I use that as an excuse for a departure from the norm on this blog.
Here's the bbbbbbiiiiiigggggg change!
Here are the songs that we sang last week, December 30th, in NewSong:
"Nothing But the Blood" redone by Andy Cherry
"You'll Come" by Hillsong
"Not For a Moment" (my new fave) by Meredith Andrews
for the offering, "City on the Hill" by Casting Crowns
and at the end of the service, "We Are" by Kari Jobe (I love that song!)
Ha! The songs were listed first :).
If it's your first time on courtneywords.com, first of all, thanks for being here! Second, it's a change because I normally make people read through all of my willy nilly thoughts before they get the song list.
But for those of you still around, don't fret.
I've still got my willy nilly thoughts for you.
Last week, Jeremy preached about being a city on a hill. That meant I got to sing a favorite of mine from Casting Crowns.
Rabbit Trail: Most people I know that are "cool" or "hipster" Christians count out Casting Crowns as a cool group.
I think those people are dumb. Don't let people count out music that blesses and challenges you.
Back on track: The song talks about a church that is falling apart because the different parts of the Body of Christ don't value each other. I don't feel as if that's NewSong or Christ UMC in any way, but I do love the gentle reminder that our differences are what makes us strong and influential. Like I wrote about last week in Forgotten Hope, when we stand together in our differences, I think it helps mirror the image of God in all of His vastness.
Verse 2 of the song says,
"You see the poets thought the dancers were shallow,
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak.
The elders saw the young ones as foolish,
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak."
As I went through this song before Sunday, I thought of the many times that I've been tempted to throw someone aside because I thought that what they had to contribute wasn't worthwhile. Or the many times I've trampled over someone who had very valuable input simply because I didn't think highly enough of them.
In all honesty, I hated to write that.
I absolutely think, feel and know that every person on this planet has something worthwhile to contribute to the body of Christ and to my life, including my understanding of God.
But in my pride, I am tempted not to act as if that were true all of the time.
Thank God for the grace and forgiveness which He has extended to me so many times, as well as His people who have done the same toward me.
I write this because I was so powerfully reminded in the bridge of the song why I need to continue to look hard at the hearts of people around me.
"It is the rhythm of the dancers that gives the poets life.
It is the spirit of the poets that gives the soldiers strength to fight.
It is the fire of the young ones.
It is the wisdom of the old.
It is the story of the poor man that's needing to be told."
So this year, I pray that you and I will be able to remember that those around us, our community, are the ones who inspire us. We can't be a city on a hill all by ourselves. It takes poets, dancers, young, old, engineers, blondes, doctors, bloggers, mommies, short people, managers, educators, athletes, coffee drinkers, vegans and all sorts of others to form a city that shines brightly.
Next time someone rubs you the wrong way or seems silly to you, remember that they are made in the reflection of God and by sending them along your path, He may be trying to speak something into your life.
Happy 2013. Let's be the Body of Christ. The City on a Hill.
And as Jim will talk about this Sunday, the Hope of the World.
See you all Sunday.
Yes. That's right. It IS a Jesus Snowglobe.
AND! He's a music box.
He plays "Silent Night".
She was highly disliked after forcing a trade for him at an office game of Dirty Santa, but she knew I'd love him.
And she was right. Very right indeed.
I actually call him "Brett Jesus" because this version of Jesus looks a lot like my sister's husband Brett. But don't tell him that. He doesn't read the blog ;).
Also, does anyone else think it's funny that it snows on Jesus' head/beard?! I think Jesus has a sense of humor and this would make him laugh.