thinking out loud

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

12.26.10 Worship Confessional

I hope you had a great Christmas weekend filled with worship and wonder. These words from the 12th century French theologian, Peter Abelard have been a focal point for me over the past few days:

“The purpose and cause of the Incarnation was that He might illuminate the world by His wisdom and excite it to the love of Himself.”

How has Jesus illuminated your world with His wisdom? And during this season as you celebrate Christ’s coming, how has your love for Him been inflamed? I would love to hear your response to these questions.

Yesterday in worship we took a very laid back approach. We began with the reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2 interspersed with “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Angels We Have Heard on High” (both were the Tomlin versions). We followed those carols up with a new Christmas song from Phil Wickham called “Christmas Time.” This is a very singable congregational song with a nice hook. If you are not familiar with it, go find it and make sure you remember to use it next Christmas (or this coming Sunday – remember Christmas is a day but a season).

Let me mention two other unique pieces to our worship gathering. A mother/daughter duo sang three lesser known Christmas carols: “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” “Once in David’s Royal City,” and O Sing a Song of Bethlehem.” Accompanied with a single acoustic guitar, Merritt and Ellie’s voices blended together beautifully and their offering was a true gift to our community of faith.

The other interesting piece in our worship gathering grew out of my fear that Christmas caroling is becoming a lost art in our culture. And so we featured an old fashioned a cappella carol sing. I actually got the idea after listening to Sara Groves, “O Holy Night” project last week. In the middle of the concert, Sara talked about a “planned power outage” and led the audience in a medley of Christmas carols. I asked our people to get out of their seats and form one big mass choir in the center of our gym and together we sang: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Our singing without any musical accompaniment would have greatly pleased our reformed Presbyterian brothers and sisters.

I have enjoyed posting these worship confessionals each Sunday and look forward to continuing the practice in 2011. You can learn what other faith communities experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…

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Filed under: leadership, sunday setlists, worship gatherings

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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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