October 1, 2023

[LITURGY] Believers, Doubters, and Everyone Who’s a Bit of Both

In this weekend’s liturgy, we brought one of our commitments to life: “South Bend City Church is a place for believers, doubters, and those who are a bit of both”. We explore this spectrum through readings of the Psalms, reflecting on a song called Citizens, by Jon Guerra, and singing other songs together as a community.

If you want to follow along with the transcript, you can do so by following along below.

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Intro: Hey South Bend City Church, Mariah here – the Director of Art and Worship. We’re so thankful you chose to join us today for this liturgy episode of the podcast.

In this weekend’s gathering, we use the book of Psalms and some excerpts from that to help guide us on a journey on the spectrum between belief and doubt. We recognize that everyone in our community is at a different point on that spectrum and they may even be on a different point than they were yesterday. But we wanted to take a minute to break this liturgy into different portions to honor, to respect and to reflect through several points on that spectrum.

We’re so grateful that you chose to join us today and we hope that this time is as meaningful for you as it was this weekend. Let’s jump in with the rest of our community now.


Mariah: So we talk a lot about, we’ve got maybe some like buzz phrases here at South Bend City Church and one of those is that we are a community of believers and doubters and everyone who’s a little bit of both. And so this morning we wanted to take you through a liturgy that kind of takes us through that spectrum.

I know for me, and I’m sure for many of you, at different points in your life, you’ve found yourself at a different point on that spectrum. One day you may wake up and you’re full of doubt and questions, and the next you may wake up and be completely like sold and completely stable in belief. But it’s also a spectrum, so you could find yourself in any spot, in any combination of those.

And so I stumbled across this Psalm and we thought we would share it with you this morning, Psalm 77. This will kind of set the stage for this.


Psalm 77
“I cry aloud to God,
I cry to God to hear me.
On the day of my distress I seek Love;
by night my hands are stretched out unceasingly…”


Mariah: And that feeling I think a lot of us can resonate with where we’re just crying out to God. So I’m going to invite Haleigh back up. In that first song, in that first verse it says, “Lord I find you in the seeking, and Lord I find you in the doubt”. And this morning, before we get into kind of these sections, we just wanted to sing that chorus one more time.


Oh How I Need You by All Sons and Daughters|
Oh how I need You
Oh how I need You
Oh how I need You
Oh how I need You


Mariah: So this morning we’re gonna offer a series of readings, reflections and songs. This first section is more of a reflective segment and so I’ll read the rest of that Psalm and then we’ll have the opportunity to hear a song that a man called Jon Guerra wrote.

And instead of us playing that, we actually thought it would be appropriate to show it on the screens, allow the songwriter to bring his song to you, and you’ll be able to follow along with the words.

But this next section is for you to just breathe and to process as we start this morning. So Psalm 77 continues…


Psalm 77
“…I refuse to be consoled.
When I think of God, I groan;
as I meditate, my spirit grows faint.
You have kept me from closing my eyes in sleep;
I am troubled and cannot speak.
I consider the days of old;
the years long past I remember.
At night I ponder in my heart;
and as I meditate, my spirit probes:
“Will the Lord reject us forever,
never again show favor?
Has God’s mercy ceased forever?
The promise to go unfulfilled for future ages?
Has God forgotten how to show mercy,
in anger withheld his compassion?”
I conclude: “My sorrow is this,
the right hand of the Most High has abandoned us.”


Citizens by Jon Guerra
Verse 1
I have a heart full of questions
Quieting all my suggestions
What is the meaning of Christian
In this American life?
I’m feeling awfully foolish
Spending my life on a message
I look around and I wonder
Ever if I heard it right
Coming to you ‘cause I’m confused
Coming to you ‘cause I feel used
Coming to weep while I’m waiting
Tell me you won’t make me go

I need to know there is justice
That it will roll in abundance
And that you’re building a city
Where we arrive as immigrants
And you call us citizens
And you welcome us as children home

Verse 2
You were alone and rejected
Misunderstood and detested
You gave it all, didn’t hold back
You even gave up your life
How can we call ourselves Christians
Saying that love is a tension
Between the call of the cross and
Between the old party line
Coming to you for the mothers
Who are all running for cover
There is a flood from their weeping
Tell me you won’t make them go


Verse 2
There is a man with a family
He has a wife and a baby
He broke the law just to save them
Working for three bucks an hour
Truly you said we were equal
Everyone’s heart is deceitful
Everyone born is illegal
When love is the law of the land
Coming to you for the hungry
Eating the scraps of this country
Didn’t you swear you would feed them
Tell me you won’t make them go


Verse 3
There is a wolf who is ranting
All of the sheep they are clapping
Promising power and protection
Claiming the Christ who was killed
Killed by a common consensus
Everyone screaming “Barabbas”
Trading their God for a hero
Forfeiting Heaven for Rome
Coming to you ‘cause I’m angry
Coming to you ‘cause I’m guilty
Coming to you ‘cause you’ve promised
To leave the flock for the one


Verse 4
Is there a way to love always?
Living in enemy hallways
Don’t know my foes from my friends and
Don’t know my friends anymore
Power has several prizes
Handcuffs can come in all sizes
Love has a million disguises
But winning is simply not one


Mariah: So maybe for you, that song resonates deeply today. Maybe those questions or those outcries, those laments resonate. Maybe those doubts raise up in you.

For some of you, maybe you’re not doubting, but maybe you’re not believing yet either. Maybe you’re in a season where you’re just taking one step at a time. You’re trying to keep your head above water and you’re just hoping, you’re trusting, that each step will be met with ground.

So this next section is for those of you who are hoping and trusting, somewhere in the middle of belief and doubt. If you’re willing and able, would you stand and join as we sing?

Before we sing though, I’m gonna have Laura read a Psalm for us to get us there.


Psalm 20:6-7
“The Lord saves his anointed. He answers him from his holy heaven with his saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”


Psalm 25:1-3
“To you, oh Lord, I lift up my soul, in you I trust, oh my God. Do not let me be put to shame nor let my enemies triumph over me.”


Steady Heart by Steffany Gretzinger
Verse 1
I can’t see what’s in front of me
Still I will trust You, still I will trust You
And I can’t see what’s in front of me
Still I will trust You, still I will trust You

Steady heart that keeps on going
Steady love that keeps on hoping
Lead me on
Steady grace that keeps forgiving
Steady faith that keeps believing
Lead me on

Verse 2
Though the sky is dark
And the wind is wild
You’ll never leave me, You’ll never leave me
Though the night is long
There is a coming dawn
The light is breaking, the light is breaking

Chorus (x3)


Mariah: And for some of us this morning, we’re full of belief. We’re full of faith. We’re confident. And we celebrate with you this morning if that’s where you’re at. This morning, this section is for you and Laura’s gonna read Psalm 112 for us.


Psalm 112
“Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the person who follows love,
who greatly delights in her commandments.
Her people will be mighty on the earth.
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in her house and her righteousness endures forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the upright.
She is gracious, compassionate, and righteous.

It goes well for a person who is gracious and lends, t
hey will maintain her cause in judgment.
For they will never be shaken.
The righteous will be remembered forever.
They will not fear bad news.
Their heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”


Never Lost by Tauren Wells
Verse 1
Miracles when You move such an easy thing for You to do
Your hand is moving right now
You are still showing up at the tomb of every Lazarus
Your voice is calling me out

Right now I know You’re able
My God come through again

You can do all things
You can do all things but fail
‘Cause You’ve never lost a battle
No, You’ve never lost a battle
And I know, I know You never will

Verse 2
Everything’s possible
By the power of the Holy Ghost
A new wind is blowing right now
Breaking my heart of stone
Taking over like it’s Jericho
And my walls are all crashing down

Chorus (x2)

Bridge (x4)
You’ve never lost a battle
You’ve never lost a battle
You’ve never lost a battle
You never will

Chorus (x2)

And I know, I know You never will
And I know, I know You never will

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