This Week & Beyond...
Please take note of the following items and respond as the Lord leads!!
1) Prayer: We have a small team going out to Piney to minister via praise & worship. Please lift up Tony & Lisa, Darian & Brenda, as they go to serve on Sunday. As well, please say a prayer for the team serving on Sunday. Just because you're not on the stage, doesn't mean you can't be apart of team this week. Let's pray for:
- The team: Greg, Michelle, Andrew, Nyk, Owen, Cassie, Tim, Ezra
- Practice: That it may go smoothly, Holy Spirit anointed, creative...
- Congregation: That they'd be ready to receive and participate. That the Lord would stir worship in their hearts and that they'd be encouraged and changed for His glory!
2) Team Night #1: This Sunday is our first team night. As mentioned in previous communications, this will be an intimate worship night, of which, includes the prayer team joining us! If you haven't responded as to your availability, whether it's a decline or accept, please do so at your earliest convenience. This will help me in preparation for the evening. Thank you!
Blind, But Now I See
by Karen Morerod, Kansas City, Kansas
To this they [the Pharisees] replied, "You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!" And they threw him out. Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" ...Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. (John 9:34-35, 38)
This unnamed, thrown-out-of-the-church man has become one of my favorite guys in the New Testament. All he did was happen to be born blind, be in the right place at the right time on the Sabbath, and Jesus spat on the ground, made some mud and healed his blindness. The man didn't even ask to be healed.
But, boy, did this start controversy with the neighbors and religious leaders. They fired questions: Weren't you the one who used to sit and beg? Who did this? How can you say this man is from God? Don't you know we are Moses' disciples? Doesn't this so called prophet know what day this is? Where are your parents, son?
The healed blind man couldn't even celebrate his new-found sight. Everyone was pointing fingers, wagging their tongues and trying to deny what just happened. At the very least they suggested that the "miracle" wasn't on the up and up. But I love the man's response in the midst of the clamor. He said, "Whether He [Jesus] is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." Three cheers for a simple faith!
Verse 35 says "...when Jesus found him..." I wonder if the man ran off just to get away from the naysayers. But leave it to Jesus to find him, just like he finds us anywhere, anytime. And as Jesus confirmed He was the Son of God, the man fell down and worshiped him. What an appropriate response when we come face to face with the Savior of the world.
Christianity has had theological debates since Jesus came on the scene. And the rhetoric continues today. I'm guessing the arguments will continue until Jesus comes back and sets the record straight... for all of us!
Often we face a worship service with diverse theological ideas sitting in the pews. And while most in our churches aren't debating about who Jesus is or what He came to do, sides are taken for any number of debatable issues. And sometimes those issues pull and tear at our unity in the Body of Christ.
What if we got in agreement with our blind man? It would go something like this: No matter if I'm pre-trib, post-trib, election, freewill, reformed or charismatic, the one thing I know for sure: I once was blind and now I see! That might be worship in its purest form.
Can we do this in our music ministry? Could we actually put aside our own personal interpretational preferences-and even stylistic preferences -- and just worship the Creator of the world, the one who sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us?
Maybe our blind friend gave us the proper perspective to do this. He admitted his own weakness. He was blind. Hopeless. But Jesus passed his way, touched him and now he could see. His life was forever changed.
All of us are hopeless from birth. Sin is our weakness. But Jesus comes into our life, touches our heart, our spiritual eyes are opened and our life is changed forever.
There will always be preferential differences in the Body of Christ. As long as our churches are filled with mere humans we'll have disagreements. But, how glorious our worship could be if those of us in the worship ministry led the way in unity. We can do that, at least in part, by remembering the foundation on which we build: We all were blind, but now we see!
1. Jesus prayed for His followers to be united "so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:21) How could us setting aside our differences help cause that prayer to become a reality?
2. How could it affect your congregation if the people involved in worship ministry were clearly united?