Debra Rienstra

Debra Rienstra is professor of English at Calvin College

Articles by this author:

  • O Come, All Ye Faithful

    Written to be sung following the second stanza (“God of God . . .”) of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

    Gently she holds him, deity enshrouded.
    Love comes redeeming our mortal estate.
    Sharing our dying, firstborn of our rising.

    O come, let us adore him,
    O come, let us adore him,
    O come, let us adore him,
    Christ the Lord!

  • I Want to Be a Church Lady

    Soul shaping takes time. Some people go to church a few times hoping for a dramatic encounter with God and an entirely new life—in six weeks! That does happen occasionally. As Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases,” a metaphor he immediately applied to the Spirit (John 3:8). But instant transformation is not the typical pattern. What with our own obtuseness and tendency to suffer from bad worship and all, most of us require years of churchgoing before showing improvements.

  • Give thanks to God, all the earth: a litany for Thanksgiving

    We developed and have used or adapted this litany for several Thanksgiving services. The structure is simple—the leader gives thanks for very specific things, and the people affirm their thanks for those items with a more general phrase. We encourage the use of several different leaders on the different sections of the litany.