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6 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2008 - 10:51AM #1
DeweyCMH
Posts: 64
When I saw this line in another thread here:

"for those of us who are God's frozen people, the Presbyterians! LOL"

it made me think of a post that I made this past week on another forum that I frequent, telling about our worship service last week - copied here for you to enjoy or be appalled by, as you deem appropriate...



So today is the third Sunday in Advent, the Sunday that we light the pink-colored candle singled out to signify the joy of being in Christ. The last two weeks' sermons were pretty somber, in recognition of the more reflective, penitential aspects of the awaiting of the coming of Christ embodied in the season. This Sunday's "joy" theme was much appreciated, by me, and I'm sure the congregation.

The text that I based the sermon on was from 1 Thessalonians, a passage where Paul says to his readers, "Rejoice Always; give thanks in all circumstances," etc. The sermon, and the entire service, revolved around that idea.

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting in the church and loading the scripture passages into the presentation software that projects the texts onto a screen behind me as I read it from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. I had my thumb drive with me, and it happened to have the video of the "Numa Numa" kid on it (at least some of you will remember the "numa numa kid" who was a youtube phenom a couple years back).  As a joke, I ran it, with the sound blaring, onto the projection screen. As I watched it for the millionth time, it seemed like the kid's actions were a perfect representation of pure, unselfconscious, joy. I thought about it for a minute, then decided to load it onto the church computer and superimposing portions of the Thessalonians text onto it at appropriate places, ending it with a fade to black and the words, from the text, "Don't quench the Spirit." I titled the short movie "Pneuma Pneuma," a play on the original video's name - "pneuma" being the Greek word for "Spirit."

I debated whether I should put it into the service. After all, this is a very conservative, traditional, rural church, and the video system itself had only been installled for a few weeks and the congregation was still in "getting used to it" mode. But finally I decided they could only run me out of town once, so I loaded it into the script for this morning's service, and prayed that it would be taken in the spirit intended. We had an average attendance this morning. Also in attendance were a young couple, and the man's mother. They had visited a few weeks ago, and the couple has decided to get married in the church. They had come in this morning for worship, and for a brief meeting with me after the service.

Just after the choir sang their morning anthem, and just before all the youth came forward for the youth message, I gave s short explanation of what the original video was (about 10% of the crowd knew of the video, and were already chuckling), and I explained that while it was certainly never intended in this way, I thought it actually offered a good supplement to today's message. I ran the video, with the scriptural exhortations to be joyful and thankful, holding onto the good, and not quenching the Spirit. The congregation seemed to enjoy it. Then I called all the kids up front, and we discussed the idea of all the blessings God had given us in our lives, and how we're thankful to God, and joyful about those blessings and God's goodness. Then - and it just popped into my mind at that moment; I really hadn't planned it - I asked the kids: "Are you happy, and joyful about God's love for you?" "Yeah!" "No, I mean are you really, really happy?" "Yeah!" "Well, you know the Bible says to sing, and dance to show your thankfulness to God. If I asked Mrs. S. to play that video again, are you so joyful that you'd stand up and dance like him? How about if I dance it too, would you do the dance?" About half the kids said "Yeah, we would." And I said, "And you know, that doesn't go for just the kids - how about any other grownups here - are you so thankful for God's blessings that you'd even do that dance for him?" At that, the young groom-to-be raised his hand, got up, and come up to the front of the church, to the applause of the congregation. He said, "Yeah, I know that whole dance; I used to do it all the time!" Mrs. S re-fired the video, the music started, the kids got up and danced. I danced, the groom-to-be-danced. Then a seventysomething grandmother got up and came up to the front of the church and started dancing. Then another man did, too. Other people were doing the dance in their seats, and everyone was clapping, laughing, and cheering. It was truly a beautiful thing, and everyone, from age 5 to 93, seemed to get it, and enjoy it. I'm laughing now just thinking about it.

Hmmph. "Frozen Chosen" my rear end.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 24, 2008 - 2:25PM #2
CalKnox
Posts: 330
So, “Be Happy!”

That’s the message of the gospel of forgiveness of sins and eternal life purchased by the once and for all sufficient atoning death of Jesus Christ?
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 25, 2008 - 3:38PM #3
DeweyCMH
Posts: 64
As I said...
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2008 - 5:47PM #4
AppleMan
Posts: 348
I love it! Great way to make the sermon come alive.


"And again I say, rejoice!"
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 30, 2008 - 7:03PM #5
Merrill48
Posts: 108
[QUOTE=CalKnox;976066]So, “Be Happy!”

That’s the message of the gospel of forgiveness of sins and eternal life purchased by the once and for all sufficient atoning death of Jesus Christ?[/QUOTE]

I seems to me that the very message you're talking about indeed leads to joy. How that joy is expressed IMHO should be between the individual and God - not interpreted through the Westminster Confession or anything else. After all, wasn't the Protestant Reformation about being able to experience God directly, without the intermediary of a priest or anything else??

My $0.02 - please adjust for your local currency....

Shalom,
Merrill
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2009 - 4:58PM #6
CalKnox
Posts: 330
The Reformation was and is about approaching God on his terms as found in the Scriptures alone, not on our own.

By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to the Scriptures alone, to the Glory of God alone.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2009 - 8:23AM #7
AppleMan
Posts: 348
So you enjoy being alone?
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