy of all our praises/ Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus."
We also continued teaching "You Alone Can Rescue," and our people took hold of it more. It was a great fit for our focus this weekend, as we focused on how salvation is the work of God alone, and we place our trust and confidence in His finished work. I love this song. It's not the music that makes it exciting, either. It is purely the lyric of this song that is overwhelming. Jesus is our only rescue. This will be a song that the church sings for a while.
We brought back Todd Fields' arrangement of "It Is Well," which is one of my favorite modern hymn arrangements. He preserved the melody of Horatio Spafford's original, but added a fitting chorus which captures the spirit of the song well. It serves as a strong declaration of confidence and hope in Christ, through anything that we experience in this life. The guitar part that Fields has written is really interesting, too, which only adds to the value of this song. When we come to the original chorus at the end of the song, it is beautiful to hear the congregation singing out so strongly.
We used the great hymn "Just As I Am" for the time during the Lord's Supper, and we arranged it in a Sufjan Stevens-ish kind of way--with a slow swing to it, organ with Leslie on it, and minimal percussion. It was another great fit for the focus this weekend. I was unsure of how we would arrange it going into the weekend, but the team came up with some nice ideas and instrumentation to make it work nicely.
We finished the weekend off with "Jesus Messiah," which was perfect. I cannot claim credit for this one, because it was the result of some changes late in the planning, and I needed a song to plug the hole, and thought this would work. It connected with Joe's message in more ways than I can count, and coming out of the Lord's Supper only added to its impact. The more I sing this song, the more I enjoy it and its message.
It was a great weekend, and I'm excited about how things continue here with Fellowship Bible Church!
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!