Tag Archives: Worship

Call to Worship for Transfiguration Sunday

would work to have drums lightly beating in the background…
Lord, we’ve come to meet you.
Up on the Mountain.
Lord, we’ve come to praise you.
Up on the Mountain.
Lord, we’ve come to give our burdens to you.
Up on the Mountain.
Lord, we’ve come to be blessed by you.
Up on the Mountain.
Jesus!  What is happening?
Here on the Mountain.
Jesus!  We see Elijah and Moses here!
Here on the Mountain.
Jesus!  Can’t we stay just like this?
Here on the Mountain.
Spirit, we hear your words.
Up on the Mountain.
“Get up, we can’t stay here.”
Up on the Mountain.
“Don’t be afraid, I am with you.”
Down from the Mountain.
“Don’t be afraid, I am with you.”
Down from the Mountain.
-Nathan Decker, (CC)2017 Worships Wake

Call to Worship based on the Lord’s Prayer

As we gather today, we call you
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
As we gather today, we lift up who you are and what you represent
hallowed be your name
As we gather today, We seek your ways, not our own
Your Kingdom come, your will be done…
As we gather today, we say sorry to you and one another
Forgive us as we forgive…
As we gather today, we need you.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Lead us away from temptation,
Deliver us from Evil.
As we gather today, we pray.
Amen.

God is in the Connections (Newsletter Article September 2015)

Sometimes you have to disconnect to stay connected. Remember the old days when you had eye contact during a conversation? When everyone wasn’t looking down at a device in their hands? We’ve become so focused on that tiny screen that we forget the big picture,

the people right in front of us.
– Regina Brett,

 

“I don’t know how people do it without church.”  I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve heard this.  I heard it as a child growing up in a community where we thought everyone went to church (they didn’t).  I heard it as an adult struggling to find a path for my life.  I heard it as a parent looking far off at my children’s future and my prayers that they will be people of faith.  I’ve heard it as a pastor at the grave with a family who lost a child.

What I hear us saying is that we need to be connected.  God designed us to be with each other.  And people do survive without being disciples in a church.  They survive by creating pseudo-churches within friends at work, family, social networking, and sometimes going to a bar like Cheers where everybody knows your name.  I say pseudo-church because it isn’t the same.  Sure people ask about one another, look out for each other.  Yes, there is a connection, but this connection is limited to space and time and the physical world.

Church, when we’re not just going to church but being Church, is getting connected to God and being connected to one another through the love of God in a deep and vulnerable way.  You’ve heard it said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, right?  In our broken world, each of us is the weakest link.  But through Jesus, through this amazing experience of forgiveness, resurrection, and recreation – we become connected, and we become the strong chain of change the world needs.  Without worshipping God weekly, without being with God’s people often, without living in prayer: our lives tend to fall apart.  The Spirit keeps us connected to the Divine and to one another.

I don’t know how people live life without church.  I do know how people live life with church.  We live it fully.  We live it connected to our Creator.  We live it connected to one another in a fellowship that the world doesn’t understand.  We live it with purpose, and meaning in our lives and hope for future generations.  We live life connected.  God is in the Connections.

 

But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light,

we have spiritual connection with each other,

and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.

  • 1 John 1:7

Theology of Creativity

In the Beginning…

This week I was honored to teach a Lay Speaking class on “Leading Prayer” for the Virginia United Methodist Conference.  I begin this class with a simple and deep theological concept of Creativity in Incarnation.  It goes something like this:

God Created us.

We are Created in the Image of God the Creator.

Thus All of Us are Creative.

I believe this with all my heart.  Like Pablo Picasso said, “All children are born Artists, the miracle is that some of us stay that way.”  We were born with a God-given nature to be creative.  It is within our DNA to weave, to paint, to post, to gather words, sticks, and bits of dirt and make something new out of them.

And this really shouldn’t come as a surprise, because even Jesus was an Artist.  Look at how he spins yarns and folk-tales.  “There once was a man who had two sons…”  Listen as he exaggerates beyond belief in hyperbole.  “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…”  Watch as he takes mud and creates sight.  Listen as he uses spit to make a man hear.  Feel his warm welcome to a demoniac that a whole region had avoided and driven into the tombs.

Somewhere, someone along the way told you that you were not like God.  They told said your drawing wasn’t right.  They told you that your writing was incomprehensible.  They saw what you built in wood-shop and derided it.  They tore apart the genes of creativity that God had blessed you.  They attempted to dampen or put out the spark of the Divine Creator, but today I say no.

Reclaim the incarnation of “Emmanuel” as God within us.  There is a Creator who has placed within your heart a prayer, a song, a dance, a vision.  Like a Muse posing before an Artist, God is battting eyes at you waiting for you to put your brush to the canvas.  Be inspired.  The Creative Creator Created You – a Creative Creation born to Create!

(c)2015, Nathan Decker.  Worshipswake.wordpress.com

Call to Worship for All Saints Sunday 2014

We did not arrive here on our own.

There were so many who helped us find faith.

                   Grandmas and Grandpas, Moms and Dads, Aunts and Uncles

That friendly woman who gave us candy each Sunday,

                   That patient man who served as a mentor,

                   spiritual leaders, preachers, people of simple faith:

We did not arrive here on our own.

                                               

Nathan Decker ©2014 www.worshipswake.wordpress.com

Invitation from Matthew 22:1-14

We have come because somebody invited us.

An invitation was required?

Yes, and proper attire as well.

Isn’t that a little old fashioned?

The invitation is from Jesus Christ.

He calls us to come and worship with our hearts.

The requirement is that you put on Christ.

Let us worship as people on the way, Christians, Children of God.

We have come because somebody invited us.

Who will we invite?

-©2014 Nathan Decker, www.worshipswake.wordpress.com

Praise God the Teacher (Prayer)

We call you Teacher and Rabbi

  for you suggest wisdom in our paths

  and show us life lessons in our mistakes;

You invite us to the table, hungry for answers,

  but do not fill us completely, encouraging us to return daily.

You spark within us knowledge and understanding

  and the more we see, the more we seek.

And You provide those special people –

  Sunday School Teachers, Mentors, Elders

  who suggest wisdom in our paths

  and show us life lessons in our mistakes. 

For these and so much more we humbly give our thanks,

  Teacher, Rabbi, Jesus.  Amen.

Worship Wake

Someone asked me recently why I call this site Worship’s Wake.  The answer is because Worship should be and have Wake.

Worship should be like a Wake.  Not many people do this anymore, but a traditional wake, family night, or viewing is a gathering of loved ones around the deceased before the funeral.  They tell stories,  They cry.  They hug and support the family.  They are reminded that this life has impact, this life makes a difference, this life lives on in resurrection.  Worship should have all of these characteristics… and more.

Worship should be aWake.  We all giggle when it happens.  That elderly gentleman in the back nods off and we begin the hear the rumble of his snore two minutes into the sermon.  Worship needs to have an energy.  This doesn’t mean that we’re all moshing for Jesus or jumping in the house of God every Sunday.  But within the given context, the worship experience should cause a change within us from the potential to the kinetic, from the everyday to the supernatural, from the mundane to the spiritual.

Worship should have a Wake.  When a boat goes through the water, it causes a ripple behind it called a wake.  When other boats hit this wake, it causes them difficulty and changes their course.  God knows where our boat is heading, and God willing, the Lord is the captain with the vision.  Our worship experience needs cut through the waters of this live and other boats should be affected by it.

Worship’s Wake is my site for helping this happen.  Community Worship, Energetic Worship, Visionary and Transformational Worship.  Knowing God is in the mix, I’ll do my best.

I am a Slave (Prayer of Confession with Pardon)

I am a Slave.  I am not free.

I do not love God above all. 

I do not love my neighbor. 

I do not care for the garden.

                  I love wealth that I did not earn.

                  I love pleasure.  I love self.

                  I love being right more than learning or teaching.

                  I love to make a living more than making life possible.

                  I love to coldly dissect rather than to be astonished in awe.

                  I love worship so long as it does not require sacrifice or change.

                  I love and live lies so that I can be better liked and elected.

                  I am a Slave.  I am not free.

                  Lord, Jesus!  Break these chains of sin. 

                  Free me so I can joyfully follow your way!  Amen.

                                  a time of silence…

                  Sisters and Brothers, Be Free!

Christ died for us while we were still sinners.  God loves us!

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and free!

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and free!

                  Glory to God!

 

-(CC) 2014 Nathan Decker, www.worshipswake.wordpress.com

Giving God Our Nothing (Call To Worship August 2014)

                   Once, Jesus and his disciples were in the world, doing ministry:

 

Lord, send this crowd away.  It is getting late.  We’re all tired.

Blessed are those who have set their priority on the Kingdom.

                   But Lord, they’re starting to get hungry,

and we have nothing to feed them.

Nothing?

                   Nothing?

Well we do have two fish and some loaves of bread.

                   That’s nothing when you give it to this crowd!

                   Give me your nothing.

Why?  What will it amount to in this world of pain and misery?

                   Give me your nothing.

Are you sure you want to get involved with the needy? 

                   You know they’ll just come back for more, following the bread crumbs.

                   Give me your nothing.

Jesus, if we give up our lunch, then what will we eat in retirement?

                   Give me your nothing.

Yes, Lord.

                   If we give God our Nothing, then Something Kingdom will happen.