March 27, 2013

Why Do We Confess? Why do we confess our sins? Is it to beg God to forgive us? What are we missing when we don't make room in our worship services for confession? Here is an excerpt from Discover the Mystery of Faith, Chapter 4, "Retelling the Story" A good story requires tension. There must be a conflict or a crisis, something to draw us in, to make us feel and hope and long. The trouble with laying out our worship services in a narrative format is that we’ve forgotten where the tension lies. What is the central tension of the gospel narrative? It is that we, though we long to do what is right and become God-like in our love for others, consistently fall short. We quickly aspire to virtue, for this is what it means to have the imago Dei. Yet we discover our limitations right away, and this is what it means to be fallen. We are good but fallen, or fallen but good. Either way, we cannot be who we hope to be. That is, without Christ. The gospel story doesn’t leave us in our hopeless state. God comes to us in Christ, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves, being for us what we cannot be in ourselves. This is what we call grace. It is the most beautiful word in the world. Yet our services, though they may praise grace and teach on grace, don’t often lead us to experience grace. Why? Because the story we tell lacks tension. We don’t bring people to the cliff. Our sermons leave people saying, “Wow. That’s a great insight (or a powerful principle). I’m going to try that this week.” Try that this week? When the apostles preached, people were cut to the heart, crying out, “What must...
"Victorious God" and the "Exsultet" When Ian Eskelin and I were working on "Victorious God", we wanted to write something triumphant about the victory of God. I went right away to the liturgy for the Easter Vigil, found in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. These stanzas below are where we drew inspiriation for the verses: From "The Great Vigil of Easter", the Exsultet: Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, and let your trumpets shout Salvation for the victory of our mighty King. Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth, bright with a glorious splendor, for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King. Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people. Here are the lyrics for "Victorious God": "Victorious God" words and music by Ian Eskelin and Glenn Packiam Verse 1 Rejoice For death has lost its power Rejoice Now the victory is ours O sing, you heavenly choir Come on, church, lift your voices higher Look what our God has done Rejoice! chorus Jesus, You’re the risen One Up from the grave you rose Jesus, You’re the reigning King You conquered all Your foes Victor—ious Victor-ious Victor—ious God Verse 2 Rejoice For God has come to save Rejoice The night has turned to day O sing, you heavenly choir Come on, church, lift your voices higher Look what our God has done Rejoice! Bridge Look what the Lord has done The battle has been won Here's the song: Here are the CHORD CHARTS (FREE!).

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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