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May 31, 2019
Modern Liturgy
By Mike Price

Modern Liturgy: We build history into modern services because we are called to carry an ancient faith into the future.

Every week at Grace, you will experience what we call “modern liturgy.”
We believe that the Church is God’s plan to bring hope for a lost and broken humanity. Our deep love for Jesus’ Church drives our desire to hold to the faith and practices that have been passed down from generation to the generation. We recognize that we do not stand alone, but instead we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.
Listen to how Paul describes the Church in Ephesians:

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him, you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

We echo the voices of those who have gone before us. We intensify the global chorus of people declaring the praises of our God in the here and now. We pass on a faith to the future that will endure for eternity.

Jesus has accomplished for us what we could never accomplish for ourselves. He overcame the curse that held us captive. He destroyed death and showed us what true joy looks like. He is the Cornerstone of His Church. He has called and empowered us, His people, to be the dwelling place of the Spirit of God on earth.
As we gather, we join with all the people who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
We echo the voices of those who have gone before us. We intensify the global chorus of people declaring the praises of our God in the here and now. We pass on a faith to the future that will endure for eternity. We steward this story of redemption that God has been writing since he breathed life into Adam in the garden.
As we sing on the weekend at Grace:

People, come together
Strangers, neighbors
Our blood is one
Children of generations
Of every nation
Of Kingdom come

This is who we are. We are the shadow of an eternal kingdom that God is establishing – a hopeful beacon to a world of despair that good is ahead for the people of God. God’s expression of the “now” and the “not yet.” We are the Kingdom coming.
Modern liturgy is one of the ways we unite with those who follow Jesus. We share in the sacrament. We encounter the risen Christ and His abundant grace each week as we celebrate in Communion. We read and proclaim creeds and prayers from saints of ages past that have carried the torch to this day. We confess together because we recognize the significance of acknowledging our desperate need for redemption.
We sing songs that were written almost 1,000 years ago and songs that were written last year, because we believe that the Spirit of God is still writing the praise of God on his people’s hearts. We read and study the Scripture because we believe that it is powerful and effective to transform hearts and inflame our worship. Every element of our worship — our liturgy — is intentionally planned in our gatherings to point us to who Jesus is and what He has done for his people.
In our unity, as we gather together, we grow and push one another forward as followers of Jesus. We edify and encourage those around us.
Jesus intended for us to do this together. Hebrews 10 encourages us to “hold fast to our confession” and for us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Our confession is an eternal one: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. In the present, we find ourselves between the second and third of those phrases. We revel in the risen Christ as we anticipate the glorious Day when He will come again. As we come together to declare this confession, we remind each other of the hope to which we have been called.
Our modern liturgy is the vehicle by which we carry this ancient and eternal confession into the future. It is an astounding future that promises a reigning Christ who will return for His people and lead them into an eternal kingdom that will not fade away.


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