Worship Companion – January 24 2021

We’re on a new adventure together!
 

Title: Moses Viewing the Promised Land Date: 1846 Artist: Church, Frederic Edwin, 1826-1900

 
 
Anchor Passages:
Proverbs 28:19
1 Corinthains 3:1-9
 
We all need to find our rhythm, right?
Spiritual rhythms or disciplines are all about helping us develop an attitude of openness toward God. These rhythms help keep our ears and eyes sharp and our heart sensitive for the leading of the Holy Spirit. I can’t stress this enough, though — rhythms and disciplines don’t transform us – that’s God work. These rhythms are essential for growth like water and sunlight, but as 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 says, neither we nor our “work” make any growth, that all comes from God.
 
We’ll be looking at ten rhythms and disciplines over the next 10 weeks:
1. Meditation
2. Prayer
3. Fasting
4. Study
5. Simplicity
6. Solitude
7. Submission
8. Worship
9. Service
10. Confession
 
This week we begin with meditation. This is likely the most feared of the disciplines because many ungodly forms of it are popular right now. We’ll be looking together at true meditation. It is a common practice for biblical writers to talk about, but we are often hesitant to dwell on these passages for fear of confusion with other religion’s practices.
 
As always, its best to know the real thing so that you can recognize a counterfeit!
 
 
 
The Theme in Art:
 

Title: Potato Planters
Date: 1861
Artist: Millet, Jean Fran├žois, 1814-1875

 
The above painting could certainly involve meditation – who knows what these two field workers are pondering as they rhythmically plant potatoes? In fact, the mundane practices of our days can be the best arable land to practice new spiritual rhythms. The point of pondering this painting today is to emphasize the importance of practicing any of the disciplines we’ll be looking at. Just like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, the work we do is important for the cultivation of spiritual growth in ourselves and others, but God is the one who causes the growth. These rhythms we are working on are like learning how to plant the potatoes well – we learn the rhythm, it becomes second nature to us, but the growth that follows is all a gift from God. Working on these rhythms is important, since like all things in life, poor work most likely leads to poor results (Proverbs 28:19). My hope is that over the next 10 weeks, we’re going to become better spiritual potato planters together!
 
 
The Theme for Kids:
 
One of the benefits of building good spiritual rhythms is developing the ability to listen when God he is speaking any time, any where. It takes practice, but as the chorus says, we need to learn to stop all our busyness and listen to the Lord! Good spiritual rhythms help us learn to do that, and its not just for kids!
 

 
Looking for some help?
Here is a short Mediation Help resource from our sermon this week:
 
 


Worship Companion – January 17 2021

We’re in the second half of our Getting to Know God message that is preparing us for exploring different spiritual rhythms and disciplines to help orient us toward God and his transforming work in us and through us to the world.
 

Mosaic in the “Hagia Sophia”

 
 


Worship Companion – January 10 2021

Big Question: What is God like?
 
It seems like an impossibly huge question to answer – but its one to which the Scriptures are constantly providing us answers in the form glances and partial views– at least, that is, until we meet Jesus the Christ.
 
See the source image
 
Theme: Keeping our Eyes Fixed on God Read more


Worship Companion – January 3 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
 
 
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees about what this year will hold either. In fact, we can be sure of precisely none of the details. God never actually promises that things in this life will be fine, and troublingly, assures the opposite. Jesus, in John’s account of the Gospel, says “In this world you will have trouble.” This could be disheartening, but he doesn’t stop there, he adds, “Take Heart! I have overcome the world.”


Worship Companion – December 20 2020

Christmas is almost upon us!
As the Charlie Brown Christmas Special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” reminds us, its very easy to get caught up in all the “commercialism” of the Christmas season. When Charles Shultz wrote that story in 1965, he had no idea to what magnitude the tidal wave of commercialism would grow. We live in new heights of commercial sell-out to Christmas, and if you don’t like this, please remember the problem isn’t just with “them” its with **us**, too.
 


Worship Companion – December 13 2020

Three weeks strong into Advent and we’re just scratching the surface of this season of hope and light!
 
Anchor Verses:
 
Can you find the thread linking these anchor passages together? 
I’ll give you a moment to read them, and try to answer that question.
 

“New Song” – Unknown Artist c. 12th century

 


Worship Companion – December 6 2020

It’s Advent!
 
We took the week off last week, but I hope you’re ready to dive into week two of Advent together! First, it’s also good to be on the same page about what we’re doing in Advent – what is this season about any way?
The general idea is that Advent is all about the “COMING” of God. People had a lot of different expectations of what that would look like 2000 years ago when God came to Earth, and no one predicted it happening quite like it did. 


Worship Companion – November 22 2020

The Good Shepherd.

“Shepherd” Samuel Palmer, 1827

This week we’re finishing up our series called “Faithful Then, Faithful Now.” We’ve covered a lot of ground in this series, ranging the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation to see how God has been at work in the world and how He continues to act today.
 


Worship Companion – November 15 2020

Is God Faithful today? YES! But How? What does his faithfulness look like? In the Old Testament, his faithfulness was tied to the Throne of David an God’s presence in the Temple. Last week we learned that the physical stone Temple is not the focus any longer, instead the people of God are the temple and God dwells in US. But what about the throne of David…
 


Worship Companion – November 8 2020

We’re back!
Last week was the perfect interlude to our series on “Faithful Then, Faithful Now” in which we are looking at stories of God’s faithfulness throughout the past and right up to the present day.
 

“Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”
Martin Luther King