This weekend, we focused on John 12, looking at Mary's offering of worship as she anointed Jesus' feet with her costly perfume. Joe preached about dying to oneself in order to come alive to Christ, and giving of our selves to gain more of Christ. In order to grow deeper in Christ, we have to become less. We were all challenged to make Jesus our treasure. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "Jesus, You" (E) [original] Call to Worship "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche] Welcome/Greeting Time "Glory to God Forever" (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching] "Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash] Prayer Message - John 12:1-8, 13-20 [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Video/Announcements Response/Closing Time "Take My Life And Let It Be" (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] Dismissal
"Jesus, You" - We opened our preparation time with this song. This is a song that I wrote as I was studying and teaching through the book of Romans a few years ago while serving in Gainesville, FL. This was the first time we have sung it here at Fellowship, and I thought it was fitting for our time of preparation. The song was written in Gb, but we brought it down to E to make it a little more mellow, and also to make it a little easier to sing with (eventually, as people pick it up). The song has an unconventional structure, so I'm not sure how it will function as a corporate worship song. The change may be beneficial in that it shakes us up from what we consider "normal." Regardless, I think it is worth the effort, so we'll try it a few more times to see how the congregation takes a hold of it. I really enjoyed doing this song with just acoustic, vocals, and keys, and I think it worked really well as a preparation song, getting us focused on the gospel. Here's the lyric:
Jesus, You Words and Music by Bill Horn
Verse 1 Who can rescue man from sin? Who can break him from this hopeless prison? Who can bear the wrath ahead? Who can make him live, though he's long been dead?
Verse 2 Who could light the darkest night? Who could speak a word, that death would turn to life? Who could heal this hopeless pain? Who could make it right, and make me live again?
Refrain You, Jesus, You
Verse 3 Death reigned and all men died 'Til You paid the promised price The ransom of Your life Most holy sacrifice
Verse 4 But the grave could not contain The Lamb who bore my stain You died and rose again
Refrain You, Jesus, You
Verse 5 Now, Death, where is your sting? You send me home Where forever I will sing
Refrain You, Jesus, You
"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" - This was our call to worship song this week, and I think it is perfect for that part of the service. Musically, it begins with sort of a stirring feeling, and lyrically it calls us into greater praise of our God and invites Him to have His way in us because He is the one who saves us. Another reason we sang this song was because the focus passage included Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem as King, where the people shouted "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel" (John 12:13). It was the right way to start our services this weekend. This is a favorite among our people, as we always get engaged quickly in singing it together.
"Glory to God Forever" - We only did this song at the 7 PM and 9 AM services, because we had child dedications in its place during the other services. It has almost been two months since we last sang this song. For the focus of this weekend, giving our lives and our resources to grow deeper in Christ, this song was a fitting call for us to offer our lives for His glory as living offerings of worship. Jesus is worthy.
"Because of Your Love" - I love this song because it makes clear the reason for our living a life of obedience. We follow Him, not because we have to earn our way into favor with God (we cannot), but because He loved us with such an amazing love as demonstrated on the cross. Our obedience and our worship is our response to what God has already done for us. I tried to emphasize this thought throughout our time together, both through the songs and in the things I said between the songs. This song is still a little unfamiliar to our congregation, but I think we are starting to sing it better together.
"Son of God" - This is a clear and somewhat comprehensive song of praise to Jesus Christ. It points to Christ's deity, His sacrifice on the cross, His power, His fulfillment of prophecy, and His unique worth. We connected this song with "Because of Your Love," emphasizing again that the giving of our lives to God and for HIs purposes is our response to who Jesus is and what He has done for us. This is a favorite of our congregation, and it's for good reason.
"Take My Life And Let It Be" - We responded to God's Word with this song. I can't think of a greater hymn for the purpose of giving our lives to the Lord as living offerings of worship. It covers all the bases: our lives, our time, our hands, our feet, our voices, our lips, our money, and our minds. Our keyboardist, Cory Zipperle, had some great ideas about changing the arrangement up (especially the vamps between verses), and I think it gave it more of a reflective tone. It was a great fit to respond to the message today.
This was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a great job, and our congregation was engaging in each of the four services. I'm thankful for what the Lord is doing in us.
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.
In the Son,
p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!