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Why So Similar? 

These are our worship notes for April 10, 2022 for Christ Covenant Church, Matthew, NC. 

For many churches certain worship services or seasons look very similar from year to year: Advent and Christmas, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, Easter, Ascension Sunday, Pentecost, etc. To this short list we could add Reformation Sunday and Thanksgiving. In our context all this is very intentional, and not simply traditional. Christmas Carols become old favorites in part because they are so well written, but also because of the repetition from year to year. Over time certain songs and seasons become a balm to our soul. 

Just as it’s natural to sing Amazing Grace at the grave side, so it is good to remind ourselves of what happed during the triumphal entry and Holy Week. After recalling the darkness our Lord endured it becomes our joy to celebrate his victory over death, his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and his gift of the Holy Spirit. 

Of course, a few may charge that even a loose use of the church calendar and repetition causes rote religion. But like those who make the charge, perfunctory worship is last thing we want. Also, I’m convinced that constantly chasing the new doesn’t focus the heart very well. The fact remains that we will repeat something. And I find value in coming back to some of the best hymns and songs year after year. 

In Preparation 

One way to avoid allowing worship to slip by like a dull day at work is to prepare. If you read up on a composer you will enjoy the orchestra more. If you read articles about an athlete, you will enjoy the game more. Investing just 10 or 15 minutes will transform the way you engage with a worship service. Perhaps you could look over the songs and Scriptures before we gather on Sunday and then pray that the Lord would open your heart and mind to the themes and truths those elements present. There is always something old that could hit you anew. 

May this season from Holy Week to Pentecost rekindle our love for the good news. 

Grab the bulletin here. 
CCC Spotify Play List. 

Lead On O King  

This week we will study a fairly gruesome passage of Scripture. Genesis 34 is not the most uplifting section… What songs do you sing when dealing with defilement and murder? At the very least you can say that Jacob did not provide stellar leadership. Knowing that is at least one aspect which Kevin DeYoung will focus on, I chose to work worship around the idea of leadership. 

We have all dealt with bad leadership, and many of us have been bad leaders at least at some point. It’s hard to work for a bad leader, but it’s a pleasure to work for a good leader. Ultimately we look to our King to lead, for he is the good shepherd/leader. 

Our opening songs and every passage of Scripture used this week points to leadership. We ask the King to lead, we give thanks for his leading, we have an example of good leadership, and we will see an example of bad leadership. Plus, we will have an opportunity to be grateful that the Lord leads us to Christ. Therefore, Come Ye Disconsolate for He Will Hold us Fast. Finally, after meditating on such a gruesome passage that points to blackness in the human heart, we raise our voices to say, I Surrender All. 

Worship notes for March 13, 2022 for Christ Covenant Church, Matthew, NC. 
Grab the bulletin here. 
CCC Spotify Play List.

On the Road After Two Years! 

Like so many other professions, musicians were put on hold during the pandemic. But today I'm piling in the car with four of my children to go play a concert for Millbrook Presbyterian Church in AL. Whoohoo! 

Over the past several weeks I pulled out songs I've played for years and found they needed a little work! I'm actually kind of nervous. But it's a good nervous. I'm excited to play and looking forward to connecting with the folks there. 

Also, it's pretty great to play music with my kids. I'll miss my oldest two, but they now have babies and spouses to attend to! (We are going to see my newest grandson next week!)

If you are near Millbrook, AL, come on out tomorrow night at 6:30pm. 

Reformation Sunday  

In several songs this week we will emphasizing the singing of the congregation by singing a cappella (with no instruments). The sound of nothing but the voice of the congregation is often quite glorious. But in this case I’ve planned this for a particular reason. 

One of the most profound changes during the reformation was the effort to engage the congregation in worship. Rather than the priests and professionals performing worship for the congregation, now the people sang, confessed sins publicly, and professed their faith together. 

Further, alongside the preaching of the Word, Psalm singing became a central part of worship. This week we will sing from two Psalms (Psalms 1, 100); plus, our first hymn is based on Psalm 46 and our final hymn is based on Psalm 48. In fact, if you take a look at the fine print of many of our hymns, you will note that they are often renditions of Psalms. 

Ultimately, while the Reformation was certainly about theological fidelity to the Scriptures, it was equally about reforming worship. Its heart was to allow the people of God to worship God, not through earthly mediators, but only through the one true mediator, Jesus Christ. Involving the congregation in much of the worship service was a tangible outworking and application of the theological truths that rocked the church and the western world. 

Worship notes for Oct. 31, 2021 for Christ Covenant Church, Matthew, NC. 
Find the Bulletin Here 
CCC Spotify Play List

Breaking the Root of Bitterness 

In Hebrew 12:15, referring to Esau, we are told to see to it that “no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble.” I suppose there is no end to the trouble caused by bitterness. It certainly can cause us to do foolish things. 

This week in worship we will progress from the shocking truth that Christ became the curse for us to the wonderful promise that we no longer stand condemned. The blood of Christ should break the root of bitterness and the result should be gratefulness. 

We will sing: “What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?” I love the joyful side of minor songs, and this one truly captures it. The death of Christ is bitter sweet. The Lord of bliss became the man of sorrows. In my place he stood condemned. But the fact that I am no longer condemned is all sweet – no bitterness. Hallelujah, what a Savior! 

Worship notes for Oct. 24, 2021 for Christ Covenant Church, Matthew, NC. 
Find the Bulletin Here 
CCC Spotify Play List