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Showing posts from August, 2014

The center of faith

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And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Chances are pretty good that you've heard the above passage at some point.  Chances are more than pretty good that it was at a wedding.  I think 1 Corinthians has occupied the number one most requested Bible passage for wedding now for decades.  It is the crowd favorite.  And because of the setting, it is easy to miss that middle word, "hope".  When in the world did "hope" come into play?  When was the last time the minister at a wedding went off on a tangent about "hope" being an important ingredient in marriage?  Forgiveness, you bet.  That is a daily need in a relationship.  Love, well duh, why else get married?  Yet, hope not only under-girds our relationships; but ultimately our connection with God.  Hope is the chewy, caramel center of the faith candy bar.  
Wait...you might say...shouldn't that be love?  After all, Paul says above the love…

But WHY do we worship?

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This is the third, and final, post about worship.  And our focus question is, why gather at all?  I suspect we have all heard someone say, "Oh, I can worship God in nature...or on the golf course." (although usually the way I heard God's name evoked in that particular setting does not seem very worshipful).  So why get together?  I recently heard Brian McLaren say that, "It is not as though God every seven days goes itching for an prelude."  Or a sermon either, I might add.  
I think part of the problem is that we think worship is only about at God.  But in some ways, worship is also about the participates.  Worship says a lot more about us and our understanding of who God is.  Consider the all-too-tired-now worship wars over "contemporary" music.  I put that in quotes because this debate has been going on so long, that some of the initial music is no longer contemporary at all!  Some find it easier to worship God with drums and guitars, others with …

Divine Drama of Worship

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You arrive in the parking lot frazzled.  The morning had not gone according to your plans.  Maybe you are late because your children refused to get dressed or you got a distressing phone call or some how time just slipped away.  Now, parked out in the Boonies, you hurry trying to get to the sanctuary.

Stop for just a moment and consider the threshold of the sanctuary doors.  I know many people talk about the divide between the secular and sacred; as though the sanctuary is God's home turf and outside the four walls of the church is a playground of another sort.  But, how in the world is that in concert with Genesis 1, where God creates all that is seen and unseen?

Why does it feel like there is a gap between the world we live in Monday through Saturday and the world we enter on Sunday morning (or whenever you worship)?

One reason might be because of communal singing or organ music...not necessarily things I do on a daily basis.  Another reason are the pews...not exactly the mos…

Why we do what we do when we do it...Worship

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26 What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let them be silent in church and speak to themselves and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to someone else sitting nearby, let the first person be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets, 33 for God is a God not of disorder but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:26-32
Today is Sunday.  This morning, for a little over an hour, our church worshiped together.  We came together...as Paul says.  We sang a hymn...well actually three hymns.  But really hymns are like potato chips...you…