Worship Teaching, November 21, 2009

The Year of Living Liturgically
In 2010, Canton Adventist is going to arrange its life around the rhythm of the Christian year.  Why?
  1. Too often, churches can be at the mercy of their pastor’s whims and hobby horses in what is prepared for the worship teaching.  Often, people don’t receive exposure to a broad range of scripture, but are limited to a certain range of verses/passages/topics that fit with the pastor’s or the church’s agenda.  By submitting to a calendar that dictates the thematic time of year and a limited selection of scriptures to work from, the pastor (in this case, me) is forced to wrestle with passages that are not part of his wheelhouse.  It is a good discipline for the pastor and a refreshing change of pace for those listening to his/her teaching on a week-in/week-out basis
  2. The great thing about the Christian year is that it is arranged to tell a story.  Each year, it follows the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection and then tells the story of what happens after he departs and gives the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Rather than going from topic to topic, by living in the story of Jesus, you get a greater sense of what following him is really all about.  And it also reminds us who are participating in the Christian year that we are also a part of the story of Jesus.  We are his followers, we are receptors of his spirit, we are part of his mission to the world and we are part of the redeemed

So we’ll follow the year as oulined in the Revised Common Lectionary and journey through the seasons of Advent (which begins Saturday, November 28), Christmas, the Ordinary Time following Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and the Ordinary Time following Pentecost.  You will hear scripture readings and prayers that flow out of the time of the year, teachings that are anchored in the story of Jesus and his followers and see colors in our worship space change to reflect the season of the year. 

Too often in our personal relationships with God, we can be the ones to ask/tell God what we need from him or what we want him to do.  Our prayers can be driven by our personal agendas rather than seeking to know his plan for our lives.  Our God is a gracious God and receives us with our agendas and works with us where we are.  But what if we began to discipline our lives where we don’t start with our needs and wants but rather let God get the first word?  If you so desire, you can submit yourself to the same discipline to which Canton Adventist is submitting by incorporating the Christian year into your daily journey with God by following scripture readings that are tied to the season.  Visit Devotions and Readings where you can sign up to receive the scriptures for your personal times each day of the year. 

These next twelve months can be a time where we humbly set aside our agenda with God and let him have the first word.  Tell me what you think

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