Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Elmhurst Sermon (1) August 21st

Today some members of the worship team are meeting to start their planning for worship on August 21st. I promised to put early details on my blog so that I can interact with them as preparations proceed.

On Sunday August 21st. the sermon title is: "You're blessed at the end of your rope" - the Eugene Petersen paraphrase of the first beatitude (Matt. 5: 3). Actually, I shall preach on the first two beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

In developing these beatitudes I shall be spending time elsewhere in the gospels. Mark 10:35-52 vividly shows contrast of attitudes between the disciples ("rich in spirit"!) and blind Bartimaeus (poor in spirit). For the second beatitude I shall reflect on the significance of Jesus weeping (John 11: 35,36; Luke 19: 41).

Past readers of my blogs know that I seek to crystallize my sermon preparation by defining the sermon's main impact. Always, it can change as preparation continues!
By the grace of God, this sermon will SAY - Christian living begins when spiritual beggars admit their need, and those who grieve bring their tears before God.
And this sermon will DO - invite hearers to be real with God in order to receive blessing as never before.

At yesterday's planning meeting many suggestions were already being made about the shape of the service and how its outcome - "invite hearers to be real with God" might best be implemented. I am so grateful to the team for working on this and, of course, any suggestions from you will help my preparation too. If you do not want to post publicly, please use my personal email: Thanks for sharing on this new journey.


Anonymous said...

Hi! The Elmhurst CRC planning team met today and here is the plan we came up with:

Prelude: strings
Welcome and Call to Worship Pastor Gregg DeMey

Jesus, Messiah
Opening Prayer
Jesus Songs Medley TBD
God Greets Us and We Greet One Pastor Intern Derek Buikema

Sacrament of Baptism
Song of Response: Blest Are They SNC 122 (David Haas)
Psalm 34 with musical interlude
Congregational Prayer (3-4 pray-ers - time of confession,
response: Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.)

Please take children age 3 through 1st grade to Children’s Worship
Offertory: strings or Matt Maher song: Unwavering
The offering is for
Giving an offering is part of our worship. Recognizing that all we have belongs to God, we gratefully return a portion of what God has entrusted to us.

Sermon: “You’re Blessed at the End of Your Rope” Dr. Michael Quicke
Matt. 5:3
Lord, Have Mercy
Matt. 5:4
Prayer of Application
Just as I Am or Take, O Take Me As I Am (Michael, we’d like your input on which song you think follows your message better.)
God’s Blessing
Invite those who would like prayer in response to the sermon to stay in their seats. Prayer team members will be available to come and pray with them.
Postlude: Soft strings

Michael, we'd like your input on which last song you'd like.
Blessings! (God's power on the move!)
Judy Doot

Michael Quicke said...

I am thrilled to see the outcome of your planning. It's very interesting to see the arrangements you are making for prayer afterwards, with prayer team members willing to go to folk so there should be the minimum of embarrassment. Let's see how effective it is.

You ask about the last hymn. How well known by the congregation is John Bell's song? I guess "Just as I am" is considered very traditional! I am open to either as we conclude. Knowing your folk which do you consider will conclude most effectively? Sorry to throw it back to you like this. I love to end on a strong note!

I am so grateful to see all this preparation. I can't wait.

Claudia and Joseph said...

heard your sermon today on the first 2 beatitudes; as a clinical psychologist I deal a lot with suffering and maybe not so much with being poor in spirit; I tend to focus on teaching coping skills to people rather than telling them they are blessed as they are in a much more ready state of getting real with Jesus than without their affliction; will keep your teaching from today in the back of my mind when meeting with clients; never know what the spirit will lead me to!
could you post the quote about suffering and the parts of the heart that need to be opened up through it; I forgot the name of the author
on another note: being poor in spirit seems to be a frequent state that I am in as a parent to my three relatively small children; never thought about applying the three first steps of AA to parenting; makes a lot of sense to me
thanks again for all those insights

Michael Quicke said...

Claudia - I was really encouraged by your comments. You are at the sharp end of dealing with people "at the end of the rope". You ask about the quote from Leon Bloy.

" There are places in our hearts which do not yet exist and it is necessary for suffering to penetrate there in order that they may come into being."

This rings powerfully true in my ministry experience. I hope I shall meet you at ECRC on one of these next Sundays.