This comment is like nails on a chalkboard: “I got (didn’t get) a lot out of worship today.”
Kim Fabricious, guest blogger at Faith and Theology, says this in his Ten Propositions on Worship:
8. What should we get out of worship? Wrong question. Worship is not a utility but an offering, i.e. a sacrifice, an economy of grace that interrupts and critiques the feverish cycles of production and consumption – which is why the collection is not fund-raising but cultural critique. If you want relevance, excitement, or profit, go to a rally, a concert, or the stock exchange. To put it most counter-culturally: Blessed are the bored, for they will see God.
To quote my part-time friend, Rick Warren (am I really doing this): “It’s not about you.”
The UMC General Board of Discipleship has some great ideas for preaching the Sundays in Easter.
Interestingly, the article says:
“ Many congregations are not accustomed to sustained celebration. Many pastors who plan worship and preaching make use of the lectionary during the Advent/Christmas cycle and the Lent/Holy Week/Easter cycle, but are ready to follow a different approach when Easter Sunday has come and gone.
We say this as an acknowledgement of the many ways that pastors approach worship and preaching. In no way do we seek to discourage pastors and churches from staying with full use of the lectionary readings each week during Easter. We will continue to post lectionary-based music, preaching, and worship planning helps throughout the Easter season.”
The GBOD offers some suggestions for creating an “extended celebration” of Easter:
- Forget about Easter and work with themes or sermon series, perhaps preaching through a book of the Bible or some portion of it.
- Keep Easter in view but use your own ingenuity in choosing texts around which to plan worship and preaching.
- Plan for worship and preaching a series making use of some of the “natural” connections and progressions in the Revised Common Lectionary. (Click here for the full list of RCL Easter readings, Year C.)
Using the lectionary, you could
- track the Acts readings for a snapshot of the early church (though how you handle Pentacost later will need to come up)
- follow the Revelation readings to “peer into the future.”
- follow the John readings for an “empty tomb postscript”
- or a few other ways including “our history” from the old testament readings
How is your church celebrating the time after Easter?