Morning Prayer

Some of you may know that in the past three years the Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer has become a wonderful part of my devotional life. I’ve wanted to share it with others for a long time and I’ve started a podcast that I hope will help with that! I’ll be posting the Morning Prayer readings and would love you to join me…subscribe here

Dear Worship Team #4

Dear Worship Team,

Serving each other. That is what we are pursuing. That is what we are exploring at the beginning of this year.

How do we serve each other? What or who is our model?

Here is, I believe, the ultimate example of serving one another. The example of Jesus from Philippians 2:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

We’ll contemplate it more soon, but for the next few days I invite you to read it many times. To pray it. To read it out loud. To let the Holy Spirit speak to you within it.

Amen.

Ben

 

Dear Worship Team #3

📷: David Heinlein

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Dear Precious Worship Team,

We’re exploring serving one another by looking at the Sermon on the Mount. Today is all about being Salt and Light. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. I’m sure you’ve been encouraged to be that “City on a Hill” and shine brightly. And that’s good. We should shine with the “Light of the World” in us.

But I want to highlight something in The Message translation that popped out at me: “Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” I had never seen this before. Be open with one another. I know in my own life I can be polite, courteous, even kind. But all the while being a shut book to those I’m around. I’m from the South and my Mom and Dad taught me the art of conversation (which is much needed skill these days!). But to truly serve one another, to love each other we must go beyond that. Our team must be an “open house” as the passage says. Be generous with each other.

Vulnerable. Uncomfortable. Honest. Open.

The way God is with us.

I don’t know about you but that’s hard and it takes time. So in the short snippets when we’re together –  rehearsals, services, in between services – let’s make an effort to intentionally be generous with our brothers and sisters on our team.

By being open with each other Jesus says we’ll prompt others to open up with God. And that’s the greatest thing we can do as leaders of worship.

Love you all!

Ben