“This is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,” (Psalm 118:24).
This very familiar verse is one I have been using to greet you at the beginning of worship. It is a verse that speaks to the eighth day of the week. A day of new life, re-creation, restoration as Paul puts it in his First Letter to the Corinthians:
“Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures …”
It is on the eighth day and in particular this Sunday we contemplate Mark 8:27-38. It is on the eighth day that we answer Jesus’ question in Mark 8:28 “Who do people say that I am?”
Who do you say is Jesus Christ?
In your contemplation of Mark 8:27-38 on the Lord’s Day or the Eighth Day or Sunday I want you to think upon the flow of the service.
Gathering: we come together from the outside world into God’s House. In the initial part of our gathering our hearts, souls, and minds are turned toward God away from the outside world as we hear opening words and prayer calling us to worship. Then we sing a hymn or praise song to further turn ourselves toward God.
For our Summer time of worship the Confession and Assurance of Pardon is being moved to the beginning of the service to further our emptying of self and move towards God. There may be music again as our focus turns towards God’s Word.
Hearing God’s Word: Now we focus upon God’s Word. The reading of Scripture and our reflection upon what God has to say. This is accomplished through a children’s message, a sermon, or meditation. Music is also involved for the song or hymn here reflects Scripture and the message.
An affirmation of faith or confession of who we say God is for us in our lives then takes place. This is generally done in the form of the Nicene Creed or Apostles’ Creed. From our confession or affirmation of faith we lift up our prayers of the people to the Lord. Following the prayers we have a time of offering as a response to what God has done for us in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Some Sundays we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
Sending: In our preparation to leave God’s House and enter back into the outside world we reaffirm our commitment to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit having been born again in the presence of one another. Through music, blessing, and charge we are sent on our way to live the way of the Lord in the world.
There are variations and other elements that will be added to our worship. The point to keep in mind is that our worship has a flow to it. We are taken from the outside world, restored in Jesus Christ, and then sent back out into the world. In the process of worshipping with one another we say who is Jesus Christ. We answer the question of Jesus in Mark 8:27. Then we go live the answer in the world today, that the World may know of God’s love, righteousness, and the gift of eternal life.