When Your Church Can’t Meet: The Value of Liturgy

When Your Church Can't Be Together, It Can Be Together In Its LiturgyLiturgy is the form of worship that a church walks through when it assembles.

“Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a communal response to and participation in the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication or repentance.” source

In our church, our liturgy takes the form of Call to Worship, Confession of Sin (or Lament), Remembering the Gospel, Thanksgiving and Prayer, Offering, Scripture Reading, Sermon, and Benediction (Blessing and Sending). These elements include both songs and responsive readings, as well as times of silent meditation.

A benefit of a liturgical form is that when your church has to assemble in small groups or cannot assemble at all, the people know what to do. When your people cannot be together as a whole, they can be together in their liturgy.

If your church can’t assemble this Sunday, and you need a worship service in your home, our church posts our entire liturgy with song videos on our blog. Search the “Service Previews.” Then go to Sermons page to hear the message for that Sunday.

Need more songs to sing? Visit my worship song page or Hymnicity.

Worshiping God After a Hurricane

The Fury of the WindIn early September of 2005, I traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi to work with a disaster relief crew following Hurricane Katrina. We spent ten days preparing and delivering meals to survivors, those whose lives and possessions had been ravaged by the wind and water.

As an Iowa native, I’ve seen what weather can do. We’re no strangers to tornadic destruction. But the aftermath of Katrina was unlike anything I’d ever seen in person.

v1a - FuryAs we worked that week and then returned home, the words of Job stuck in my head (Job 26:14): “Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” Continue reading “Worshiping God After a Hurricane”

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.”

Song Promo“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.”

That request, made by Jesus on the Mount of Olives the night before his crucifixion, was no serene or stoic prayer. Luke tells us Jesus prayed “in agony… and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.”

In his plea, Jesus confesses three things: Continue reading ““Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.””

Hope and The Last Rose of Summer

It is no secret that the end of the year can be a depressing time for some. The holiday parties and family gatherings are over—leaving us to say goodbye to loved ones or remember those who departed this year. The decorations and lights come down. The days are dark and cold. The trees are brown and the fields are barren. A year draws to its end, perhaps with reminders of unaccomplished goals and the speed with which life progresses, and we wonder if the next year can bring anything different. For some, the world and the future appear bleak. Continue reading “Hope and The Last Rose of Summer”