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Q&A

Worship as a Foretaste of Heaven; Jesus' Baptism and Transfiguration

Q My pastor was explaining John Calvin’s understanding that in the Lord’s Supper “the Holy Spirit lifts us up so that we commune with Jesus in heaven.” This sounds beautiful—but it also sounds pretty far-fetched. The Lord’s Supper doesn’t feel, taste, or look like heaven. What are we to make of this?

Profession of Faith and Baptism

Q After a few years of welcoming younger children to profession of faith, our church has reverted to the older pattern where only the young people eighteen and older want to profess their faith. That seems to be when they are ready. Isn’t that OK?

A Having eighteen-year-olds make profession of faith is indeed terrific. It is far better than in many churches where youth simply drift away!

Pentecost Worship, Prayers to the Spirit, and Written Prayers

Q  I always am anxious about Pentecost. I feel pressure to create a service in which people experience the Holy Spirit in an Acts 2 kind of way. Any advice?

A  For starters, recall again the whole scope of the Bible’s teaching about the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works through both order and spontaneity, both dramatic intervention and long-term formation.

Psalm Singing, Discerning the Body, and Projected Song Texts

Q  Some people in our church want to sing more psalms. I often respond by saying that we sing songs with verses from the psalms all of the time. Why doesn’t this satisfy them?

Minor-Key Advent, Second Coming Sundays, and Lord's Supper During Fellowship Meals

Q We’ve had complaints of having too much of a “minor-key Advent” in our church. How would you respond?

A It all depends!

Advent is a time of great hope. But it is also a time to dwell honestly with the fact that our full hopes for Christ’s second coming are not yet fulfilled. Advent is also a time of waiting.