Tag Archives: Sunday Morning Worship

Sunday Morning Preview — April 29, 2018

28 Apr

Tomorrow morning’s worship service will begin with one of the highlights of any service: Baptism!

We baptize those who profess faith in Christ as a symbol of their new life in Christ and their desire to follow Him.

The Children’s Choir will follow the baptism with a Call to Worship. Some may wonder at whether it is wise to have the children sing in such a setting. What if they don’t understand what they are singing? What if they get a performance mindset? These are legitimate concerns. Parents should talk with their children about why they are singing and what they are singing about when they sing. At the same time, there can be great blessing through singing as children learn that they can share a message about Jesus with others. Children can learn by being in front of others to live with boldness rather than timidity. In addition, we as adults can often be humbled by the enthusiasm and energy of children for the things of God.

After a piano Offertory, we will say together our Church Verses for Meditation.

This week is the week we will try to say Romans 12:1-2 from memory. Just in case you need one more chance to review, here are the verses . . .

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Following the recitation of these verses, we will sing a Congregational Hymn.

This week we will be singing the old spiritual, #156 Were You There? Once again we visit the themes of the gospel: the cross and the empty tomb.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when he rose up from the dead?
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?
Sometimes I feel like shouting ‘Glory, glory, glory!’*
Were you there when he rose up from the dead? 

*The Baptist Hymnal retains the line from the other verses, “Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.”

There are two unique things about this hymn. First, it is a spiritual which found wide usage among African-Americans in the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War. So this was a song of an oppressed people identifying their suffering with the suffering of their Savior. As such, the original version of the hymn had no last verses about being laid in the tomb and about the resurrection. Instead there were two other verses. One was “Were you there when they pierced Him in the side.” The other was the final verse of the hymn originally, “Were you there when the sun refused to shine?” The original hymn left singers pondering the suffering of the Savior (even as they likely pondered their own suffering) but not His glory. This is not wrong. A song does not have to cover every aspect of Christ’s work to be a good song. Some can focus on the sufferings of Christ, others on the glory, some can tell the whole story. As churches sing widely through the hymnal and other sources a full theological picture emerges through congregational singing.

Following the Hymn, we move to a time of Prayer. We don’t want prayer to be a perfunctory part of the service at the beginning and end, we want prayer to be the lifeblood of our church’s worship. Thus we meet at 9am in the choir room to pray each week for the service. And we linger in prayer during the service, in the hopes that we will all learn to pray more deeply on a personal level and that we will be moved to join our hearts together that our hearts might be knit to the heart of God.

The Choral Offering will follow the Prayer. This week the choir is singing, Here I Am Lord. This is a pretty melody with meaningful words about drawing near to God loosely based on the prophet Isaiah’s encounter with God in Isaiah 6.

Following the Choral Offering will be this morning’s Sermon. We will be looking at 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 as a conclusion to our “Arise and Go” Evangelism Conference. Here is the text for tomorrow’s message . . .

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

After the sermon, we will sing the great Hymn #141 The Old Rugged Cross.

George Bennard, an American who lived in the Midwest in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, composed many hymns, but this is his most famous. That we would cherish and cling to the old rugged cross, this is our prayer as the service draws to a close.

Our Benediction tomorrow will be Galatians 6:14 “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. May we go out in that spirit into the coming week.

“Lord, bless our gathering tomorrow. Use it as an exclamation point to a week lived for you and for a launching pad into a new week of serving you. Let the service bring you glory in every way. We pray you would be central to every action and you would be at the center of every heart.  We can make plans but we ask you to direct our steps. Use your Word to bring change and comfort and strength to your people. Open the eyes of those who don’t know you and be honored in everything we pray, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Preview 4.15.18

14 Apr

As we prepare for our morning worship service tomorrow at 10:30am, I wanted to share with you our order of service and make a few comments on the various elements of the service. I hope you will come join us if you are in the Hickory, NC area and are not an active member of another local church (www.westhickorybaptist.org).

Sunday Morning Worship — April 15, 2018

Prelude   — will be followed by a welcome and a few announcements from Pastor Dickerson.

Call to Worship #173 — Christ is Alive

Our service today will bring us back to Easter, since there is a sense in which every Sunday and every day is a Resurrection Sunday. Two of our three congregational hymns this morning will be oriented toward the resurrection with our final hymn turning our minds back to the cross.

Here are the lyrics to Christ is Alive

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
The cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring.
Love, drowned in death, shall never die.

Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
but saving, healing, here and now,
and touching every place and time.

In every insult, rift and war,
where color, scorn or wealth divide,
Christ suffers still, yet loves the more,
and lives, where even hope has died.

Women and men, in age and youth,
can feel the Spirit, hear the call,
and find the way, the life, the truth,
revealed in Jesus, freed for all.

Christ is alive, and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring
with joy, with justice, love and praise.

(Lyrics by Brian Wren)

After a piano offertory, we will speak together our church memory verses for April – Romans 12:1-2

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We plan after speaking our memory verses together to sing a classic hymn #407, Because He Lives . . .

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives
!

Chorus

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

(Lyrics by Gloria and Bill Gaither)
After our hymn we will hear a word of testimony from Steve Workman of the Christian Community Outreach Ministry (CCOM). Steve is a godly man with a passion to share the gospel and care for our community. You will be blessed hearing from Steve and learning more about the work of CCOM.

Our choral offering is the song In the Presence of Jehovah. We don’t just affirm Jesus’ resurrection and cross, we also affirm that this dying and rising has brought us into the very presence of God, tearing down the wall of separation our sin had raised between us and God.

In and out of situations
that tug of war at me,
All day long I struggle
for the answers that I need.
But when I come into His presence
All my questions become clear,
And in that sacred moment
No doubts can interfere.

Chorus:
In the presence of Jehovah,
God Almighty, Prince of Peace,
Troubles vanish, hearts are mended,
In the presence of the King.

Through His love the Lord provided
A place for us to rest,
A place to find the answers,
In our hour of distress.
Now there’s never any reason
For you to give up in despair;
Just slip away and breathe His name,
You will surely find Him there.

Music and Lyrics by Becky Davis and Geron Davis

Our sermon from Pastor Frady tomorrow will cover the entire book of Romans as we look at the world-changing message of Jesus Christ in Paul’s great letter to the Romans. The message has two points . . .

I. The ARGUMENT of Romans.

II. The APPLICATIONS of Romans.

Our closing song will be #144 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. I once heard this was a favorite hymn of Martin Luther King, Jr. This great Isaac Watts hymn has more verses than what we find in our hymnal. I am going to share all the verses below, noting the verses not in our hymnal with an asterisk.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.*

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

To Christ, Who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.*

When it comes to the closing hymn, we invite anyone who would be helped by coming to the front to pray to do so. We also invite those in need of someone to pray with them to come pray with a pastor. In the end, we do not believe anyone is saved by walking an aisle but we also believe that any time the Word of God is preached it calls for response. That response may be in the heart right in the pew or by coming forward. Hopefully the greatest effect of the service is seen in our lives from Sunday to Sunday.

It is interesting to note that all the songs we are singing tomorrow are directed toward one another. Most songs we sing in church are either addressed to God or to one another. It is appropriate on a day when the sermon focuses on the gospel and we hear a testimony of community outreach that our songs are songs we sing to encourage one another about the work of Christ in the gospel. It is also interesting to note that the last two hymns we will sing are individual songs that we are singing in the congregation. So though we are singing the songs together, we are affirming individually the truths of each song.  “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow . . . ” and “When I survey the wondrous cross . . .”

Our benediction is a time to summarize the morning and briefly invite the church to other events of the week. Tomorrow’s benediction will be from 1 Corinthians 15:58 . . .

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

We are far from perfect. We know Christians have differing convictions about how worship should look when we gather together. This article is just intended to give you a little help in preparing your heart for worship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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