Sunday, October 6, 2013

Make a Joyful Noise

Today was Communion Sunday and it seemed a very special service despite the weather. Pastor Brad seemed at the top of game with a sermon on worship that had energy and insights.

~ Brad thanked everyone who helped keep watch for this week's brush burn across the street. A second burn will begin tomorrow (Monday, the 8th) at 8:00 a.m. If you are able to keep watch, as it is required we have people on the grounds to satisfy fire marshall regulations, please notify the pastor or Chuck.
~ Paula said that the church is having a jacket drive to help those in need as we head into winter.
~ Paula also invited women and children (men are welcome, of course) to help make fleece blankets for the women's shelter
~ Yesterday's church bazaar at the town hall raised $2,214, in spite of the dismal weather.

Walt Cresman, chairman of the building committee, gave us an update. In the next few weeks we'll be seeing significant progress across the way, including grading and excavation, septic system installation and more. Walt shared how one of the keys to our being able to complete this project within our budget expectations is due to the volunteer assistance within our church family. By utilizing our skills and efforts we will be able to shave $300,000 off the costs such a building would produce if handled wholly by contractors. Thank you to all who have been helping and are able to help in the coming year.

After a time of worship, giving and prayer, Brad took the pulpit to deliver the message.

Make a Joyful Noise

Pastor Brad began by pointing to a passage from Psalm 98: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! (vs. 4)

He then shared a brief YouTube video that showed us what a joyful noise sounds like... a giggling, laughing baby.

Whoever thought of this sound. Where did it come from? This laughter... Whatever did this child do to contribute to this fun? So it is that our own experiences of joy are an undeserved gift.

It is in response to God's generous gift of love that we worship. Here are some reasons worship is good.

1) It takes our attention off ourselves.
Since World War 2 depression has gone up 1000%. It is an epidemic of our times. As a people we have lost a connection with something bigger than ourselves. We've been made to think about something bigger than our smallness.

Perhaps this is why we revel in sunsets and other things compellingly beautiful. Laughter and beauty say something about the character of God.

2) When we worship it produces a spirit of gratitude.
When I worship I remember all the good things God has done for me. Brad suggested we make a list of all the things we are grateful for.

3) God is bigger than our hardships.
In Habakkuk 3:17-18 we hear this response to life's hardships.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

God is bigger than it all.

4) Worship connects us to others.
Brad pointed us to the famous celebration that occurred after Israel crossed the Red Sea and Miriam spontaneously grabbed a tambourine to celebrate God's deliverance... "the horse and rider have been thrown into the sea." Then he directed us to the three days of preparation Israel underwent to worship God at Mount Horeb. In each case it was the same God, but distinctively different styles of worship. "

It's not about style, it's about God. There are 41 Psalms that admonish us to "sing unto the Lord." When we worship together it builds a special bond. We are not alone in the world.

5) The Best Reason to Worship: What it does for somebody else.
That Somebody is God. God is a person. Like all persons {we were made in His image} God has feelings. God grieves. God feels delight. It gives God joy when we worship. Not because he has a need. He is self-sufficient. It's His desire to deliver us from ourselves.

After the message Ed Newman sang 'Be Still My Soul" and we celebrated the sacrament of communion.

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