New to Living Word?  Learn More

Preparing for Corporate Worship - September 10, 2017

Written By Ryan Egan on 09/07/2017 | Posted in Congregational LifeWorship

This Sunday we begin a new season at Living Word. Sunday School will resume for all ages, including adult Christian Education. As well, we will kickoff a new sermon series on Biblical stewardship. It's going to be a great Sunday and we're excited to come together as a church family to worship our Living God!

Fall Kickoff and Biblical Stewardship

Let's take a look at the elements of the service that will be in our upcoming service together.

Call to Worship

This week we will call our hearts and minds to worship using the beautiful text of Psalm 103. This will also serve to "bookend" our service, as the final hymn of the service is an adaptation of this Psalm. The text begins with David urging himself to "Bless the Lord...and forget not all his benefits." This line from verse two is especially fitting as we will be focusing on the idea that God has made us "richer than we can imagine." David goes on to list these benefits, from God's mercy and forgiveness to His character as Sovereign Ruler over the earth. The Psalm ends with an exhortation to "his angels...his hosts, his ministers, and all his works" to again "Bless the Lord."

Songs of Praise

In this mindset, then, we will sing together 'Come, Christians, Join to Sing,' a hymn of invitation to each other to bless the Lord for who He is and what He has done. Following this, we'll sing 'This is Amazing Grace,' further proclaiming who God is and the vastness of His grace and mercy.

Confession of Sin

After we've invited each other to worship and considered God's character, that leaves us to reflect on who we are in comparison to who He is. We confess, or agree, that we are sinful by nature, and in need of forgiveness.

Assurance of Pardon

Because we never want to leave people in the guilt and shame of their sin, proclamation of God's grace is given each Sunday. We delight in this part of the service, making sure that each one in the congregation understands that the sin we have just confessed is completely forgiven. This Sunday we cement that thought home as we sing the chorus of "Jesus, Thank You" declaring that we are no longer enemies of God but are now seated at His table. What a beautiful picture and promise!

Confession of Faith

As we often do, we confess together the Apostles' Creed. This is not a time for simply reciting these words but declaring them, as the Church has done for hundreds upon hundreds of years. These words remind us of what we believe and define us by their truths.

Installation of Sunday School Teachers

With a new Sunday School year comes new (and repeat!) Sunday School teachers. It's important for us to stop and reflect on how important their role is in our congregation and will take a few minutes to consecrate their roles that will take place over the next school year.

Welcome and Announcements

This portion of the worship service helps us to apply the words of the writer of Hebrews: "Do not neglect meeting together as is the habit of some, but encourage each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Let this time of hearing what's happening inside and outside of our church but an encouragement to you.

Tithes and Offerings

God has blessed us so richly. As we take a look at Biblical stewardship we will begin to see this even more clearly. During this special sermon series I wanted to have a way to expand on the concept that stewardship of what God has given us goes far deeper than just money.

Just a few years ago, Jeremy Erickson, a well-known and prolific writer in our church body passed away. Before he did, however, his good friends were able to release a posthumous album of his project: A Lutheran Liturgy. In this project he takes the familiar Concordia 2 order of service and gives the liturgy a modern twist. Apart from his musical adaptations, Jeremy also added many very interesting and poignant lyrics to the songs.

One song in particular, "Give," is an expansion of the traditional "We Give Thee But Thine Own." This is one of my favorites on the album as it expands the thought of stewardship How's text original touches on. Jeremy hints that we tend to grasp things tightly and hold on to them. Not just money, but our "sons and daughters, houses and homes...mothers and fathers, pockets and poems." From our family to our money to our contributions to society, we want to have a tight grasp on them. But it's far better to let go, to change "from grasping to giving" as Jeremy sings.

We will singing this during the offering throughout the series as well as ending it with the traditional version of the hymn. Let the words penetrate this portion of the service and help understand that worshiping with our "tithes and offerings" goes far deeper than putting money in the plate.

As a side note, I'd highly encourage you to check out the entire album. First, because it's really good. Secondly, if you purchase it, you directly support the Erickson family, a mom and three boys. While they are doing remarkably well without Jeremy, any support you can give them would go a long way.

Prayer

We spend time in prayer for various members, friends, and family members of the congregation. This is a beautiful time of worship, bringing requests before God for those who need it.

Presentation of Bibles

Each year when we kickoff Sunday School we present Bibles to our 2nd and 6th graders. We'll spend this portion of the service, right before the Scripture readings, with this special time.

Scripture Readings

Each week we are sure to give time to proclaiming Scripture publicly. Not just during the message, but throughout the service and specifically in this portion of it. Let God's word speak richly and clearly to you.

Message

We're excited to take a look at the book of Ephesians as Pastor Kirk brings a message titled "You Are Richer Than You Imagine"

Sending

As I mentioned before, our service will begin and end with the words of Psalm 103. This time, as an adaptation of the text, we will sing the beautiful hymn, "Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven." This particular arrangement has an interesting story and history behind it. I'd encourage you to visit the blog of Jamie Brown (the arranger) to learn how it came about.

And, as always, let the "good word" of the benediction wash over you and encourage you as we are sent from the service.

See you Sunday!

Listen to and Learn the Music for Sunday

As we regularly do, we have posted the music for this Sunday's service on our music resource page for you to listen to and learn.


Enjoy this content? Share it!


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

I cannot get enough of the @forestry 'Awakened To The Sound' album. Seriously incredible. And an instrumental version to boot!

Posted on 08/31/2017