It’s been a few months since the last time, but we recently experienced another good morning of worship and Bible study with the Tabernacle Church in New Jersey. This group has for years struck me as a relatively unique, strong group. It may not be coincidental that it is a relatively conservative congregation, in terms of church issues and such. The members appear to be more faithful in attendance than most, voluntaristic, and unified.
After I had opportunity in Bible class time to retrace our home group’s pathway through the text of Philemon, Sunday’s worship focused on the word. God’s provision of the written word was in evidence, and Bill’s spoken message emphasized the new life found in the Living Word. I included devotional readings from Ezekiel and Hebrews, and a few reasonable well-placed comments helped to link, contribute to the flow, and inspire. One particularly appreciated sequence included the melding (blending!) of three songs: “How Great Is Our God,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “Here I Am To Worship”–leading to the sharing of communion. I’d employed a similar sequence in our church a few weeks ago, and I honed it a little more for this past Sunday at Tabernacle.
Kind comments regarding my part of the planning and leading reminded me that I’m not the only one that needs spice and emotional content “at church.” At least a few of the folks appreciated the order, which was different from the norm. And one woman commented that it was nice to have some different stuff at church, because it’s usually a let-down after coming home from the mountaintop Christian camp experience that she had been part of during the prior week.
Imagine church without spice and change. Nah — on second though, don’t. We need change in order to keep feeling and tasting things anew.