Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, 11.29.15

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I hope you had a great time with family and friends. Sorry for the late blog post, see you this Sunday. 

Growing up I went to a socially, economically and racially diverse public school. I was from a middle class home, but there were many kids in my 4th grade class that were from some of the poorest parts of town. They often came from broken homes and struggled in class room settings where discipline was expected. Each classroom that I was in beginning in 1st grade provided examples of how bad it could be in the classroom when kids had no respect for authority. However, my 4th grade class was different. First off, we had some of the worst kids. I began to expect that it would be a tough year, but what I was surpassed was to see how well the class started to grow and the kids who had tougher home situations started to buy in and grow as well. All of this was due to the love of our 4th grade teacher. She was an older teacher, but invested her time and energy into the students and most importantly showed the students how much she cared and loved them. Our success was due to her love for us. 

Sadly, our teacher’s husband was dying from a heart condition and she had to leave halfway through the year. This was one of the worst things that could have happened to the classroom. I still remember the day that she told us she was leaving. She pulled us aside and with tears told us she would not be returning. Her reason for leaving was legitimate, but it still felt like abandonment. The kids who took it the hardest were the ones who were used to abandonment in their lives. They felt as if they had finally met an adult who cared and loved them. The aftermath of this was that the kids who were seen as the trouble makers started to live up to that expectation. They felt so hurt by the situation that they gave up trying to behave or try in school. On the surface it looked like rebellion, but inside it was fear. They were afraid that they would never meet someone else who cared so much and so they began to give up. 

We can act this way in our hearts when we feel as if God has abandoned us or if friends who were once faithful to us end up abandoning us. The question to ask as we approach worship this Sunday is How are we to remain faithful in the midst of a faithless world? Despite the suffering and the hurt that we will inevitably experience what will it look like to remain faithful rather than giving up. I challenge you to consider this as you listen to these songs and read over our passage. Consider what it means to remain faithful in life despite suffering, pain or abandonment. 

THE WORD

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:9-22
Sermon: Faithful Amid the Faithless

SONGS

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (arr. Red Mountain Music)
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Whom Shall I Fear  (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Great is Thy Faithfulness
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Song of Preparation: We Will Feast In The House Of Zion  (arr. Sandra McCracken)
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Song of Response: You Never Let Go (Matt Redman)
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