Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Peter McCutcheon

This devotion is all about my favorite part of worship on Sunday morning. I bet you think it’s the music. (It’s not.)

During my teenage years at the Baptist Church you heard about yesterday, service and worship was quite disjunct. In February, instead of Epiphany, there would be a sermon series on Valentine’s Day. It felt like commercialized Scripture; it was either a lot of big scientific ideas about why God has to exist (including a visit from an astronomer and an archeologist), or it was Scripture ideas that fit the teenage narrative. Digestible is the word that comes to mind. 

The music for these services could be described as “playing the hits”, or the songs that would be playing on the Contemporary Christian radio or songs that the music director knows the congregation loves. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with popular music, but it just didn’t fit what was going on in the sermon. Going from a sermon about God’s wrath to “Worthy is the Lamb” or “Oceans” will give someone spiritual whiplash. Nothing made sense.

When I came to Good Shepherd, it was such a contrast to what I have experienced in church. Every Sunday, there would be passages read from the Bible, and a Gospel reading, and then the sermon happened. The sermon was built on the Gospel! Instead of the Gospel being built on a sermon. 

As the seasons changed, I began to notice more how organized and intentional the services at Good Shepherd are. I learned in music school about the church calendar, and the typical order of a service, and now I was experiencing it. The Lectionary calendar, as well as the service order are my favorite parts of worship. It shows me a God that doesn’t speak through a pastor’s mouth but a pastor that is listening in to what God has to say. It shows music that fits the season of worship, all the Christmas and Easter in-betweens. It is predictable, and that predictability strengthens how intentional the worship at Good Shepherd is. Intentional not just to praise God, but to listen to what he has to say, even when it might be challenging. Amen.

 

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