Peace is one of those things that each of us defines in different ways. It all depends on our situation and what anxieties we most desire relief from. The tendency, though, is to so focus on relief from our temporary troubles that we forget about the connection of peace and God.
Peace with God, peace from God, and the peace of God. Significant concepts that have huge bearing on this season and our life. This is what we focused on and encouraged people to respond to this week.
Click through to see what we did together as a church.
Our service flow was:
Took a moment to explain why we sing together and connected it with verses from Psalm 21:13 and Luke 1:68.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (Sears/Willis arr. Chapman)
Angels We Have Heard on High (French Carol arr. Chapman)
Asked people to share a favorite Christmas tradition.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (Wesley/Prichard arr. Chapman)
Sing to the King (Foote/Horne)
First time doing this song with this congregation. They caught on well and were singing along by the end. I chose this to help us remember and declare that the complete fulfillment of peace will come with the return of Christ. Something that we look forward.
He is Exalted (Paris)
During the offering, we showed a video from eleven72 called Christmas:Peace on Earth. It had different people talking about their desire for peace in various situations. It was a great set up for the message.
The time of response was for people to either respond for the first time to receive peace with God through Christ or to commit to grow in living in the reality of the peace that comes from God that passes understanding even in uncertain times.
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) (Tomlin, Newton, Giglio)
O Come Let Us Adore Him (Oakley, Wade, Bryant, Redman)
Close: Romans 15:13
- I will admit that this week was better than the previous week; at least it felt that way to me. Perhaps that had more to do with me than anything else, though. Still working on establishing connection and relationship, though. Just don’t feel we’re all on the same page quite yet.
- The singing/participation at the service started kind of rough. Some of that could be due to a word discrepancy on the screen that I was told about. I’ll have to do a better job confirming words. But, but the end of the service, people were really engaging together.
- While I am glad to be able to lead the church in traditional Christmas carols as part of congregational worship, I will admit it is harder to maintain eye contact with the congregation while I’m playing them. The constant chord changes tend to mean my eyes are on my music more than on the congregation.
- I continue to ask the Lord to create hungering and worshiping hearts in our church. I hope that I am faithfully reminding people of and pointing them toward our great Savior. I hope, too, that He continues to help us in developing relationships and leading in this setting effectively.