Pastoral Series - Worship Matters

Worship Matters: Mobile sanctuaries

  God loves food. Any time we eat, we are fulfilling God’s plan. God created the earth with a built in possibility for fertility. The human mind was fashioned with an innate creativity that figured out, with no written instructions from the creator, how to pick, prepare, cook, and even garnish the things that grew….

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Worship Matters: The Ones in Robes

   Organizations have to have leaders. Someone directs the organization. He’s the boss. She’s the CEO. He calls the meeting to order. She gets elected President of the board. Church has lots of leaders. The finance committee has a chairperson. A Sunday School class has its President. But the clergy? It’s the same, but pretty…

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Worship Matters: Baptism

   In The Lion King, the newborn Simba was anointed with coconut juice, and then raised high in the arms of Rafiki at the pinnacle of Pride Rock, to the acclamation of all the creatures of the jungle (with everyone singing “The Circle of Life”). Jesus, like all Jewish boys, was circumcised on his eighth…

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Worship Matters: Creed

   Many Christians have stood on cue in worship to repeat the Apostles’ Creed, words they learned years ago, but have never thought much about them. Some churches have decided that the words of the creed do not appeal to modern consumers; so, more and more churches leave the creed out of worship, finding it…

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Worship Matters: Sermons

   What is a sermon? We’ve heard lectures and watched TED talks. But there is some strangeness, an inadequacy, even the impossibility that in the sermon, the talker dares to speak for God, and the listeners are just daffy enough to think that through the preacher’s words they might actually hear what God is saying…

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Worship Matters: Gathering

   Sunday morning. You get out of bed. You go. God can meet you in your bed if you don’t get up, but there’s something about the movement, the effort, the commitment. And you never know whom you’ll run into there, either. God wants us to know each other – as if in knowing others,…

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Worship Matters: Gathering

   Sunday morning. You get out of bed. You go. God can meet you in your bed if you don’t get up, but there’s something about the movement, the effort, the commitment. And you never know whom you’ll run into there, either. God wants us to know each other – as if in knowing others,…

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Worship Matters: Confession

   For centuries, the biggest single reason Christians came to worship was to be assured they had secured remission for their sins. Nowadays, when we have lost our sense of sin, or think of sin as something that’s wrong with somebody else, worship has become less about insuring forgiveness and more about being entertained, pleased,…

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Worship Matters: Church Clothes

   When I was a little boy, my grandparents spoke of “church clothes.” As it was summer time, and that meant a jacket, a buttoned up shirt and a tie, I was not thrilled. What do we wear to church? And why? What do we wear the rest of the week? And why? In my…

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Worship Matters: a Second Mountain

   What does Worship ask of us? I have for a long time appreciated David Brooks. I’ve gotten to have dinner with him a couple of times, and have found him to be a genuine, humble, thoughtful, brilliant person. In his latest book, The Second Mountain, he says amazing stuff about people, like so many…

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