This is a different kind of worship reflection for me. This week got personal.We began a four week series of sermons last week called ‘Stress Points’. Topics are: busyness, money, relationships, and more relationships. This week’s topic: financial stress.
Worship service components
Holy is the Lord (Tomlin)
Blessed Be Your Name (Redman)
readings from Psalm 4 & Psalm 86
Uncreated One (Tomlin)
Drama: a husband and wife in conflict over how to deal with financial issues
Time for response: Center (Hall)
Prayer for offering
Hallelujah (Bethany Dillon)
While the topic was financial stress, the theme really was trust… integrity… keeping a God-centered perspective.
And this is where it gets personal.
Friday, around noon, my husband was told he was being let go from his job. He has worked about 2 1/2 years as a video producer for a small media company, and has loved both the job and the team he worked with. This news was a bit of a shock. He and I had already planned to have lunch together on Friday, so when I arrived downtown to meet him, this consumed our time together. I will never forget that lunch. Strange how news like this re-colors the moments that follow it, as well as the memory of the moments preceding it. I will never forget unsuccessfully attempting to hold back the tears as he told me the details (which are not mine to share, but if you know my husband and want to ask him about it, please do). We spent Friday and Saturday trying to absorb this reality. And preparing for the fact that Sunday was going to be rich with great and difficult things. I had designed a worship service with the idea of trust woven throughout, not knowing that by Sunday the songs and scriptures and prayers would so intensely apply to us personally. We were going to be surrounded by people who really care about us, and who we would be sharing this news with even while still reeling a bit. And I had to make it through singing these words, from one of my favorite songs by Bethany Dillon:
Hallelujah, hallelujah Whatever’s in front of me help me to sing ‘Hallelujah’
This was hopefully a valuable, rich worship experience for most people who attended. It was unusually so for me, as I was fully inhabiting the things we sang about while trying desperately to keep from crying. I’m a crier during worship services anyway… this Sunday I was definitely not set up for success in that regard. :)
We don’t know what the next step will be for us yet, but we know there will be one. What we sang and read today is what we do believe… God is worth trusting. We do still stand and worship him, bring honor to Him, regardless of our circumstances. We do believe that God is in control and will bring good out of these circumstances. Meanwhile, tomorrow’s Monday, and we step into a whole new picture. Neil promised me adventure when we got married. And here we are.
Check out Fred’s blog for more stories about worship services from all over the country. Most of which aren’t personal like this one. :)