We're in a series called MOVE, about the things that Jesus did on earth, taken from the book of John. It's been powerful to plan and it was awesome to experience yesterday.
First of all, we had some cool set elements - our team brought in stacks of old tires (to emphasize the "move" idea) and Andy and Jackie Heberle created a cool sign with random colored arrows pointing every which-way. It was cool.
We opened at ten minutes before service time with an instrumental version of "More Love, More Power". I love playing this tune because the chord stucture is so great for some improvisational soloing. It was fun.
Our 10B4 video was actually six minutes, and it did it's job communicating upcoming events and ativities that used to get crammed into the pre-offering prayer. We started turning this flywheel a few months ago and are finding more and more people coming in ten minutes early to see the video. That's a good thing.
Lift Him Up - This Martha Munizzi tune will forever be one of my favorites. We do only one key change at the end, but it's enough to get things rocking, along with a stand-up-and-shout a cappela chorus of "Jesus - we lift you up! Jesus!" that never fails to rock my world.
After a short welcome, we showed a home-grown video about money and stewardship. We're leaning into teaching some mini-lessons about this topic outside of the main sermon time, with a series of filmed messages called "My Two Cents". Each video is about 3 minutes long. We'll evaluate in a few weeks, but so far, so good - and Chad Milburn is doing a great job on the creative end. You can check out week one's vid here
You Are My King - seemed to be a Billy Foote kind of day....
The message was excellent, based on the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. I have heard a gazillion messages taught on this story, and often heard the implication that as Jesus doodled in the sand, he was listing the hidden acts of the men who gathered around, clutching rocks, muscles taut in anticipation of violent consequence for the sinner. Brian stretched this out a bit further, noting the background of the Greek word originally used, and dug in deeply to this act of the Savior.
At one point, Brian sat down on the floor, like a story-teller, and talked about how it must have looked to have Jesus sit. At one point, Brian swept his hand across the carpet on the stage to demonstrate the act of clearing the sand - erasing what was written - and talked aobut the implications of Christ's love and grace, not only for this individual woman, but for the Pharisees surrounding her in that moment, and for all of us in this moment.
Beautiful, Beautiful - Brian found this song to close this service (it is SO awesome to work with a creative senior pastor!) and we began to vamp on the beginning chord progression as he talked more about grace. When he finished, Sandy sang the song up through the bridge, and then Brian walked back out.
We had set five lined baskets out around the room, and filled each one with sand. As the band continue to play quietly, Brian invited everybody to experience grace like we saw in the story from John - to come and write your own sin or issue or failing or heartbreak or brokenness in the sand, and then to wipe it away with your own hand - knowing that the grace of Jesus does just that in our lives.
It was powerful. People lined up and waited for their turn. It was a holy moment. We sang the song again, and the chorus reverberated in the room:
Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so beautiful, beautiful
It was a very good day.
This post is part of Fred McKinnon's bloggy carnival. Check it out here!
Also, "Beautiful, Beautiful" is by Francesca Batistelli. Good stuff....
ALSO - Biz Tarr did the graphic work for this series. She is AMAZING!