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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 resources for november 13, 2011 [Pentecost 22A]

sermon and preaching resourcesZephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Zephaniah is a little gloomy, with just cause. He most likely was Jeremiah’s predecessor during Josiah’s reign pre- religious reforms. Judah was apparently behaving much like the third servant in this week’s Gospel parable. The hope in Zephaniah’s message comes a little later on in his urging of the people to “seek righteousness”, i.e., repent. Possibly repent from burying your gifts from God in the ground? Repent from trusting the things of life to gods that ultimately die a death themselves?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Being “children of the light” is a wonderful gift given us—we see how things really are; this ought to keep us from getting bogged down in myopic world views. This also ought to keep us from getting paralyzed with fear. Earlier prophets wrote of the Day of the Lord as something to be feared; since we already have the gift of Christ, we ought not fear that Day but look forward to it.

Could Paul also be using “sleep” as a metaphor for “death?” Several places within scripture refer to death as “sleep,” with Jesus himself saying that Lazarus was merely asleep shortly before raising him. Could Paul’s pleading to remain awake be a call to not act as if we are dead or that death has any power over us?

Matthew 25:14-30

Fear plays an important role in this parable. Does the kind of God we think we serve determine how we respond to God? If the Day of the Lord is about fear, does that hamper us in risking what he entrusts to us now? Funny how the third servant misses the part about a generous, trusting Master who leaves millions of dollars to his servants to manage—how is that harsh?

I’m not sure that God will cast us into the outer darkness because of spiritual cowardice, but the parable does emphasize that burying the gifts God gives us is a terrible thing—a terrible waste. God is not “harsh,” but God does hold us accountable. We are stewards of our lives given to us as gifts—there is an expectation of return on His investment in us.

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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)