Sunday, March 16, 2008

New Hope At Worship - 16 March 2008

Palm Sunday 2008. I continued in the "Red Letters" series into Matthew 9 - Matthew's favorite Day.

All Glory Laud and Honor - call to worship
(Kids brought "palm fronds" down the aisle.

Worship set:
Forever - Tomlin
Blessed Be the Name - Redman

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Grace Flows Down

Just As I Am

We had a special piano piece by Jaime and an offertory by Juliet. I'm thrilled to have youth helping lead us in worship.

Matthew 9: 9-13

In order to help people put themselves into the passage, I used folding chairs and sheets of paper taped to them with a description of a person on each. I lined the chairs up with Jesus on one end, and then asked for help in placing people in relation to their closeness to Jesus. I got some help, finally and moved some people. Then got a little more. Then I added some more information about the people. More changes. Bottom line, every single one of them found Jesus.

Tonight was the last of our Lenten Sunday Night worship gatherings. I have really enjoyed trying out a more participatory format, with greater intimacy.


Worship Theme: “Fellowship of Suffering”

Opening Prayer

Intro: “VIDEO: How Beautiful”

Reading : 1 But, oh, how few believe it! Who will listen? To whom will God reveal his saving power? 2 In God's eyes he was like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. But in our eyes there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want him. 3 We despised him and rejected him--a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn't care. 4 Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! 5 But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed--and we were healed! 6 We--every one of us--have strayed away like sheep! We, who left God's paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us! Isaiah 53:1-6 (TLB)

Jesus died for us, and because of the cross there are new truths in our lives. Because of the cross we have access to the father.

Reading: 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross. 21 This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, 22 yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. 23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. Col 1:19-23 (NLT)

Video: Mighty Is the Power of the Cross

Because of the cross we have access to God, because of the cross we can make our requests known to him

15 So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family —calling him "Father, dear Father." 16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children. 17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures—for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:15-17 (NLT)

Prayer Needs: At this time, if you have a prayer need, would you stand. Those of you who do not, would you please pray for those who do. You may wish to go and put a hand on their shoulder as you pray.

(This was AWESOME! To see the whole group gathered around laying hands on and praying for those who had stood was very moving.)

Video: Someone’s Praying (Ricky Scaggs)

Reading: Revelation 21:3-4;
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever." Rev 21:3-4 (NLT)

One day we won't have prayer anymore because of the cross we will be with God in heaven. One day there will be no more pain, no more loss. Because of the cross we will stand before God. I can only imagine.

VIDEO: I Can Only Imagine

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. 1 John 4:16a (NIV).

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