Preparing for Worship // December 17, 2017

Preparing for Worship // December 17, 2017

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There is a force at work in the South that impacts all of life. It consumes countless waking hours and leads to the loss of energy as we toss and turn in our sleep. It leads otherwise sane men and women to do things they will regret. It pervades our conversation and has even created turmoil within families. I am, of course, talking about college football. College football seems to take over life from the beginning of September into the first week of January. Any Saturday event in the fall is either planned around the big games or has them on in the background.

The all-consuming nature of college football can also be seen on Sunday morning. Hardly a Sunday goes by that the results of Saturday’s games are not discussed in the time surrounding Sunday school and the worship service. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. College football can be a great conversation starter and a way to develop community, but I would challenge you with this question: When was the last time you talked about the Bible while tailgating before a sporting event? Or if football isn’t your thing, when was the last time you talked about church on your way to a concert or at the mall?

Again, there is nothing wrong with any of these pursuits or even talking about them at church. God made us to have hobbies and to enjoy His creation. However, the ease with which we talk about these pursuits combined with how difficult we often find it to broach the subject of the Gospel with our non-Christian friends may tell us something about where our hearts are. Some of it is simply the ease of a common interest. If you’re talking to a fellow Clemson alum, Clemson football can be an easy way to have a conversation. However, some of it is the result of a misplaced and twisted love. We are passionate about football (or music or our kids or our work), and that makes it easy to talk about.

This means that evangelism, like everything in the Christian life, begins with a renewed vision of the beauty and majesty of God. This is one of the many reasons why we come to church every week. It is not just to see other people or check a box off our Christian to-do list. One of the main reasons why we come to worship each week is for a renewed vision of the glory and holiness and grace of God that is found in Jesus Christ. So my closing questions for you are: Do you try to evangelize out of the guilt of not doing it? Or do you evangelize because you have seen the beauty of God and want to share that with others? Do you try to evangelize because you know it’s what you’re supposed to do? Or do you evangelize because you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)?

THE WORD

Scripture: Colossians 4:2-6
Sermon: Relational Evangelism

SONGS

Song of Ascent: King of Kings  (Ordinary Time)
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O Come All Ye Faithful
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The First Noel  (Traditional)
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Song of Preparation: What Child is This? (Traditional)
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Song for the Supper: How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
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Song of Response: Go Tell It On the Mountain (Traditional)
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