“What Now?” A First7th Preview

By February 11, 2014The Gathering

first7th preview service

Continuing our theme from worship this Sunday, we must expand on the practices of discipleship and the answers to the question “What now?” The first is our charge to be part of the body of Christ. Was does that involve?

Joining the body of Christ

The body of Christ is a term that illustrates how the church operates together to live as disciples of Jesus. There are two main facets of this process, forming a life of worship and a life of hospitality. Today we’re going to focus on our lives of worship.

Worship is a lifestyle, not an event

Worship is not something that exclusively takes place in a church setting. As we grow as disciples, our times of worship outgrow the walls of the sanctuary and fill spaces throughout our lives. Every day includes an opportunity to connect with our loving God, to internalize the good news of Christ and to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. How does this happen?

Individual worship

The first step to creating a lifestyle of worship is to begin a practice of daily devotion. Your devotional time needs to include the following:

  • Calming your mind and opening your heart, creating a space for the spirit of God to speak to you.
  • Reading a passage or two of selected scripture. The purpose of this reading is to encounter God, not study or analysis.
  • Prayers of thanksgiving and of petition (sharing needs with God), both for yourself and others.

Outside of those major components, you’re encouraged to try out any number of devotional patterns and resources that fit your needs and preferences. If you don’t have a devotional resource yet, I suggest you join me in using Common Prayer, a new resource that, like First 7th, utilizes ancient traditions in a way that are meaningful in modern life and puts a strong emphasis on living lives that follow Jesus’ example. Common Prayer is available for free at commonprayer.net, or for a small price as aprint resource or app. I recommend the Common English Bible for your scripture reading, which is available for free at bible.com or biblegateway.com.

Go to today’s devotional at Common Prayer

Corporate worship

As part of the body of Christ, it’s vital that we connect to each other as often as possible. Like the parts of a body, we are wonderfully unique and permanently connected together. Community is built into the fabric of our existence via the divineHoly Trinity. It’s where we can best learn to love ourselves and others, and in communal worship we grow in our love of God.

Our next gathering for First 7th worship is Sunday, March 9, 5 to 6 p.m. at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. It’s an important step in our journey of discipleship together, and I can’t wait to see you there!

God bless!


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