The Parable of Front line Health Care Worker – Dan’s Worship Blog

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Welcome back to our worship blog! I say “our” worship blog because the intent for this is still to be able to connect and worship communally in the knowledge that together we are listening to the same songs, reading the same words, and putting in work to glorify God in what we are doing during days of isolation and uncertainty. This week, John is preaching on seeing God in our healthcare workers who are putting their own wellbeing at risk for the benefit of our nation and our world. As you worship in this way with the songs and the reading, take some time to reflect on the message and think about what it means to see a perfect God imaged in imperfect people who are doing Christ-like work.

Build My Life – Pat Barrett – https://youtu.be/QZW4_8_zCBE

No One But You – Hillsong Worship – https://youtu.be/rOPqG6FkV1c

By now, you are maybe starting to sense a pattern in our songs and the themes that I attempt to draw attention to. In our opening songs, I like to emphasize the “why” behind our worship. God is our foundation. Without this foundation, we would clearly not be doing church “long-distance,” and our hope for tomorrow would be bleak, but this foundation is so much more crucial than we often discuss. God made the rocks on which the foundations of our houses sit. It is only due to God’s provision that we have jobs, and entertainment, and food in our pantries. As we focus our minds to sing together, even if we are in different physical spaces, let us remember the One who has made all of this possible from the very beginning.

Good Grace – Hillsong United – https://youtu.be/CW3OuAaDyZ8

In the message this week, Pastor John paints the image of a united people, walking together towards one goal; fighting a pandemic alongside one another. As you listen to this song this week, my hope is that you can indeed take courage and that you will be able to remember where our help comes from. There are lyrics in the description, or if you turn on “closed captions,” the lyrics will appear on the screen for you to sing along with.

Jesus Paid It All – Newsboys – https://youtu.be/Hs05AtP2wd8

Death Was Arrested – North Point InsideOut – https://youtu.be/uMsMiluCUUI

Just in case you have lost track in the midst of all the changes, next week is Easter. It is perhaps more appropriate than we originally thought that the Covid pandemic happened during Lent, a season of waiting. As we turn our hearts and our minds towards the great sacrifice of our Saviour, I would like us to all be thinking about Jesus’ early followers. It is something of a long standing tradition throughout Christian history to wait and see what God will do next, and perhaps the most notable is the period of waiting between Christ’s crucifixion and His resurrection. Though we do not know what tomorrow will bring, we can have faith that just as God’s plan was good then, His plan is good now.

 

Just a friendly reminder: if you prefer a playlist to the individual YouTube links, our Spotify playlist is also an option. I will be updating the playlist every week and making sure that the songs I have selected for that week will be at the top of the playlist. Thanks and God Bless!

Spotify Playlist – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7EB9xkQQtZJcMRAzV5hrdO?si=OWpqbha-Qxya_UDqDsdjVg

 

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With our situation ever evolving, I hope that you all have managed to find rest and peace in Christ this week. As we delve into more psychology this week, I have chosen some songs to focus our attention on God our father and our comforter. Michelle’s message is breaking down more of the psychology and science of our brain and what happens when we are confronted with things that elicit a fear response. So, as you listen to and perhaps sing the following songs, I encourage you to be thinking about who God is and how unchanging he is in the face of fear.

Goodness Of God – Bethel Music – https://youtu.be/IvSuGyJQ6oM

Your Glory / Nothing But The Blood – All Sons and Daughters – https://youtu.be/eQssA0HKYxE

As always, it is important to remember why we worship and who we are worshiping. “Goodness of God” is a statement of truth and a commitment of our aspiration to worship God in all things. In the face of fear, in the darkest valleys, and on the highest mountains, God is good and God is faithful. The second song, a medley of “Your Glory” and “Nothing but the Blood,” reminds us that more than simply being good, when we fail to see the beauty in the things around us we can always see the beauty in God’s sovereignty and glory as well as in Christ’s sacrifice for us. The link to “Your Glory / Nothing but the Blood” doesn’t have any lyrics attached, so while you are welcome to sing along as you learn the words or search for a video with lyrics attached, I encourage you to sit and listen to the words and internalize them as a prayer: “Lord, may I always behold your glory with awe and thankfulness.”

I Will Fear No More – The Afters –https://youtu.be/wMmmbJlWhtk

If you watched this week’s sermon before reading this blog post, you will recognize this song as the one I sang as our response to Michelle’s message. I don’t want to step on Michelle’s toes and speak too much about what fear is and how we can respond to it, but as you sing this song I want to draw special attention to the line in the second verse that says “when the wind and wave are coming, you shelter me.” In the midst of dark and uncertain times, it can be easy to believe that the only way to survive a storm is for God to calm the waves. However, what we see in scripture and what this song is hinting at is the reality that sometimes God’s solution is to shelter us from the waves rather than to make them go away.

No One But You – Hillsong Worship https://youtu.be/rOPqG6FkV1c

Be Thou My Vision – Audrey Assad – https://youtu.be/Optrm7lF16s

In closing, my hope is that over the course of the next week, and the next month, and however long this period lasts, we would be fixing our eyes on God instead of the problems in our midst. In Philippians 4:8, Paul says, “finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things,” and let us make that our goal this coming week.

One More thing,

This week, I have also compiled a list of songs that we have sung together, or that I have put in this worship blog, and created a Spotify playlist. Maybe you need to be reminded of these truths as you are driving to the grocery store to pick up essentials this week. Or, maybe you would like to be able to let these songs play in the background as you do work from home this week. However you use these songs and listen to music, I hope that this playlist is a helpful tool while you try to draw near to God throughout the week.

Spotify Playlist – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7EB9xkQQtZJcMRAzV5hrdO?si=OWpqbha-Qxya_UDqDsdjVg

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“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” IS 43

One of my favourite texts!

I just wrote this yesterday as a concluding thought for the introduction of my faith/science book:

A PROPHETIC IMAGINATION

Through the prophet Isaiah God says:

“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you…. I am doing a new thing…. From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you. They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’” Isaiah 42:9, 43:19, 48:6-7, NIV

Even as Isaiah’s contemporaries had trouble imagining what God had in store through the coming of Jesus, it stretches us to think that the Jesus we know now (through the gospels) can also be known through creation. Yet, what else could contain the glory of God apart from a universe?

Theologian Walter Brueggemann writes; “If there is any point at which most of us are manifestly co-opted [by the commonly accepted view of reality], it is in this way. We do not believe that there will be newness but only that there will be merely a moving of the pieces into new patterns…. ”

To believe that God can be known through creation — in concert with the bible, in an authoritative, epiphany-inducing, life-transforming, all-things-filling way — is to trust that God can and will do something new.

Brueggemann goes on to write, “We need to ask not whether it is realistic or practical or viable but whether it is imaginable.”

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