This weekend, we began our Romans series, "Grow In Christ." Our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, taught about the background information surrounding Paul's letter to the Romans, as well as calling us as a church to committing ourselves to a diligent study of the book, both individually and in community. I think it was a great challenge to all of us for the new year. I am excited about what the Lord is going to do in our church as we delve into Romans together. I pray that the gospel becomes ever more clear and sure for each of us. You can listen to the entire message here. This was an interesting and unexpected weekend. I was not originally scheduled to lead, but another leader's sickness necessitated it. About 3 hours before we started rehearsal, I adjusted our song set, communicated the change with the team, and we went for it. I was once again impressed by the flexibility and ability of our team. They all did a fantastic job, and it was a great weekend of worship, as we focused heavily on the gospel. Each song reflects that focus in some way.
Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation/Prayer "The Love Of God" (D) [Frederick M. Lehman, Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai] Welcome/Greeting Time "All Because Of Jesus" (Bb) [Steve Fee] "Glorious One" (C) [Steve Fee] "Glorious Day" (C) [Michael Bleecker, J. Wilbur Chapman] Message - "Romans: Grow In Christ - Introduction" [Brian Tryhus] Communion Communion Song - "Sing To Jesus" (Eb) [Richard Nibbe, Fernando Ortega] Offering/Announcements "In Christ Alone" (D) [Keith Getty, Stuart Townend] Dismissal
"The Love Of God" - We sang this song as our preparation song this weekend. I especially love the third verse, which makes a beautiful analogy to speak of the greatness of God's love:
Could we with ink the oceans fill And were the skies of parchment made Were every stalk on earth a quill And every man a scribe by trade To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry Nor could the scroll contain the whole Though stretched from sky to sky
"All Because Of Jesus" - This was our opener this week. We sang it because Jesus's sacrifice for us is the reason we have life and hope. As we focus on Romans, this was a fitting song.
"Glorious One" - This song is a favorite of mine, but I have not sung it with Fellowship before this weekend. Fortunately, it was one that they had sung previously, and it was good to bring it back and sing it together.
"Glorious Day" - This song is new to our congregation, and it is one that I have wanted to introduce ever since I heard it. It is from Michael Bleecker and the Village Church, and it first appears on their album, "God Of Victory." (Yes, Casting Crowns did a cover of it, taking some liberties of their own, but I definitely prefer the first rendition by the Village). I love the lyric (written in 1909 by J. Wilbur Chapman), and how it communicates Christ's incarnation, death, resurrection, and return. It moves me every time I hear it or sing it, because the truth of it resonates deeply in me. Here's the lyric of the song:
Verse 1 One day when heaven was filled with His praises One day when sin was as black as could be Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin Dwelt among men, my Example is He
Chorus Living He loved me, dying He saved me Buried He carried my sins far away Rising He justified freely forever One day He's coming O glorious day
Verse 2 One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain One day they nailed Him to die on the tree Suffering anguish, despised and rejected Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Verse 3 One day the grave could conceal Him no longer One day the stone rolled away from the door Then He arose, o'er death He had conquered Now is ascended, my Lord evermore
Verse 4 One day the trumpet will sound for His coming One day the skies with His glories will shine Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine
"Glorious Day" J. Wilbur Chapman | Michael BleeckerCCLI Song No. 5181287 © 2008 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
"Sing To Jesus" - This song was brand new to me this week. Sarah Oldberg had picked it out as a communion song this week, so I wanted to leave it in if I could learn it. It is such a beautiful lyric and melody. We did the song with just piano (Cory Zipperle did a great job making it happen!) and vocal. This song was also my introduction to Fernando Ortega. I had heard the name, but never heard any of his music before this week. I am now a fan. I am looking forward to discovering more of his music as a result of this song!
"In Christ Alone" - This was our response song this weekend. I love this modern hymn. It's interesting to play on guitar, because the traditional arrangement probably wasn't written with guitar in mind... But it works, and the power of the song takes care of it. It declares the gospel clearly and beautifully, and it is a song that just sounds like I knew it, even when it was the first hearing. It is truly in Christ alone that we have salvation, life, and hope.
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!
In the Son, Bill
p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!