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Living Worship Series

Easter is more than just a day. It is a 50-day season that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the ways we live into that reality, just as his disciples did. The season of Easter has long been a time when newcomers to Christianity and those already on the Christian journey revisit the foundations of the faith. In other words, this is a time when people examine basic doctrines, providing, as Laurence Hull Stookey writes, “a time for both discovery and reconsideration.”[1] As a result, our resources will culminate in two four-week series—“Living” and “Loving”—that will focus upon the gospel narratives and ways to integrate these doctrinal pieces into daily Christian living. This first series begins with Easter Day, which serves as the hinge point between the Lenten and Easter series. All of the Scriptures are included for this day, but the Scripture passages for the following Sundays are all contained in the Gospel of John. The narratives are post-resurrection accounts (Week 2: Jesus and Thomas; Week 3: Breakfast with the disciples), with the exception of Week 4, in which we observe what is often referred to as “Good Shepherd” Sunday.

Living Worship Series
   April 28, 2019 – Believe in Me
   May 5, 2019 – Follow Me
   May 12, 2019 – Listen to Me
Loving Worship Series
   May 19, 2019 – Marked
   May 26, 2019 – There will be a guest speaker this Sunday
   June 2, 2019  – Sent
   June 9, 2019 –  Embodied
   June 16, 2019 – Empowered

May 19, 2019
Loving Worship Series: MARKED
This passage begins a collection of passages known as the Farewell Discourse. Jesus is preparing the disciples for a life without his physical presence. More than offering comfort, Jesus is trying to reorient them toward their mission.
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  • May 19, 2019Loving Worship Series: MARKED
    May 19, 2019
    Loving Worship Series: MARKED
    This passage begins a collection of passages known as the Farewell Discourse. Jesus is preparing the disciples for a life without his physical presence. More than offering comfort, Jesus is trying to reorient them toward their mission.
  • May 12, 2019Living Worship Series: LISTEN TO ME
    May 12, 2019
    Living Worship Series: LISTEN TO ME
    Jesus does not always answer the questions the way we want. People gather around Jesus and demand that he tell them, plainly if he is the Messiah. Jesus replies that he has already told them, but they did not believe. This might appear to be a mere “he said/they said” situation, where recall of particular events differs from person to person. However, what seems to be happening here is that those questioning Jesus are looking for a particular type of answer and Jesus is not giving it to them. It is not that Jesus has not answered the question, but Jesus did not answer the question in the way that they expected to hear it. In order to hear Jesus’ answers to our questions, we need to let go of what we want to hear and listen to what Jesus is saying.
  • May 5, 2019Living Worship Series: FOLLOW ME
    May 5, 2019
    Living Worship Series: FOLLOW ME
    In the stories of Jesus seeing his disciples after the resurrection, several times we see Jesus having conversations with his disciples without them recognizing him—at least not right away. They don’t recognize him until he does something familiar.
  • Apr 28, 2019Living Worship Series: BELIEVE IN ME
    Apr 28, 2019
    Living Worship Series: BELIEVE IN ME
    Jesus arrives among a group of disciples who are scared for their lives; they have every right to be. They saw their leader crucified and are concerned that they might be next. It is perfectly understandable for them to feel scared, anxious, and nervous—anything but peaceful.
  • Apr 21, 2019With All Your Heart Worship: Believing
    Apr 21, 2019
    With All Your Heart Worship: Believing
    On this Easter sunday celebration, Pastror David reminds the congregation that Easter is more than simply remembering an historial truth of Jesus' resurrection. The Easter story is not complete until we make it our own and we too become resurrected to new life.
  • Apr 14, 2019With All Your Heart Worship: Preparing
    Apr 14, 2019
    With All Your Heart Worship: Preparing
    The visuals for this week tend to focus on the palms from the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Many churches have palms ready to hand out with their ushers, and in Sunday School, children may be learning to fold palms into crosses. As our Preaching Writer notes, however, palms are not found in Luke’s Gospel. Instead, the visual focus is on the coats being laid down to make a path for Jesus. You can take that literally, using coats or fabric, as well as palms, on your altar today.
    Perhaps consider another bulletin insert like the stars in Lent 2. A sheet of paper with a blank drawing of a coat can be a space for people to write down what they need to lay down for the coming Holy Week. It’s an exercise in vulnerability and our ability to be vulnerable before God. What’s the last piece of armor people need to let go of in order to welcome in Christ and walk through the Holy Week with him?
  • Apr 7, 2019With All Your Heart Worship: Making A Thing New
    Apr 7, 2019
    With All Your Heart Worship: Making A Thing New
    In this week's readings, Isaiah writes of the promise of new things from the Lord, a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, all so that people might praise the Lord. What new things have sprung up in our church and community? What ministries or nonprofits act as wellsprings in the desert? In Nashville, I think of the many ministries like Room in the Inn, Open Table Nashville, or Thistle Farms. I might drape woven blankets or scarves made by women in South America or Africa, and light candles from Thistle Farms that were made by women survivors of sex trafficking. In your bulletin, highlight these pieces and tell their stories.
  • Mar 31, 2019With All Your Heart Worship: Coming Together
    Mar 31, 2019
    With All Your Heart Worship: Coming Together
    We have embarked on a “journey of the heart,” walking these Lenten days toward resurrection. Embracing transformation, new possibilities, and new life is what our journey is all about. But we still have work to do before we arrive in the garden with an empty tomb. As Easter begins to appear on the very distant horizon, we might be tempted to quicken our pace. But if we listen to the Apostle Paul, we are reminded that we still need to walk slowly and with great care. Before we can get to the new creation of Easter, we have some repair work to do within our own hearts and in our world. So far on our journey, we have traveled through fruitful fields, barren wilderness, countless stars, promises of God both large and small, and tables where all are fed. Like threads that sew together a patchwork quilt, this week we begin binding together our journey with repentance, reconciliation, and repair.
  • Mar 24, 2019With All Your Heart Worship: Repenting
    Mar 24, 2019
    With All Your Heart Worship: Repenting
    Tradition compels us to think of Lent as a time of self-denial and intense introspection and contemplation. This season sets itself apart as a time of fasting from the luxurious and indulgent. A boisterous feast at God’s table is the last thing that we would expect to see embodied in the words of our lectionary Scripture for this week.
  • Mar 10, 2019With All Your Heart Worship: God’s Generous Heart
    Mar 10, 2019
    With All Your Heart Worship: God’s Generous Heart
    As the first Sunday of Lent arrives, we find ourselves at a border with the ancient Israelites in our reading from Deuteronomy. We are standing on the edge of the wilderness, looking with great anticipation toward the Promised Land.