verse of the hymn we just sang speaks of “angel choirs,” which
include “cherubim and seraphim in unceasing chorus
praising.” I mention this because some of the youth in our
praise band recommended that this group – which will lead us in
3 songs this morning – be called by the name, “Seraphim.”
One Bible dictionary I consulted simply states that Seraphim
are “winged celestial beings of uncertain identity”
4:279). Almost sounds like a teenager, except for the
“winged celestial” part. Another dictionary from my bookshelf
adds a bit more, noting that the only mention of seraphim
in the Bible is in the 6th chapter of Isaiah, where
the prophet beholds them as having human form, with six wings –
“a pair to shield their faces, another to conceal their feet,
and a third for flight.” They guard the throne of God, and
Isaiah heard one sing out “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of
hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory,” words that rocked
the foundations of the place and filled it with smoke. It was a
seraphim who touched Isaiah’s mouth with a burning coal,
purifying him for the prophetic task ahead (IBD
Now, to call a singing group “Seraphim”
does not imply that they are a bunch of angels. Do recall,
however, that in the Bible the first words out of an angel’s
mouth in a human encounter is often, “Do not be afraid.” With
all these guitars and drums and amplifiers this group brings to
worship, that might not be a bad reminder for those of an older
generation. “Do not be afraid.” Another benefit of the name
might be the reminder that when we praise God, it is not just
our voices, our music that resounds. As the 4th
chapter of the book of Revelation imaginatively puts it, the
throne of God is surrounded by saints and angels, and “day and
night without ceasing” the divine song rings out. Our singing,
no matter what style our music, is but an echo of heaven.
Listen and be
drawn toward the Lord, through the words of the Psalmist, as
imaginatively paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in “The Message.”
Come, let us worship.
God's glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
Their words aren't heard,
their voices aren't recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun's a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
That's how God's Word vaults across the
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God's reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
God's Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You'll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
(pause, so it is clear the
scripture reading has concluded, then:)
Our praise band,
who have given themselves a new name - “Seraphim,” will lead us
with two songs. The first, a favorite of some of our youth, we
will attempt to sing in Spanish as well as English. Even if the
words from a foreign tongue elude you, allow the melody to lead
you into God’s presence. Please rise in body or in spirit, and
let us sing.
In you, O Lord our God,
we find our joy,
for through your law and your prophets
you formed a people in mercy and freedom,
in justice and righteousness.
Pour your Spirit on us today,
that we who are Christ's body
may bear the good news of your ancient promises
to all who seek you. Amen.
That’s a tall order, God – good
news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to
the blind, freedom to the oppressed. Is that what happens when
we unroll the scroll, when we open our Bibles and read? Do we
shift from being receivers to being responders, from being those
who sit to being those who are sent, whenever we encounter your
Jubilee words? If so, help us to follow one step at a time, for
the whole mission seems bigger than our ability to fulfill it.
Thank you for your Son who accomplished this mission when he
walked as a man, and who continues to lead us down the kingdom
path. Thank you for your Spirit who gives us the courage and the
ability to follow, and the boldness to not only speak the words
but to live them out as we are enabled. Thank you that we are
not alone on this journey. We have brothers and sisters walking
beside us, along with you, every step of the way. Just now, we
open our purses and wallets to bring forth what you have already
provided. Help us to put it to good use. In Jesus, we pray.
Ushers, you’ve a job to do. Lead us as we return our offerings.
The body is a unit, made up of many parts.
Right side: Are all prophets? Left side: Do any speak in
We are the body of Christ.
We are baptized by one Spirit and given one Spirit to drink.
Right side: Are any healers?
Left side: Do all work miracles?
We are the body of Christ.
If one part suffers, all suffer with it. When one part is
honored, all are honored with it.
Right side: Are all apostles?
Left side: Do any interpret? All:
We are the body of Christ.
God has bound us together as the church, so that we might share
the good news that God's realm is at hand.
Right side:Are any
Left side: Do all teach?
For we are the body of Christ,
Gathered in love to worship the One who brings us life.
Morgantown Church of the Brethren Morgantown, West Virginia
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"
Go now, and live as one body in Christ.
Be at peace, and care for one another;
Suffer with one another and rejoice with one another.
Give your attention to the Word of God
and proclaim the good news of freedom to all.
And may God delight your heart and sharpen your vision;
May Christ Jesus keep you, thought and word, in his grace;
And may the Holy Spirit be the fountain that sustains you all
........and binds you together as one.
International Lesson: Adult
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement"
under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)