On Wednesday morning the staff met to discuss our upcoming worship services and what we would need to do to get ready. Worship services are actually pretty complicated, and it takes effort to get all the moving pieces moving together. We enjoy doing so!
As we looked at the next few weeks, we saw that on Feb. 5 guest speakers would be talking about the differently abled, and so that is what the sermon and music would try to touch on. On Feb. 12, the youth would be in charge of the theme, and they had chosen “social media.” Great to have so much congregational involvement two weeks in a row! Then on Feb. 26 the Rockin’ Dawgs are in town. So the schedule is set.
However, in the meantime, a lone gunman killed six Muslims worshipping in a Quebec mosque. Donald Trump slammed the doors to immigrants from seven Muslim countries. So, shouldn’t worship focus on these critical, timely events that change the world we live in?
The answer is always “yes!” and “no.”
Yes. We do need to worship with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper (or iPad) in the other. Every week, as these events shake us and our world, we will pray out of sorrow and hope for wisdom and shalom. We will discuss them over coffee with each other. And over the course of the year many of these issues will receive laser-like attention through sermons, song, and meditation.
But no. We can’t let every past week’s events be the only guide to what is front and center on any one Sunday. Because then we couldn’t plan ahead. We couldn’t book musicians or guest speakers. And if I only reacted to what happened this week in the news, I couldn’t take the time I need to preach to and around the big issues of the day.
The bottom line? Yes. If it matters, our worship will go there. But no. The news does not set every week’s agenda. And, if it matters to you that something be said, send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) an email, because your input about such things is really helpful.