Romans 1:16-17 is a clarion call for New Testament Christians. It also sets the agenda for the rest of the letter:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[a] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
So the Gospel — the life, death, resurrection, and ultimate return of Jesus — is in a real sense “the power of God.”
It’s a phrase I’ve been hearing in prayer recently: the Gospel has its own power. In other words, there is an irresistible strength to the simple, unadorned proclamation of the Gospel story and Gospel invitation.
It’s especially relevant to consider that truth when it comes to worship planning. We wrestle with the how much and the when of creativity. How much art is necessary in worship? When is it important to add a creative element to an otherwise straightforward worship gathering? On what occasions would more creativity actually detract from the simple, urgent power of the Gospel?
We don’t have answers to all those questions. Yet as God brings Romans 1:16-17 to our minds, they are the ones we’ll keep asking.
Because whatever creativity we bring — or don’t bring — to a Sunday morning exists to serve the Gospel and not the reverse.