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Good Friday Service

Here are the songs, Scriptures, and readings from our 2014 Good Friday service.

Introduction
Lights up on table with bread and pitcher.
Song: Reconciliation (Chris Douglas)
Reading: Matthew 26:26-30
Introduction Video
Song: True Love (Phil Wickham)

The Passion Journey
Matthew 26:46-50
Mark 14:53-61
Mark 15:1-5
Matthew 27:27-31
John 19:4-6
Song: Lead Me to the Cross (Brooke Fraser)

Forgiveness
Matthew 27:33-44
Luke 23:34
Matthew 18:21-22
Song: Scandal of Grace (Joel Houston, Matt Crocker)
Anglican Confession

Salvation
Luke 23:39-43
Isaiah 55:6-7
2 Corinthians 5:21
Hebrews 2:9b-10
Song: His Glory Appears (Marty Sampson, Darlene Zschech)
Song: Beautiful Exchange (Joel Houston)

Relationship
John 19:25-27
John 13:34-35
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Abandonment
Matthew 27:45-46
Psalm 22:1-5
Mark 14:29-30
Song: You Were On the Cross (Matt Maher)

Distress
John 19:28
Psalm 31:9-16
Matthew 5:3-12 (as responsive reading)

Reunion
Luke 23:44-46
John 10:17

Finished
John 19:30
Song: It Is Finished (Kurtis Parks)
Hebrews: 9:11-12, 24-28
Song: It is Finished (Kurtis Parks)

Communion
Song: Reconciliation (Chris Douglas)
Invitation to the Cross
Closing: Hebrews 13:20-21

April 19th, 2014 [ Tags: , , ] Leave a comment

#LentChallenge: Revelation

Author: John
Date: mid-90s AD
Audience: Seven Churches
Purpose: To give hope to persecuted Christians and declare God’s final victory

Christ followers in the first century faced daily choices to trust in Jesus as persecution began to sweep through the church. In response, John penned his final letter and the final book of the New Testament to offer encouragement and hope. The book describes itself as both apocalyptic (Revelation 1:1) and prophetic (Revelation 1:3) and is divided into two parts. The first part (Revelation 1-3) contains specific messages for churches in Asia Minor. The remainder of the book contains visions and images of the future that have been the subjects of many different interpretations by the church throughout history. Some view the book as a description of future events while others view it as a description of the ongoing struggle between good and evil. Others believe the events referenced in the book occurred during the first century. Whatever the interpretation, the most important thing to remember is that the book of Revelation is not intended primarily to reveal to us timelines of future events but to reveal to us the majesty and awesomeness of the reign of Jesus Christ– seated and victorious on the throne.

The last living disciple, John was exiled on the Isle of Patmos when Jesus showed him a vision of the future. Hints of Christ’s return are sprinkled throughout the New Testament, but John’s writing is the most comprehensive picture of the ultimate goals that all of history is rushing towards. With its vivid, mystical and sometimes disturbing graphic images of judgments, battles, trumpets, and scrolls, Revelation offers encouragement to those enduring hardship, and it’s applicable to people living in all eras of history. Despite our circumstances, we can be assured that Jesus is in control at all times.

As you read the book of Revelation, pay attention to the following:

  • The specific encouragements and warnings delivered to the seven churches. Which ones are relevant to your life?
  • Descriptions of the throne room of God. Keep those images in mind as you worship.
  • Descriptions of the New Heavens, New Earth, and the River of Life. Many of these images tie all the way back to Old Testament writings. Take a moment to thank God for his goodness, sovereignty, and faithfulness throughout his story and your story.

April 17th, 2014 [ Tags: , , ] 2 Comments

#LentChallenge: 1, 2, and 3 John and Jude

1 John
Author: John
Date: 85AD
Audience: Believers in Asia Minor
Purpose: To expose false teachings and assure believers of their salvation

The disciple John wrote Jesus’ biography in the Gospel narratives, and he wrote a series of letters to help Christians become the kind of people that follow their Savior’s way of living. After walking with Jesus for three years, this rough and tumble fisherman, nicknamed Son of Thunder, became an expert on love. In this short letter of just over 100 verses, John works in the word “love” over 45 times. The love that he describes is not a mushy feeling or tingle down the spine, but a love that requires courage, tenacity, and sacrifice. He stresses that love is shown in our actions and in the way we care of others. While John has captured the attention of the church with his teachings about love, he also offers a warning about the Gnostics- a group of false teachers that had infiltrated the church and spread false ideas about Jesus.

2 John
Author: John
Date: 85-90 AD
Audience: Believers in Asia Minor
Purpose: To encourage discernment in showing hospitality to itinerant teacher

With only thirteen verses, 2 John is the shortest New Testament book. The equivalent of an ancient text message, the letter emphasizes the importance of living by the truth and loving one another. John elaborates on the issues to argue that true, godly love cannot be separated from truth. John then warns of the growing menace of the false teachings of the Gnostics, calling them “enemies” of Christ and discouraging the church from showing them any hospitality. As we listen to the religious ideas swirling around in our culture, we must strive to live in the tension of truth and love, realizing that true love means an uncompromising devotion to God’s truth in our faith communities.

3 John
Author: John
Date: 85-90 AD
Audience: Believers in Asia Minor
Purpose: To thank Gaius for his hospitality

No Biblical writer understood the importance of connecting at the heart level more than John, and this book is his thank you note to a man named Gaius for the hospitality he showed to traveling church leaders. Gaius is commended for providing assistance to the missionaries, but he receives more than just a pat on the back. Paul tells him that his work has made him a shareholder “in their work for the truth.” (3 John 1:8) When we show little acts of kindness or jump in to help those who are spreading the love of Christ and His Gospel, we are actually contributing to the ministry as well.

Jude
Author: Jude, brother of Jesus
Date: 70 AD
Audience: Unknown
Purpose: To warn against false teachings

The intended recipients for Jude’s letter is unknown, but it is addressed to “all who have been called by God.” That’s a fairly wide audience. He wants to send them an enthusiastic and optimistic letter about the joys of salvation, but he’s got to get the tough stuff out of the way first. Like all other New Testament epistle writers, Jude recognizes that false teachings have seeped into the church, and he gives a short history lesson to demonstrate how false teachers will face the same fate as the Old Testament enemies of God. With great conviction and urgency, Jude encourages his readers to fight hard for the faith. Towards the end of the book, Jude circles back to his primary purpose for writing- to share his encouragement to continue in faith, prayer, and mercy. While following Christ does not make our lives easier, it does make them more meaningful and hopeful. The bad news doesn’t necessarily go away, but the good news is that God is “strong” and can “give you great joy” (Jude 24)

As you read the letters of John and Jude today, keep in mind the following:

  • To whom do you need to show hospitality?
  • Whose ministry do you need to support?
  • How closely does your worldview and belief structure align with the character, ways, and mission of Jesus?

April 16th, 2014 [ Tags: , , ] Leave a comment