Time for the Holy

I don’t have to tell you that this is a very busy time for worship leaders.  Some of you finished your Easter season presentation last Sunday night, and you are plowing on toward Easter Sunday’s anthems and presentations.  Still others are working toward a presentation for later in the Spring.  I want to challenge all of us not to miss the significance of this week, and to pause for personal reflection within the “big picture” of God’s story of salvation.  There is something crucially important about sensitizing your own heart to the greatness of God’s salvation, the impact of his last meal with his disciples, the dark days of his betrayal, the juxtaposed grotesqueness and glory of his crucifixion, and the triumphant power of his resurrection.  You and I must not be so caught up in trying to dramatize the story that we lose sight that we are in it just as much as any other sinner to whom we proclaim its message.  I am convinced we are unfit to address such a presentation through music unless we have been humbled anew at the profound truth that applies this blood and resurrection power to our own lives.  Dr. Robert Webber would call it, “living in our baptism.”  I think that is a great way to see it, as we recall being buried with Christ, raised to walk in newness of life.  Personally absorbing and reflecting upon the events of this week, Holy Week, are a part of that walk of newness.  Leaders, please take pause to feed your own soul in the glorious truth of the Gospel story. 

As a busy, busy musician you may ask, “Why now?  Can’t we do this at any time?”  Well, yes, but…

For Christians this is a very special time of the year.  While the majority of Baptist churches have not embraced the tradition of observing the full cycle of the Christian year that is practiced in many other Christian faith communities, even so, Baptists have joined most all Christians in placing special emphasis on two periods of the year: Christmas and Easter.  Even though some may restrict your observance to these two highest festivals of the Christian calendar, in doing so you join all in the Christian faith proclaiming the central figure of all time, Jesus Christ.  Christmas marks the entrance of God into the world in the form of a baby (incarnation), and Easter marks the day that death is overcome in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  Sunday worship finds its origin in the remembrance and celebration of the resurrection of Christ.  The Bible tells us that the church met on the first day of the week.  It was important to them to mark the time of this significant event, and subsequently the time itself became set apart.  Sunday, the first day of the week, became a Holy day.  The Bible indicates the Lord desires certain days to be set aside.  Old Testament observances of the feasts and fasts have New Testament implications in the fulfillment of time.  I really believe Sunday to be our new Sabbath, or at the very least to have Sabbath significance for us as we celebrate its meaning.  The Lord does special things on Sundays.  In fact, it was during one of these Sunday gatherings that the Holy Spirit first came to believers.  We continue meeting on the first day, Sunday. During the days leading up to Easter many Christians observe the events in Christ’s life during those same days and reflect on their meaning in God’s provision of salvation and in our own spiritual journey.

Time is a gift to us.  How we receive that gift reflects something of how we feel about the Giver as well as our level of gratitude for the gift itself.  Jesus asked, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt 6:27)  Many of us can recall a particular Christmas or Easter when family members were present who are no longer with us, or when children were much smaller than they are now.  These seasons and events tend to serve as markers for our lives.  As we mature in our faith we come to recognize not only the central day of these seasons, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, but we recognize the historic events that preceded the big day and consider things that occurred as a result.  For many of us, Advent and Holy Week have grown to have special spiritual significance as we contemplate the story of our Lord in these seasons and reflect on the happenings of those days in time.  Easter’s message for the Church obviously does not end on Easter Sunday, but moves forward toward Pentecost and right into the chapter of history in which we currently live as bride of Christ preparing for His return!

Maranatha!

Paul

Explore posts in the same categories: Leading Worship, Private Worship, Worship Reminders, Worship theology, Worship thoughts

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