Please join us on Sunday Morning's at 9:30am for worship services, Sunday Night at 5:00 for Evening worship and Wednesday Night at 7:00pm for classes of all ages.

Vivion Road 2022 Theme

Coming Into the Presence of God and Preparing to Worship

Our theme of coming into the presence of God and preparing to worship draws from Psalm 100. Several of the hymns that we sing center on this subject as well. 

Psalm 100 reads:

1 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.

2 Serve the Lord with jubilation;

Come before Him with rejoicing.

3 Know that the Lord Himself is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving,

And His courtyards with praise.

Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

5 For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting

And His faithfulness is to all generations.

Throughout 2022 we will explore this theme in many of our lessons as well as in our meetings. One of the hymns that draws upon Psalm 100 and inspires our theme is “Come Into His Presence.” We have access to this song in our eChoice hymnal. Its lyrics are:

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart and give Him praise, and give Him praise;

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart, your voices raise, your voices raise.

Give glory and honor and power unto Him, Jesus, the name above all names.

Our God is great! Each time we come together to worship, it is an opportunity to praise His great power, His great knowledge and wisdom, His great presence. On the one hand, God is in all places, all the time, a fact we must not lose sight of when we are alone, or at least not gathered together as a local church. On the other hand, God commands us to come together as His people and worship Him on the first day of the week. In that sense He has gathered us together before Him, into His special presence, as some have expressed it.

As we come into the presence of God in worship, we are transitioning from the mundane to the heavenly. Consider the preparation we go through for worldly special occasions. We might prepare words to say; practice or visualize movements. Perhaps we would pay special attention to getting enough sleep, or eating a healthy meal. We may dress up, or in a particular way. Coming into God’s presence to worship Him is the most special of all occasions, and requires our mental preparation in particular. God prepared a kingdom for us from the foundation of the world. Matt 25:34. God wants us to be a prepared people. e.g. see 2 Tim. 2:21; 1 Pet. 2:13.

God expects and deserves our best, and as the Psalm and hymn derived from it above tell us, coming into his presence with joy in our hearts and an attitude of thanksgiving are foundational and essential to giving Him our best. This year, we will study about and encourage each other to reinvigorate that joy and thanksgiving. 

Vivion Road 2021 Theme

How Can I Keep From Singing?  

Our theme of perspective this year draws from the song “How Can I Keep From Singing,” sometimes referred to by the phrases in its first line, “My Life Flows On” or “Endless Song.” The hymn was composed by Robert W. Lowry, circa 1868, although it is often misattributed as a traditional Quaker or Shaker hymn. Many of Mr. Lowry’s hymns are sung to this day, including some in our hymnal.

Throughout 2021 we will explore the themes in this song in many of our lessons as well as in our meetings. We have access to this song in our eChoice hymnal, and some version of it is likely familiar due to performances by several popular recording artists.

"How Can I Keep From Singing" is full of optimism and hope. As this new year begins, many are looking forward to better and brighter days. While it is natural for us to join in this worldly hope, “How Can I Keep From Singing” reminds us that our joy is in Christ, who reigns supreme over any earthly trouble or concern.

As we will sing it this year:

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth's lamentation,
I hear the real, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation;
Thru all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What tho' the tempest loudly roars? (alt: What tho’ my joys and comforts die?)
The Lord my Savior liveth;
And tho' the darkness ‘round me close,
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heav’n and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble in their fear
and hear their death knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our tho’ts to them are winging;
When friends by shame are undefiled, 
How can I keep from singing?

In addition to these, another verse exists, but is not used in our hymnal:

I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,
Since first I learned to love it,
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his—
How can I keep from singing?

Last year we considered a theme based on vision. This year builds upon that theme in a hymn that encourages us to have perspectivePerspective comes from two Latin roots that together mean “look through,” another reference to sight. 
We encourage you to think and pray about what this theme of perspective means to you and your faith. You might consider the following excerpt from the third chapter of the  letter to the Phillippians:

17 Brothers and sisters, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even as I weep, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who have their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our lowly condition into conformity with His glorious body, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Having the perspective that “our citizenship is in heaven” can help us in many ways, including how we relate to both our brothers and sisters as well as our fellow man. Also, as our theme hymn should remind us, even when we are in a valley, “Since Christ is Lord of heav’n and earth, How can I keep from singing?”