This weekend, we focused on John 19:28 - 20:31, examining the resurrection of Jesus. After reading through the passage, Pastor Joe dealt with some of the arguments for and against the resurrection, and then ended with call to a response of faith and belief in the resurrection. Because of Christ's resurrection, we can have hope and eternal life. The resurrection is "the summit of the gospel," whereas the cross is the center of the gospel. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "Jesus You" (E) [original] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship - Psalm 40:1-3 "Sing To The King" (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Sylvester Horne] "Salvation Is Here" (Bb) [Joel Houston] "Stronger" (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan] "Jesus Paid It All" (Bb) [Alex Nifong, Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape] Prayer Message - John 19:38 - 20:31 - "The Resurrection" [Joe Hishmeh] Response Time Offering/Video/Announcements "Christ Is Risen" (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes] Dismissal
"Jesus You" - We opened our preparation time with this song. We have done this a few times for the preparation time, and it was particularly fitting for this weekend. We incorporated more of the band this time, but still kept it a little more laid back than my original arrangement. This song helped to point us in the right direction for our services.
"Sing To The King" - Sarah Oldberg led us on this song. I love the powerful declaration of this song. Sarah and the band did an awesome job on this one, and the church engaged in celebrating and looking forward to Christ's victorious return. Our risen Lord is coming again. We can rejoice because of this fact, and this song helps us to do just that. Although we haven't sung this song very often, our congregation still seems to connect well with it. I look forward to singing it again.
"Salvation Is Here" - Our church had not sung this song much in the past, and when I was preparing for this weekend, I thought it would be a great fit because of the bridge, which sings, "Salvation is here/ Salvation is here and He lives in me/ Salvation is here/ 'Cause You are alive and You live in me." I could tell it was unfamiliar to much of our congregation, but they sang it, and I think they will sing it more when they have more time with it. I love the chorus of this song, as it builds my confidence in what Christ has done and in His Word: "I know my God saved the day/ And I know His Word never fails/ And I know my God made a way for me/ Salvation is here."
"Stronger" - This song is still fresh for me, and I really value how it expresses the gospel message. I like the unique expression of the chorus, when it sings, "You are stronger, You are stronger/ Sin is broken, You have saved me/ It is written Christ is risen/ Jesus, You are Lord of all." It captures so many truths of scripture in a few simple phrases. Beautiful. This song helped us to turn the corner to singing more specifically about the resurrection and what Christ accomplished by it.
"Jesus Paid It All" - This hymn remains another one of my favorites. The additional chorus by Alex Nifong is a simple and beautiful expression of praise to Christ because of the gospel. I invited our congregation to lift their hands to exalt our God and Savior. It was a powerful part of the service this weekend, and one of my personal highlights, as the church participated well on it.
"Christ Is Risen" - After a message about Christ's resurrection, I think it was a perfect song to respond with. I love how this song declares the victory of Christ over sin and death. It moves me and encourages me as we sing it together. Although our church has only sung it together one weekend before, we are singing it well together.
This was a great weekend of worshiping the risen Christ. Jesus was lifted high and exalted for who He is and what He has done. We tried some different things with the leading of the songs, with Sarah and I trading off verses on a few of the songs ("Stronger" and "Jesus Paid It All"), and I liked how that pulled both the ladies and the men into singing the melody together. I am so thankful to be a part of this team and this church. God is faithful. May we all live a life that reflects the reality that Jesus is no longer in the grave. He is alive!
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!