Scripture Solidarity on the 5th Sunday of Lent…03.25.12

This weekend, we immersed ourselves in the scriptures of the 5th Sunday of Lent.  Christian brothers and sisters all over the planet we’re reading, praying, and singing these passage from the bible, and we wanted to join them.  So after Becky lead us in a stirring version of “Revelation Song”, we launched into these great passages…

First, Becky sang a haunting, cantor-style version of Jeremiah 31:31-34…

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

We responded by singing the refrain of the old Keith Green song “Create in Me a Clean Heart” and reading from the scriptures that inspired it…

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
(Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15.)

In this spirit, Becky lead us into the song “Give us Clean Hands”, which we sang from our toes, and then we turned to reflect on the words of Hebrews…

In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
(Heb 5:7-9)

In this space, I invited us to follow Jesus’s example and offer God our “prayer and supplication”. We spent a minute or two in silent prayer.

After we said “Amen”, the band began to build and we read…

Then Jesus said to them,
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves their life loses it,
and whoever hates their life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
(Jn 12)

We then stood to our feet and sang the chorus of “The Wonderful Cross” and ended with a bellowing version of “I Surrender All”.

There is definitely something about joining in with millions of brothers and sisters around the world to read from the same scripture and pray the same kinds of prayers.  Even if the style sounds different, there is power in the solidarity.  The Christian family is a wide, diverse, global family…and we’re all a part of it!


Posted by Aaron Niequist on 03.25.12 under Lead Worship, Weekend Experience.

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