thinking out loud

…things that are on my mind, heart, and soul

9.26.10 Worship Confessional

Recently I was reviewing my July/August 2010 issue of Worship Leader Magazine. These words from Dave Haney from Riverbend Church in Austin caught both my eye and heart:

“The true psalmist has always been a teacher, not an entertainer; a servant not a performer: a confessor, a proclaimer, and a transparent conduit, whose soul laid bare creates a priestly connection between singer and Savior.”

This morning in our worship gathering these words came to life. Our special guest was Joy Ike, a gifted singer/songwriter who served our community of faith as a 21st century psalmist. Psalmists bring  beauty, imagination, and joy to the people of God and Joy graced us with these gifts and many others this morning.

Joy shared a number of original songs and then I conducted a brief interview with her. I hope to have the interview online soon as Joy had some important thoughts about the integration of faith and work. Joy is a strong follower of Jesus and yet she is not known as  a Christian artist. Her songs receive airplay on a secular station here in Pittsburgh (WYEP), not the Christian station. Her thoughts on this topic reminded me of CS Lewis’ idea that “Christian should not be used as an adjective.”

After the interview she did a couple more songs and then closed with the title track of her most recent release, Rumors. This is a beautiful piece and it brought me to tears this morning.

The front portion of worship looked like this. We began by using a portion of our Morning Office from the CCCSH Breviary. This is a short, four-week  prayer book that contains a Morning and Evening Office; these prayers  are based upon our mission of helping people connect with God, one another and our world, along with our five ways of being: (acceptance, hospitality, encourage, forgiveness and love). Following the Morning Office, as a community of faith we stood by one of our families as they dedicated both themselves and their daughter to the Lord. Here are the three questions I asked the parents:

  • Do you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord and do you believe that He is your only source of life and hope in this life and the life to come?
  • Do you confess your own life to be flawed by sin, yet recommit yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, seeking the power of the Holy Spirit to help you grow in Christlikeness moment-by-moment and day-by-day?
  • Do you intend to raise your child within the context of the community of faith and do you desire the People of God live before your child the Gospel in word and deed?

And these were the five questions I asked the members of our community of faith:

  • Will you accept Dan, Melissa, Elijah and Elliana as Christ has accepted you and will you bear one another’s burdens as Christ commands?
  • Will you create space in your lives and extend hospitality to this family?
  • Will you be a source of encouragement to Dan and Melissa as they seek to be the parents God has called them to be?
  • Will you be quick to extend grace and forgive as you have been forgiven?
  • Will you express God’s love in Christ in tangible, real and concrete ways to this family?

As a response, Joy lead us in the song, “Wonderful Maker.”

Our gathering, while quite different from our normal Sunday experience – was a deeply meaningful time of worship for me personally. And I pray it was for our community of faith as well.

Stay connected…

Discover what others are experiencing in worship at The Worship Community….

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have the peace that passes understanding at the heart of yourself, but do not be at peace with the world. for the world is more malleable than we think and we must wrestle it from fools. (bono)
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