Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Opus 2013-151: The Sermon that Wasn’t

Sunday night I was to begin my short stint of preaching.  I am filling in for the pastor who has gone on Sabbatical.  I have been looking forward to it.  I was ready to go.  It did not work out that way.

I thought I had someone to cover the music.  It turned out that he could only cover the morning service so I got out my guitar and proceeded to have a one man show.  We had a great time of singing mixing an old hymn with several “contemporary” songs.  In between songs I asked if anyone had anything to share or a word of testimony.  Many people shared from the oldest in her eighty’s to the youngest in high school.  It took longer than I expected, but it was a good time.

Then we went to prayer.  We had a lot of requests.  Sunday night is when we make up lists for ourselves and update the needs we are aware of.  It went on longer than I was expecting.  You could sense the warmth and caring that was present.  I don’t feel adequate to cover so much in a “pastoral prayer” so I explained we would have a time of open prayer and I would close.  I told them not to worry about times of silence.  If they did not feel comfortable praying out loud, then pray silently. 

We went before the Lord.  I was expecting one or two of the regulars to lead out and they did but the prayers just kept coming.  Old, young, long, short, people just kept lifting their prayers to God.  Several prayed more than once.  A teen prayed in tears.    The college student next to her lifted her in prayer.  Another college student referred to the morning theme of the church being “cross generational” and praised God.  After a good time of prayer I started to sing “God is so good...” and they joined me as we closed.

Wow.  We only had fifteen minutes left.  I figured I could squeeze my sermon in but someone else shared.  Someone else brought up a special concern and we focused on that in prayer.  When we got down to five minutes I confessed I would not try to get my sermon in.  I think they would have stayed, but the Lord had blessed us enough I didn’t want to mess it up.

So my first Sunday was the Sunday of the sermon that wasn’t.  It will still be there next week.  The Lord was with us.  I wish you could have been.

The small church is still alive and well.

homo unius libri


  1. You did the right thing. Some of the most memorable services that I've ever been in were ones like that which you just described.So many pastors mess up the flow of the Spirit because they just HAVE to get their two cent's worth in on EVERY occasion. Bless you for listening to the Spirit instead of your ego, like so many would have done.

    1. It was hard. Like you say, I had my two cents worth but if I had forced it I am not sure it would have been worth that much. I think the other error is to not prepare and expect this kind of openness to happen every time.

      I am still being lifted by the worship of fellowship.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.