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Worship planning resources, weekly updates of top worship-friendly songs, and other music resources. Read more about contemporary worship music planning...

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Sermon and Preaching Resources for Contemporary Christian worship. Read more about sermon and preaching resources...

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sermon resources for february 5, 2012 [Epiphany 5B]

sermon and preaching resourcesIsaiah 40:21-31

Written while the still in the Babylonian exile, Isaiah addresses false conclusion. Many of the Jews thought that perhaps the Babylonian gods were stronger than their God. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable” (v28). When things seemingly do not go our way, has God fallen down on the job? Still a question being asked all these many centuries later.

Might be a great preaching opportunity should your some in your congregation being going through life’s struggles (and who isn’t, really?). Isaiah points out that not only is God able to rescue, but God is willing. Are we willing to let God rescue? Are we willing to wait upon Him?

Incidentally, the Eagle’s Wings reference may from Exodus 19:4 when God speaks to the Israelites after leading them out of slavery: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” Maybe we wait for God to bring us to himself—contrasted to thinking we bring God to us…

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Paul speaks of proclamation as a divine compulsion—he must. Paul sees salvation coming through proclamation—that no matter how clumsily preached, the content of the Good News cannot help but save those who hear it. He cannot help but preach Good News because he does not want to withhold the saving power of the Gospel from anyone.

This could also be an opportunity to talk about Christians’ “freedom.” We are freed by the power of the Gospel, but freed to do what? Serve ourselves? Of course, Paul answers that with a resounding “no,” that we are freed to becomes slaves of all—slaves compelled to preach and announce Good News.

Mark 1:29-39

Perhaps it seems a bit sexist in our day, that Peter’s mother-in-law begins serving them as soon as she is healed, but I think the author intended a theological statement rather than a sociological statement: in healing us, Jesus frees us to serve others. Often those who are ill become quite focused on their own needs. Now, freed from that, Peter’s mother-in-law may focus on others’ needs.

Another interesting preaching point may be that Jesus went to a “deserted place” to pray in the morning. The same word is used here as used in the story of Jesus baptism and temptation for “wilderness.” This could be a great opportunity to talk about our need for spiritual refueling away from the busy-ness of our normal routines. Or away from our everyday comforts…

 

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a field guide to contemporary worship

Now available for purchase via Augsburg Fortress, A Field Guide to Contemporary Worship is a must-have guide for anyone thinking about starting a contemporary worship service, and an essential reference work for those wondering about the nuts and bolts of instrumentation, arranging, working with microphones and speakers, and much more!

A Field Guide to Contemporary WorshipWritten by a church musician and a pastor who have experienced the joys and challenges of this popular form of worship, A Field Guide to Contemporary Worship provides field-tested ideas and hints and a wealth of illustrations.

In this book you will learn how to form a worship team, how to build a repertoire, how to lead effective rehearsals, the basic of music arrangement and orchestration, how a PA system works, and how to arrange/assemble a sound system (including info on microphones and speakers).

If you've already been so kind as to purchase a copy [thanks, Mom], please make sure you take advantage of the supplementary material to the book found in the "Field Guide Extras" section. You'll find a ton of free contemporary worship resources, including a searchable index of contemporary worship songs organized by theme.

Order A Field Guide to Contemporary Worship (via Augsburg Fortress)