February 17, 2019

Lord, enthroned in heav’nly splendor, first-begotten from the dead, Thou alone, our strong Defender, liftest up Thy people’s head. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Jesus, true and living Bread! Jesus, true and living Bread! Prince of Life, for us Thou livest, by Thy body souls are healed; Prince of Peace, Thy peace Thou livest, by Thy blood is pardon sealed. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Word of God in flesh revealed, Word of God in flesh revealed. Paschal Lamb! Thine off’ring finished once for… Read more

February 15, 2019

The Eucharist is “the point where [the finished work of Christ] is constantly renewed to the Church, as those who have already been buried and raised with Christ in baptism come to share in the broken body and outpoured blood of him whose crucified and life-giving body they are called to be.” “This is the crucible of the new creation, in which God’s new world is continually being fashioned out of the old, as ordinary men and women are renewed… Read more

February 15, 2019

I know it’s too late for this year, but yesterday I had this great idea! Let’s see if we can make Valentine’s Day cards using modern “worship” song lyrics. We all know that they don’t belong in, you know, actual corporate worship, but I think we still salvage them. I’d hate for those 5 minutes the writers invested in them to go to waste. Here’s what I came up with. Not appropriate if your spouse is an English teacher. If… Read more

February 10, 2019

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, Forgive our foolish ways; Reclothe us in our rightful mind, In purer lives Thy service find, In deeper reverence, praise. In simple trust like theirs who heard, Beside the Syrian sea, The gracious calling of the Lord, Let us, like them, without a word, Rise up and follow Thee. O Sabbath rest by Galilee, O calm of hills above, Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee The silence of eternity, Interpreted by love! With… Read more

February 8, 2019

[W]hat we wear, where we stand, how we move (vesture, posture, and gesture) all matter, not because we are ritualists but because this is God’s drama and we can easily get in the way. When those leading worship stand to one side, this makes the point dramatically; when worship-leaders, including musicians, assemble directly in front of a congregation like a rock group at a concert, this can make exactly the wrong point. There is, no doubt, a sense among many… Read more

February 6, 2019

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post in which I suggested much of contemporary megachurch-style pop worship could be called “masturbatory.” Then last week, I gave a rather extreme example from Bethel Church of what this kind of gathering would look like. Let’s just say that now a lot of people are unhappy with me. Again. The account found in 2 Samuel 6 of David dancing nearly naked before the Ark of the Covenant has long been used by pop… Read more

February 3, 2019

Lord, speak to me that I may speak In living echoes of Thy tone; As Thou has sought, so let me seek Thine erring children lost and lone. O lead me, Lord, that I may lead The wandering and the wavering feet; O feed me, Lord, that I may feed Thy hungering ones with manna sweet. O strengthen me, that while I stand Firm on the rock, and strong in Thee, I may stretch out a loving hand To wrestlers… Read more

February 1, 2019

“Much Protestant worship consists of a desperate attempt to make it look as if something significant is transpiring. Christians come to services wanting to sense the presence of God and expecting the clergy and musicians whom they employ to produce “worship experiences” that make faith seem alive. Sincere intentions are seldom sufficient to guarantee success, and they leave as they came – hungry and vaguely burdened with guilt.” – A. Daniel Frankforter, Stones for Bread Read more

January 31, 2019

Last week’s post on masturbatory worship certainly received the response I was anticipating. Many of you said it hit the mark, and that the term “masturbatory,” while perhaps shocking for some, was unavoidably appropriate. Others took my point, but suggested that I try to not be so “vulgar,” “crude,” or “offensive.” Which is interesting, since the word in and of itself is none of those things, and my post did not delve into discussion of a sexual nature. Yet other… Read more

January 30, 2019

I’m not exactly sure who first thought it would be a good idea to line a sanctuary floor with carpet. I’m even less sure of their reasoning. Perhaps it was to make the environment warmer and more comfortable. Some probably installed carpet to cut down ambient noise from footsteps and dropped items. Or maybe it was the same person who thought churches should look more like converted Wal-Marts than a sacred space. Whatever they were trying to accomplish, let me… Read more

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