Growing up in my small Christian Methodist Episcopal church, each order of worship was printed as prescribed by the denomination’s Book of Discipline. The worship services always included a call to worship, hymns, an affirmation of faith (the Apostles’ Creed), Scripture readings, the Gloria Patri, prayers, an offering, proclamation of the Word, the doxology, and the benediction.
Most Christians who read the Bible notice that “grace” and “peace” are mentioned quite frequently—not merely in isolation, but together.
In fact, in the New Testament, the terms are paired together seventeen times. Grace and peace are mentioned together in Romans,
1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Peter, and eleven other New Testament books. Clearly this pairing is not incidental, but speaks to what we as believers need in our everyday walk with Christ.
Reformed Worship editors asked a few subscribers the following questions about the significance of Ascension Day and how it should be acknowledged in our worship.
- How significant is Ascension Day for the church?
- How much attention should it receive in our worship? Should there be a worship service on Ascension Day? Incorporated into worship the Sunday before or after? Or something else?
Here are the responses of Pastor Eric Dirksen and Professor of Christian Worship Rod Snaterse.
It’s in the news. It’s in our politics. It’s in our streets. And increasingly, it’s in our churches: diversity—or, more specifically, conflict over the ethnic, racial, and cultural differences that mark “us” as “us” and “them” as “them,” those who are “in” and those who are “out.”