My mindset and prayer when planning for Sunday services is to help us walk through the gospel as best as possible with song selections. I try to begin with a song or two focused on adoring God’s holy character, move into a song with a confessional nature, which means that we sing about our need for God’s redeeming love to transform our lives and circumstances. With that in mind, we then sing a Christ-centric song about our Savior’s death and resurrection and finally close with another song of magnifying some attribute of God.
“Wait, aren’t you a doctor?” This is the question I am asked when I run into someone I grew up with but have not seen in years, which happens with some regularity as I am essentially a life-long Houstonian. That question inevitably provokes a voice inside my head that asks me again, “What if I should have been a doctor? What if I missed my calling?”
Welcome to 2022! A new year brings excitement and thoughts of new beginnings, and it’s exciting to think about how the Lord will work at City Church this year. But new years can also feel overwhelming or isolating, particularly as we begin another year in a pandemic. However you are feeling, know that at City Church, we want to be in community with you and meet you where you are.
The American poet A. R. Ammons once wrote a poem called “Identity,” which he wrote after observing the wonder and complexity of a spider weaving a web. In that fragile—yet paradoxically strong—creation he finds a great truth of our life, specifically the way we work to bring order into the disorder of our world. Against the chaos and complications facing all of us in the dark forests of this life, we work at the delicate process of creating our home, our place in the world.
Few things challenge your sense of identity like moving to a new place. Every year, I have my students read an excerpt from a book called The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John that goes, “On your first day at a new school in a new town, you get to decide what kind of kid you were going to be. You could be the smart kid, or the kid who has cool shoes. The kid who knows everything about old cars, or current events, or World War I. The kid who always has chapstick … Today was the day when you could decide to become a new kid and be that kid for the rest of your life.”