Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Easter that Was

This past weekend I had the privilege of planning and leading the worship/music at our church.  There were alot of exciting events that happened in the last week of planning of such. Mostly it was a lot of re-learning life lesson 147: no matter how well you plan things you can't control everything.

The good thing about that was that it was very easy to attribute any and all good things that came out of that weekend to the grace and mercy of God.  And I'm proud to say that the team wasn't just good - they were amazing.  It's quite something to see that level of service and dedication rise to the surface when you have to humbly ask your team to embrace plan...g, or h - I can't even remember what plan we were on by the time practice rolled around on Thursday.  So it was good.

Weeks ago, when I started planning and praying about the set I was looking over things and asking God to help me put together something that would lead to true worship and encourage people wherever they were at in their lives that Easter morning.   I have yet to receive a direct message from the Lord when I'm planning but I did get a real peace over a theme that emerged:

It's Friday night for a lot of people - but take heart, Sunday is coming!

That is good news, isn't it?

I tried something different this week and actually wrote out and rehearsed my "call to worship". While I often have an idea of what I want to say or a scripture I want to share I haven't planned it like that before. I was worried that it would seem fake or lacking authenticity, as though awkward pauses, saying "um, know?" and wandering down rabbit trails that don't matter is helpful to leading well.

It actually helped me be more clear and I think I communicated better with our congregation, and that's always a good thing. Turns out those worship leaders who recommend the practice know what they're talking about.  There's a difference between winging it and letting the Holy Spirit lead :)

Here is the call to worship I shared with our congregation at the beginning of the service and the songs that we sang together. And I might have added a few more Amen?'s and left the page a few times, cause I just can't help myself, but this is basically it  It still encourages me today when I read it - truth is like that I think.  It always leads to hope when spoken in love.

He is Risen!

And that is why we are celebrating this morning.  Resurrection Sunday is what makes Good Friday good.  We serve a risen Savior.  And it’s right to remind one another of that because even today, many of us know people, or perhaps we are personally in the middle of  Friday night – life has just not turned out as planned and it’s hard.

We come together today to share our burdens with one another and remind each other of the Hope we have in Jesus because of this truth:  WE know the ending – because HE is Risen.

On the cross when He said “It is Finished” Jesus put everything that would try and exalt itself above God on notice.  Sin, Death and Brokenness do not get the last word.  

It. Is. Finished.  

Lets encourage one another as we sing and rejoice together through our worship service this Resurrection Sunday.

Let’s pray together:

God we thank you for the sacrifice of your son and for the eternal freedom it bought for us.  I pray our hearts will sense that victory and know that even in our darkest moments, you are with us, you are holding us up and that you have the last word.  You are worthy of all praise.  Thank you Jesus that because of your love you willingly paid for our sin with your very life.  We give you all that we are in return.  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

He is Risen!

If you happen to listen to all of these songs - imagine a really great acoustic version of each one - that's what we pulled off this weekend :) We rocked the djembe and acoustic guitar like nobody's business, because that's what you do with plan j..k...lmnop :)

Joyful/ The One Who Saves by Brenton Brown

Call to Worship

Up From the Grave He Arose by Robert Lowry
Alive in Us by Reuben Morgan & Jason Ingram
Jesus Our Redeemer by Chad Langerud (our worship pastor!, such a great guy and an even greater song)
Hosanna by Brooke Fraser
Cornerstone by Edward Mote, Eric Liljero, Jonas Myrin, & Reuben Morgan

Special Music:
Victor's Crown.  This song took my breath away the moment I heard it and it took an incredible amount of practice and listening to be able to get through it - such a powerful song!

How Deep the Father's Love for Us by Stuart Townsend

And that was Easter 2013.  God was there, like he always is. More than ever it was apparent that in our weakness He is strong.

Thanks to my friends who prayed like never before when everything seemed to be falling apart!  Thanks to God for choosing to take away the brutal cold that hit me on Friday - everyone else in the house had had it, so I know how it was "supposed" to go, but thanks to my lovely, faithful prayer warriors and God's grace I woke up on Saturday absolutely healed so that I could pour everything I had into serving at church on Sunday.

If anyone from our team last weekend or the worship choir happens to read this.  Thank you!  You were amazing, I was absolutely blessed by your sacrifice, service and talent this weekend.  It is such an amazing privilege to serve God alongside you!

It was a great Easter weekend! How was yours?

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