I left this morning having encountered Christ, His presence, the fellowship of believers and a confident reminder that God's desire is to give us a heart of flesh in place of a heart of stone.
Here are three things that I like about my dad's church:
- First, they recite the Apostle's Creed - perhaps in your tradition of worship you don't recite this often...I know in the pentecostal circles I am most accustomed to we don't recite it often (if ever!) - here's a refresher for you...think on each phrase...
I believe in God the Father Almighty,maker of heaven and earth;And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,born of the Virgin Mary,suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, dead, and buried;the third day he rose from the dead;he ascended into heaven,and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit,the holy catholic church,the communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,the resurrection of the body,and the life everlasting. Amen.
- I think the reason I enjoy this so much is because it's a bold declaration of theology and belief. Unfortunately, I've been in services where I wasn't sure of the theological bent and the focus was not necessarily on Christ nor His sacrificial work. I think it would do many of our pentecostal churches a benefit to return to some of these forms of liturgy.
- Second, they sing the doxology. Again, this is not something I hear much of in pentecostal circles - how sad! The doxology represents a powerful, declarative song of praise to God.
- Finally, they embrace my dad's holiness/pentecostal preaching. This morning my dad preached a message that was a clarion call to live a life of holiness, to embrace the work of the Spirit in perfecting the image of Christ in us. I love the fact that my dad is called to the United Methodist Church (he was IPH as I am not so many years ago)...I love the fact that he is able to preach the pentecostal and the holiness doctrines as he always has. Plus, I just love to hear my dad preach - in my opinion, there is no one greater because I've seen the congruency of the Word-preached and the life-lived.