This weekend, we concluded our Romans series, focusing on Romans 16, and we celebrated Palm Sunday as well. In his message, Joe shared about the call on our lives to participate in the spread of the gospel. As the body of Christ, we are all part of that mission, and we need to take every opportunity to point people to the finished work of Christ, because "it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Pre-Service Song - "Our God's Alive" (Em) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram, Dan Muckala] Welcome/Greeting Time Call To Worship - Congregational Scripture Reading - Matthew 21:9 "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "You Have Overcome" (G) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] "Hosanna" (E) [Brooke Fraser] "Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran] Prayer Message - "Romans 16:17-27" [Joe Hishmeh] "Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff] Offering/Announcements Dismissal
"Our God's Alive" - This is a new song that we are continuing to teach in preparation for our Easter services. This song is by a new artist named Andy Cherry on his newly-released album, Nothing Left To Fear. I love this song. It's a power anthem about Christ's victory over sin and death, and the hope that we have in Him. I'm really looking forward to singing it together for Easter!
"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" - This song is perfect as a call to worship song, and it's perfect for Palm Sunday weekend. This weekend I shared about the meaning of the phrases "Hosanna to the Son of David" with our congregation. "Hosanna" is a cry for help meaning "Save!" but eventually became a statement of praise because the only people you would say this to are the ones who could actually do something about it - someone who is able and mighty to rescue you. "The Son of David" was a name for the awaited Messiah, who would be the last King in the line of David, and who would restore God's Kingdom. So, that expression really means something like: "Save us, Messiah!" This song elaborates on that thought very clearly.
"You Have Overcome" - This was a new song that I wrote with the help of our NextGen worship leader (and my good friend) Erik Oldberg. I'm really excited that we have now written two songs in the past three weeks, one for Easter and one for Good Friday (I'll share that one later this week hopefully). At the outset, I expressed the desire to write an Easter/resurrection song that was vertical, i.e. singing TO Jesus rather than ABOUT Jesus. Most Easter songs are singing about Jesus and the resurrection, rather than singing praise directly to Him. That was the beginning of this song. I'll do a more thorough write-up this week along with the demo.
I finished the song up on Friday (I can't remember the last time I had to wrestle with a song like this one - talk about last minute!), and we introduced it to our congregation this weekend. For the first time ever hearing the song, the church sang it well. I'm can't wait to sing it for Easter together! Here's the lyric:
"You Have Overcome" Words by Bill Horn, Music by Bill Horn and Erik Oldberg
Verse 1 We were dead in our sin And lost in lies No escape, no way out No end in sight
Verse 2 You bore our cross, paid our debt And won our peace You tread our sin beneath Your feet And set us free
Chorus You have overcome the power of the grave No one else can save us, no one else can save Death is overwhelmed and buried in defeat No one else can raise us, no one else can raise us Jesus, You have overcome
Verse 3 The empty tomb, the death of death The battle done The Lamb who died now alive The Mighty One
Bridge You have overcome You are the Way, You are the Way You have overcome You are the Truth, You are the Truth You have overcome You are the Life, You are the Life You have overcome You are alive, You are alive
Like I said, we will try to get a demo recording of some kind up this week for our church to become more familiar with it, and I will post it here on the blog as well. If you would like a simple demo from my voice recorder, I can send it to you. Just let me know.
"Hosanna" - Hannah Cox led us as we sang this song this weekend. It was her first time leading an entire song for our congregation, and she did a good job stepping up. This song is one of our congregation's favorites, and it was a great fit for Palm Sunday weekend.
"Son of God" - This song is one of my favorites, and the congregation has really taken hold of it. I love how it proclaims the person and the work of Jesus, and then sings of His great worth - "You are worthy/ You are worthy/ You are worthy of all my praise/ You are beautiful/ You are beautiful/ I will life up my hands and sing."
"Your Great Name" - We responded to the message by singing of the central figure from the whole letter to the Romans - Jesus Christ. He is the focus of this song. His name is exalted because He has rescued us and given us hope. He is our Redeemer and Savior. He is worthy of our praise.
This weekend was a good weekend. I think our church might have been a little distracted/affected by the Kansas final four basketball game on Saturday night, but I think we were able to spend some quality time worshiping the Savior. I'm sad that the Romans series is done. It has been a beautiful twelve weeks working through it together. I wish we could go through it again. :)
Because today (Sunday) was April Fool's, one of our keyboardists who is also a tech team member, Cory Zipperle, expressed a desire earlier this week to pull a prank on our beloved tech director, Wyatt. We met over lunch on Thursday to scheme together. Long story short, I diverted his attention to the stage while Cory's wife played a crazy noise through the board and Cory set of a small explosion in the sound booth, making Wyatt believe the sound board blew up. It was AMAZING, and his reaction was priceless. It was probably the most elaborate prank I have ever been a part of... all because we love the brother. I am so thankful to be a part of a team that worships and serves Jesus together, loves one another, and laughs together. It really is a beautiful thing, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
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!