Movement 1: Gather
Happy Day (Tim Hughes)
Everyday (Joel Houston)
Love the Lord (Lincoln Brewster)
In this particular service we are afforded quite a bit of time for music, so we are able to develop the theme significantly through music in the Gathering section. Today we used “Happy Day” to recall and celebrate our baptism, by which we are united into Christ’s death and resurrection: “The greatest day in history/death is beaten you have rescued me/Sing it out/Jesus is alive/…/O happy day/You washed my sin away/Forever I am changed.” We didn’t do this today, but during this song we could have invited folks to come forward, dip their fingers into the baptismal font and make the sign of the cross on their forehead (or one another’s foreheads), saying “I am (You are) a baptized child of God.” Another method is for a pastor or member to walk around and “spritz” the congregation with a branch dipped in water. Good times.
This theme was extended with “Love the Lord,” a direct quotation of the text from Deuteronomy that Jesus calls the first and greatest commandment.
Movement 2: Express Need
All Who Are Thirsty (Brenton Brown/Glenn Roberts)
We introduced this song as a time of confession—of acknowledging our sin and need for God’s grace, as well as our broken world’s need for a Savior. It also continued the baptismal imagery that was a basis for the day’s theme. The prayer that finishes the song, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come/Holy Spirit Come,” led us straight into the next movement without a break.
Movement 3: Praise Christ as Fulfillment of Need
Jesus Messiah (Chris Tomlin)
Answering the cry of the previous song, we immediately sang the opening lines: “He became sin/who knew no sin/that we might become his righteousness/He humbled himself/And carried the cross/Love so amazing…” The declaration of the bridge, “All our hope is in you,” became a powerful moment of glorifying the Savior who emptied himself for us.
Movement 4: Hear God’s Word
After experiencing God’s grace through the two previous movements, we were adequately prepared to hear God’s word without a song specifically chosen for this task. The service continued straight into the reading of scripture and the sermon.
Movement 5: Respond to God’s Word
Take My Life (Havergal, Tomlin)
Today our response to the message included an opportunity to come forward and place a “time commitment card,” along with an offering, in a basket as a part of the stewardship series. “Take My Life” might be used as a sort of theme song throughout the series.
Movement 6: Receive Christ’s Presence
We Fall Down (Tomlin)
After the prayers we moved into the celebration of Holy Communion. Moving toward a more full and creative celebration of this sacrament, as reflected in my previous discussion, is still a growing edge in this context. Today with so many other things happening in the service, Communion was relatively simple. Even though it does not contain explicit Communion imagery, when used here “Enough” expressed the sufficiency of God’s grace that we receive in Christ’s body and blood. It also connected nicely with the stewardship theme. “We Fall Down” helped transition into the final, sending movement, leading us to submit ourselves for God’s service.
Movement 7: Sent into the World
Take My Life (chorus)
We finished this full service with a reprise of the chorus of “Take My Life,” reminding us of our commitment of our time and our lives to serving God and the world.