In Sri Lanka, the couple is asked to join hands. The pastor thenpours warm water over all four of their clasped-together hands,collecting it in a basin he holds just beneath their hands. He asks,“Can anyone separate the water in this basin, sorting out which watertouched the hands of the groom and which water touched the hands of thebride?” He then states emphatically, “So also you are no longer two butone, and from this day forward, all that passes through your handsbelongs neither to the one, nor to the other.
This piece is an excerpt from one of the weekly e-mail newsletters she sends to all college students away from their home church. (http://www.mcs.com/-w crc/)
I'm a front-row kind of person—always have been. Rut on Pentecost Sunday morning, when we arrived at the outdoor joint service/potluck with Vietnamese New Hope Christian Reformed Church, the lawn chairs were already spilling down the hillside, so we settled in.
After a big youth rally that's been hyped with pyrotechnics and a full band that practiced for weeks, how do you get students back into authentic worship without the aid of those externals—and keep their praise more than roller-coaster emotionalism?
I remember well my boyhood ideas about the ascension of Jesus. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, and, after lifting up his hands in benediction, he just "took off"—not like an airplane, but as if he were in an invisible elevator. He just started to go up, up, up, up—straight up, until he disappeared. If the disciples had owned telescopes and other twentieth-century technology, I assumed, they could have watched just a bit longer.
FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
At Biola University, a fifty-minute chapel is offered every day, Monday through Friday, but is required three times a week (M, W, F). Students have also initiated their own, student-led, worship services (mostly praise) on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Two to three hundred students attend these guitar-based events.
Here are some changes I've witnessed in the last five years: