First UMC
Downtown Worship, August 14, 2022
Vital Church: Worship
Locations & Times
  • First United Methodist Church of Lexington - Downtown
    200 W High St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA
    Sunday 8:30 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM
What is happening that Yahweh would be asking rapid fire, obviously rhetorical, questions?

The people were embracing prophets whose goal was to as verse. 27 says, “They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another.”

The character of God is being distorted and the promises of God are being forgotten.

Distortion and forgetting can arise from within the walls as well as outside.

Within: Resembling culture, exceptionalism, competition, prosperity gospel, convenience.

Outside: Media, Pundits, Government.

Richard Hays, in his book “The Art of Reading Scripture” says, Do we live among a people of unclean lips? I’m not talking about just the profanity that pollutes our airwaves and movie screens, what we usually call “dirty” words and sexual innuendo. No, I mean the pernicious babble that passes for public discourse; I mean the smooth, relentless stream of advertising that shapes us into docile consumer units.

Worship as a way of help.
A. Remember the character of God
1. Gathering
2. Word
3. Response / Table
4. Sending

B. Rehearse the promises of God
1. Worship as the real world
2. Reciprocity between worship and ourselves shapes us.
3. Force-field theory says we internalize stimuli (liturgy) which changes the way we function.

At the center of a vital church, one that is essential to the community, is a church rightly focused on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is composed of a group of people who are willing to do the hard work of identifying and rooting out idols that take the place of God in our minds and hearts and make their way into worship. Some I have mentioned earlier and I won’t rehash them again but they are worth spending time personally examining our hearts. And secondly, it is determined to hold clergy accountable for the words of God instead of the words of the culture. That is where it began with the Israelites.

Questions for your consideration:
You personally:
1. Where is Sunday worship on our priority list?
2. What do we do earlier in the week that prepares you for today?
3. When is the last time you've been challenged to rethink a position on something? Confirmation bias?
4. Where are the idols in your life that are distorting God?

For your clergy:
Are they charismatic or entertaining? Not a good question.
1. Does their ministry line their own pockets, build their kingdom, grow their platform, make them successful or build for the kingdom and make God’s name great? GREAT question
2. Do they make you think more about God or more about them? GREAT question
3. Do you see evidence of joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control in their lives?
4. Have you seen progress toward a Christ-like presence?
5. Do they sometimes challenge me to think in a different way and more importantly act in a different way by their words and actions?
6. Do they use an invitation bias or a manipulation bias? Encouragement and gratitude vs. shame, fear or other emotional pleas?

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