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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mark 16:1-8 (Pt. 2)  Thought/Prayer:  New Stuff in Worship?  Topics:  2 at end.

“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back. Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. He said to them, “Don’t be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.’” They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid.”  WEY (Read this scripture and more at

As part of an effort to make church services more “user friendly,” sometimes there are changes made to traditional services, changes that may seem lacking in the old meanings with which lots of people have grown up.  This may bring about some resistance to these changes.  One area of resistance may show up in the musical selections chosen.

If an Easter service incorporates some of these changes, perhaps omitting the old faithfuls in song, there may be some people who go away feeling a bit let down that some of the meaning had been stolen away from the service.  This is understandable:  we all have our favorite ways of worshipping.  But, when we examine it, perhaps there are good reasons for these changes.  (Maybe we can be open enough to at least consider the benefit of some change.)

Perhaps we can consider it in the context of culture.  Cultures around the world celebrate Easter according to the prevalent way of worshipping.  Some is stately and refined; some is loud and colorful; some is filled with dancing; some would never ever consider dance as an expression of faith’s joy.  Just how far can these changes go anyway!

So what should be the central force in an Easter worship service?  Easy answer:  Easter.  That time of new beginnings, in the springtime, when the natural world is celebrating new life as well as the spiritual realm.  The message of Easter – God’s love reaching down, reaching to give us new life through faith in Christ:  this is all that is really essentially required.  If this is in any worship service on Easter Sunday, it is enough.  But, you say, if what is familiar is not included, how can a service be effective? 

It is hard to say.  But, because of the different stories of people who are in an Easter service, may we not leave it up to the Lord to speak to hearts within all of those there?  Songs or no songs at all:  If the message is there, God will do the calling out.  He has the gifts it takes to do this.  He knows how the hearts present will respond. 

Lord, let us all be willing to open our hearts, no matter the form of any Easter worship service.  YOU just do the work, God.  And help us to remember those “someones” who are present who may just respond to some new music by some new singer yet unbeknownst to any of us!

Topics:  Pray for graciousness in worship at any point in time, to be able to worship – no matter the format.  Ask the Lord to lead us to people who need pro-LIFE counsel – that they might be in a worship service next Easter!
40 Days for Life

Posted by Gail Richardson on 04/22 at 06:00 AM
Daily Scripture and PrayerPermalink
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