This weekend, we began a two-part series on heaven called "Heaven Revealed." Joe shared about the biblical picture of heaven. Joe shared details about the perfection, key person, and people of heaven. It reminded us all of the place that is prepared for us, and the hope that we have because of it. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "Beautiful" (D) [Phil Wickham] Welcome/Greeting Time "Happy Day" (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon] "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown] "Forever Reign" (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] "Lord of All" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill] Message - "Heaven Revealed, Pt. 1" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements "Beautiful" (D) [Phil Wickham] Dismissal
"Beautiful" - We sang this song both as our preparation song and as our response song this weekend. We did it differently in the respective positions in the service. I love this song. I love how it communicates what the Lord has done and is going to do in the story of redemption. It begins by describing how God's creation displays His glory, then describes what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and finishes by describing the day when we enter into heaven and see the Lord face-to-face. This song moves me as I imagine that day. I've posted about this song before here.
"Happy Day" - We opened our services this weekend with this song. We sang this song because it clearly connected the ideas of redemption and heaven. The second verse points specifically to the day when we see Jesus in heaven. Another reason we sang this song was because of the occasion. Since Sunday was New Year's Day, we anticipated some tired people for our morning services, and this song brought some crucial energy to our gathering and helped us get going.
"Everlasting God" - This song is a staple for us at Fellowship, and it was a great way for us to focus on the fact that our God is eternal. If we have been born again, we will be together with Him for eternity. We find our hope and our life in who He is - the everlasting God.
"Forever Reign" - For eternity, the substance of our song will be the name of Jesus. As those He has redeemed, He is everything to us. He is the one who rescued us. He is the one who made a way for us. He is our source of life and hope. He is the reason we have eternal life. It is all because of Him. Forever, we will sing His praise, because He is the one who is worthy of it all.
"Lord of All" - We connected this song with "Forever Reign" as the ideas are really tied together. Scripture says (in Philippians 2:8-11) that because Jesus humbled Himself to death on a cross, the Father has given Him "the name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow... and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." He is worthy of all worship, because there is no one who compares with Him. He is matchless in glory, honor, and power.
Our team did a great job. We had a lot of fun and tried We had two new team members this weekend, and one who came back from some maternity leave, and it was great to have them all contributing. This weekend was a first for me, in that we had to lead on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Doing services on both Saturdays and Sundays has some unique challenges on weekends like this (just like last weekend's Christmas Eve/Day combination), but it was special to end one year and begin the next together with our church.
I hop you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were! Happy New Year!
In the Son, Bill
p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!