12.16.18 - The Power of Speaking Together (Kenny Camacho)
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 28:18-20, Colossians 3:16-17, James 5:13-16
SUMMARY: There are many elements of a traditional liturgical service that can seem strange to us, particularly readings from the Christian creeds, practicing public confession of sins, participating in corporate prayer, and even singing songs together. Why do we do these things? This week, we want to look at the Scriptural and historical reasons why many of the elements of Christian worship services exist. What we hope to find is a compelling story, beginning with Jesus’s closing instructions to His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations [and baptize] them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” and ending in a series of ritualized reminders of what we believe as Christians and why we believe it. In brief, we speak together in our services out of obedience: to the instructions of Christ, to the teachings of our spiritual ancestors, and to the wisdom of the early Christian church.
Why are we sometimes bothered or even bored by traditional elements of a liturgical service, like responsive readings, confession, and communion?
Have you ever been part of a church that practiced reading the Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds before? What are your reflections on that experience? In what ways was it valuable (or not so valuable) for you?
Read through the Apostles’ Creed together as a group. Do you feel like you understand it? Are there parts of it that you have questions about? What can you do to investigate these questions this week?
How do you feel about reciting a “confession” together in church? What do you think the goal of this practice is? How is it challenging for you?
Do you sing in church? Why or why not? How do you feel about the practice of singing songs together? What do you think the best version of this practice would be?
What are you usually hoping to find in a church service? How do your hopes line up with the practices incorporated in a traditional “liturgical” service? What about this disparity is challenging to or for you?