Monthly Archives: October 2013

When life interrupts!

There are moments, in life which define and shape. Like a birth or death, a win on the lottery, an appearance in court, a profession of adoration or distain, the birth of a child. Alongside this their are also societal moments that shape, the death of Elvis (for some), the London or American terrorist bombings, seeing the tanks and soldiers invade your neighbourhood and fearing for your country.

How we face these issues, has far reaching consequences. One reaction is to run and hide, to fear what is coming, to negate responsibility. The other extreme is to aggressively be in the face of the issue, to control it bend it to your will. There are of course lots of shades of grey in between.

It really matters how we react to those moments and there is not one answer for each opportunity. For me, I try to remember to breath, to take a moment or even two moments strung together before during and after, to think and pray and then take action. In that action, I hope God goes with me, that in the decision I make, there is grace enough and a willingness in my heart to acknowledge if I mess it up. But also enough humility, to not hold my triumphs people when I overcome or am successful.

I believe that in the life changing moment God want to speak to us, maybe not to rescue us in obvious ways, but to walk with us speaking to us about and through the situation that we might learn from it, draw wisdom, peace, maturity and ultimately freedom. A freedom and grace that only Christ can offer.

Go in peace

An Age Old Argument

Attending church today and last week in services that are seen as contemporary, I was struck by the formulaic nature of worship in these different churches, you have the cool young people up front, you have the band and screen, then opening worship, is a few well repeated Godly love songs, followed by prayer, talk and alter all and call for people to come to Jesus and then it's refreshments time. What strikes me is, that it's no less formulaic than so call traditional church with its opening hymn, prayers, hymn bible reading and hymn, sermon, hymn and close.

I find people get into all sorts of conversations, heated at times, about the formula of worship, we can get impassioned about how we do it and think our way is the best.

But could it be that church worship is more about being in a space where collectively we can meet God, and that is not down to one formula or style. The role of the facilitators of worship, is to signpost people to God, into his presence, to enable a space for the worshiper to really cast their cares onto Christ, to release the burden, to be encouraged and receive peace, hope and and love from the almighty eternal living God. Our leading or worship and pastoring of church and as well as our experience of worship, perhaps is short changed, if we think worship is just one way, one type of song, or no song, one style of preach, or no preach.

I do believe deeply in corporate worship it is vital and important, but I don't believe it has to be one way, but needs to be multi styled, not necessarily in the same service, but church should offer opportunities to worship that are as colourful as a rainbow, so many can come to Christ and not just a few.

The problem is, knowing the pattern of worship, is safe, and nice but sometimes, as we grow as disciples we need to mix it up a little, and learn to hear, experience, God in different ways, if nothing else but to appreciate how others meet with the same God, who invites us to gather and welcomes us all into eternity.


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