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Pastor's Pastor: Building and reaffirming faith

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Archives / 2005 / October

 

 

Pastor's Pastor: Building and reaffirming faith

James A. Cress
James A. Cress is the Ministerial Secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

 

Perhaps the most important role of pastoral leadership is to inspire confidence among the members in God’s providential leading in the past and His divine guidance for the future.

Our objective is to seek creative methodologies for faith building. One such idea comes from Scripture when Israel would gather to rehearse the great themes of creation, deliverance, and promised redemption.

My colleagues in ministry, Sylvia and John Baldwin from Andrews University shared the concept for the following responsive litany as an affirmation of God’s certification of a literal, historical creative week along with Jesus’ recreative power assuring His promised restoration of all good things.

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:1, 2)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.” (Gen. 1:7b; John 14:2)

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:3-5)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Gen. 1:6-8) Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.” Leader: The Creative Word of God.“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass . . . and the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.” (Gen. 1:9-13)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years . . . And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Gen. 1:14-19)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Gen. 1:20-23).

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth . . .

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Gen. 1:24-31)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2:1-3)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exod. 20:8-11)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:6, 7)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev. 14:12)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

Leader: The Creative Word of God.

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:22)

Congregation: The Certifying Word. “And it was so . . . if it were not so I would have told you.”

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