Planning for This Service
God is doing a new thing among us. In our congregations across the globe, the Holy Spirit is breathing new life into fresh ideas, innovations, and creative demonstrations of faithfulness among us. Multiple scripture passages this week refer to the new things that God is doing, be it the “latter splendor of this house” in Haggai, the joyful and fearful anticipation of Christ’s coming in 2 Thessalonians, or the enduring reality of the resurrection in Luke 20.
What is something new in the life of your church that will take place in the next month or so? Perhaps you are starting a new mission initiative, or your choir is singing a new cantata, or you are offering a new program in the life of your church and/or community, or something else. Take an intentional moment in your worship service to honor and pray for the new thing that you are doing. Rather than placing it during a time of announcements, consider placing this “celebration of a new thing” as a response to the Word. Promote it, bless it, pray for it—not because we want to show off, but because we believe in a God that abides with us (Haggai 2:5) in the midst of potential uncertainty about how things will turn out. This response to the Word presents another opportunity to connect the homiletical thread of God “abiding” with us.
Written by guest writer, Nelson Cowan, Ph.D. Liturgical Studies: Boston University School of Theology.