Friday, November 09, 2007

Bluegrass Sunday

Sometime last summer I hit upon the idea for our current sermon series, "How to Grow a Church from the Ground Up." As I sketched out the various topics, this Sunday's was one of the subjects that made me pretty excited. However, a lot of that excitement is because of the worship that will revolve around the topic, as much as it is about the topic.

We're talking about Healthy Churches being Hopeful Churches. No matter the circumstances, the trials, the tribulations, the struggles, the pain, God's people have hope because they know the end of the story. The know that, in Christ, we've already won.

Much of the sermon will be about heaven - maybe not specifically what heaven will be like, but figuratively, that we have a home with Christ waiting for us, a home where there will be no more loss, sickness, pain, death, or suffering.

From a musical standpoint, we're going back to a lot of the old songs that the church used to sing about this hope. One of the points I'm planning on making is that the church used to think about heaven a lot more than we do now. They lived through the Dust Bowl, the Depression, a couple of world wars, major disease outbreaks. . .and we suffer because our television is three years old. So, it turns out, we tend to think about God blessing us here and now, while our grandparents used to think about God blessing them in eternity. (truthfully, as in most things, I think we need a healthy balance of those two. . .)

So the church used to sing a lot of songs about heaven, and we're dusting them off again. I'll Fly Away, In the Sweet By and By, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, When we All Get to Heaven, Soon and Very Soon, and a couple others.

And, to do it right, we've got to sing them hopefully, not like the dirges some hymns become with age. Which means we need to sing them upbeat. With a little "boom-chick." And probably a lot of mandolin.

In other words, we're going gospel, bluegrass-style this weekend.

Only without the hay bales.

No comments: