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Preparing for Corporate Worship - God is Greater than Our Fear

Written By Ryan Egan on 04/10/2015 | Posted in Congregational LifeWorship

Pastor Matthew Ballman from our sister congregation Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church joins us to teach our morning message this week. He will be looking at how God is much greater than our fear as we examine Genesis 50:15-21.

From Whence This Fear and Unbelief?

In the late 1700s, among many others, a hymn was written by Augustus Toplady. Toplady, most well-known for his hymn "Rock of Ages," began with a question: "From whence this fear and unbelief? Hath not the Father put go grief His spotless Son for me?" The hymn goes on to declare what Jesus did for us: complete atonement and the purchase of our liberty from sin and death. This hymn is fairly obscure, but the text was recently adapted into a modern song which we have sung before at Living Word and will sing again this coming Sunday: Now Why This Fear?

This wonderful song takes Toplady's words and gives them an update into today's language, taking care to make sure the theology of the text remains true. So we sing, with confidence, that there is nothing to fear, because we can proclaim:

Be still, my soul, and know this peace:
the merits of your great High Priest, have bought your liberty!
Rely, then, on His precious blood,
Don't fear your banishment from God,
since Jesus sets you free!

Jesus, all my trust is in your blood!
Jesus, You've rescued us through Your great love!

Aren't You Supposed to Sing This At Funerals?

We will also be singing the very familiar "Abide With Me" during our morning service. While this hymn is often sung at funerals and was, in fact, written shortly before the author's death, there is an appropriate place for it during a normal Sunday morning service. The hymn, inspired by Luke 24:29, in which the travelers to Emmaus tell Jesus, “stay with us, for it is nearly evening,” takes the worshiper on a journey through how we are to respond to God's steadfastness. Especially as we deal with the subject of fear in our lives, this hymn is a perfect prayer to calm our fears and focus our hearts on God's character.

From giving God the title of "Help of the helpless" to the bold proclamation of "I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless," we can use this hymn as a confession that God, "who changest not" is completely stable in the face of change, uncertainty, or fear in our lives. Also, as we continue to celebrate the Resurrection, with a fresh look at the events from the previous week, we can sing with boldness together:

Where is death's sting? Where, grave, your victory?
I triumph still if thou abide with me!

Christ is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed!

We will begin our time of congregational singing by continuing to sing a song we introduced last Sunday: Christ is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed, by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Ed Cash. This energetic anthem examines what the disciples experienced as they witnessed the risen Savior, moving from fear to bold faith. The final verse then acknowledges that the same power that raised Jesus from the grave "now works in us to powerfully save!" We will take great joy as we "join the chorus" and "sing with the redeemed," singing together that "Christ is risen, He is risen, indeed!"

Be looking forward to the last Sunday of this month as well, when the Proclaim Choir from AFLBS will join in on this song and others with us as we worship together!

Listen To and Learn the Music

All of the music will be singing during this Sunday's service can be listened to and learned by visiting the Music at Living Word resource page.

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Ryan serves as Director of Worship & Creative Arts at Living Word. He is a follower of Jesus, husband, father of three, worshiper and creative.


Worship: Sundays at 9:00 AM | Christian Education: 10:30 AM