Archives For December 2011

Once every 5-6 years (depending on how leap years fall) Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. This year (2011) was one of those years. Our church chose to focus on a Christmas morning service this year instead of a Christmas Eve service.

As we gathered, we not only celebrated the birth of our Savior, but wrapped up our Advent series where we have been focusing on some of the things that came because of Christ’s birth. The final element was the coming of light that shined into the darkness of the world. Jesus lived a life of light. In fact, if you stop and think about it, it seems that the light of Jesus was noticed much more when we was doing the things of God as opposed to not doing the things of the world. That concept has great implications for us.

The Light of the world was born so that we could see the way back to God and become lights ourselves.

Here’s how we took time to remember and celebrate that: Continue Reading…

Worshiping Together: 12/24/11

Chris  —  December 26, 2011 — 5 Comments

Christmas is a time for remembering the coming of Emmanuel – God with us. When the Light of the world shone into the darkness with hope, love, joy, and peace. God gave to mankind the ultimate expression of love, His Son, in an act of mystery and wonder.

One of my favorite services to be a part of each year is the Christmas Eve service. To be able to gather, remember, and celebrate the light of hope coming into the world through Scripture, music, and the sharing of candlelight is a wonderful time.

My church chose to focus on doing a Christmas morning service, so I had the privilege this year of joining with our sister campus in the next town over for two services. Our focus was to capture a bit of a liturgical feel in the midst of the mystery and wonder. One of the services was at 11pm, and we wanted to combine elements of the midnight mass with our more contemporary style.

Here is what we did together on Christmas Eve: Continue Reading…

The end of 2011 is coming quickly.

As I look back over the past year, I’ve experienced a lot of change and transition. Leaving Wyoming, living for a while in Ohio, and now settling into a new phase of life in Alabama.

Throughout the time, I’ve continued to maintain Journey of Worship, hopefully providing valuable content at times and at other times stuff that’s enjoyable and encouraging.

I appreciate all of you who have faithfully been reading these thoughts and experiences. I hope they have been encouraging, helpful, and insightful. I also am thankful for those who have left a comment at one time or another. Although, I will say it would be great to receive more real comments than spam comments.

I’ve been doing this since the spring of 2009, and each year I’ve continued to refine and evaluate what goes into this blog. Continue Reading…

There is no lack of creative worship expressions based around the Christmas story available for us.

No matter your opinion on the longevity and continued expression of puppets, this is pretty cool.

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody has been reworked to tell the Christmas story events and significance through this creative expression.

The musical performance is well done, and the folks doing the puppets do a good job, too. A touch campy, yet draws you in at the same time.

Take a look at this and be inspired.

How could you tell the wonder and excitement of Christmas in a fresh way with classic elements?

(Thanks, Musicademy)

On a silent night some 2000 years ago, a proclamation was made. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah” (Luke 2:11). And with that proclamation came the celebration and rejoicing of the birth of Emmanuel. God was with us.

Because God the Son came and walked this earth, we have great reason to be joyful in this life. Joy is often misunderstood, and people often look for joy in the wrong places. But when we remember where true joy comes from (Jesus, the strength of the Lord, etc) and give our life fully to this truth, joy is ours.

This week, we looked at how joy came because of Christ, is found in Christ, and is fulfilled in all that Christ did.

Here’s how we worshiped together this week: Continue Reading…

Winter Snow

Chris  —  December 16, 2011 — Leave a comment

Most of my life has been spent in places where it snows during the winter.

There’s something about a covering of white clinging to the trees and blanketing the ground.

It’s clean, it’s peaceful, and it’s calm.

For each of us, the image or experience of snow like this can bring many thoughts and memories to our minds. Continue Reading…

What would happen if you were sitting in your office one day, minding your own business and working, when you suddenly received some amazing news?

That’s exactly what happened to the shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem on a clear night about 2 centuries ago.

The Bible tells us that there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified (Luke 2:8-9).

And with those verses begins the familiar shepherds and angels portion of the Christmas story.

But, the shepherds are more than just the first people the birth of Jesus was announced to.

The shepherds were also worshipers.

Their story can teach us about worship. Continue Reading…

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