I refer to the December, 1992 issue and its article by Robert Busch and Howard Hageman entitled, "Why We Call This Friday Good." When I read the meditations on the seven last words I was disappointed. My disappointment with the meditations was confirmed when I experienced the suggested worship service on Good Friday evening. Rather than fixing attention on the words of Christ from Calvary as revelations of the depth of his suffering, the meditations tended to hor-izontalize Christ's words, treating them as if they were mini-sermons designed to provide assurance for us in our distress. Even the fourth word was not presented as a lament of Christ in his hellish loneliness, but as a message of comfort that in all our trials we can bring our questions to God. That's true, but hardly the heart of the message of Calvary's pulpit on that first Good Friday.
For the rest, the liturgy for Good Friday was well done. Also, very fine articles on the use of both the Heidelberg Catechism and the Common Lectionary in worship.
Wilbert M. Van Dyk
Grand Rapids, MI
John Schuurman's article on the use of drama in worship was great. I would only like to take it one step further and say that the use of drama at Willow Creek Community Church is much more focused than the article seemed to indicate. Drama is rarely used there to retell a Bible story. It may sometimes portray a parable, reworked in contemporary images. Conversion scenes are never staged, because the very fact of pretending undermines the reality of the event. Drama, at Willow Creek, is also much more than "sermon illustration." It is used in services to draw people into the mirror of their own lives, and show how certain attitudes or behaviors lead one to relational situations of sin and pain, or rational/emotional states of inconsolence.
In other words, drama is never used simply because it's "interesting" or "cute" or "attention grabbing." Nor is it used to portray Bible stories, and never "conversions." Rather, it is used to evoke confession (either amusingly get us to smile at our own folly, or plunge the knife of accusation painfully deep into our black hearts). Thus, it is not used to teach as such. That is left, at Willow Creek, to the preaching of the Word of God in the message. Instead, drama functions as a mirror, using contemporary life situations to show us who we are, what we've become, and where we're going. John's article points in that direction, but offers only three short paragraphs about that on page 24, when that central idea might well be highlighted boldly in broader detail.