In New York City I saw a Japanese garden made up of nothing but gravel and a solitary rock. The rock was placed off-center, the ground around it clean of everything, and the gravel raked painstakingly. That garden is a lesson in “less is more.”
Articles in this issue:
In the past few years we have followed suggestions from Reformed Worship for our Lenten season. This past year, however, we felt inspired to do our own thing.
2000 Renew Your Worship! Workshops
One-day workshops with Robert Webber on blending contemporary and traditional worship. Webber has devoted several years to covering most of North America with these one-day leadership training workshops. Contact the Institute for Worship Studies, Box 894, Wheaton, IL 60189; 630-510-8905; fax 630-510-0601; website: http://members.aol.com/worshipweb.
The Passover Seder is a celebration observed in Jewish homes with relatives and friends. It is led by an elder member of the family, but all who attend are active participants. The celebration tells the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt three hundred years ago. It includes special activities to hold the interest of children.
The Resurrection and Life
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Text: John 11:25-26; 20:1-9
Easter is the best story in all of preaching, but the challenge to remain fresh becomes a bigger one each year.
In the very early years of its history the Eastern Orthodox Church adopted the custom of using the Paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom at the Paschal Vigil service held during the Saturday night before Easter morning. Chrysostom first proclaimed this sermon as instructions to catechumens, new Christian converts, who were baptized during that vigil service.
Three years ago I was due for a sabbatical and was looking forward to learning about worship life in Reformed communities in other countries and cultures. But instead I stayed part-time in the office while also becoming interim director of music at my home congregation.
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 8 in 2000. This service combines features from several services. Ronald Kok, evangelist of Living Hope Community Church, Randolph, Wisconsin, submitted plans from a community-wide service. Similar plans from Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, were developed from a service by John D. Witvliet included in The Services of the Christian Year, Volume V of the Complete Library of Christian Worship, edited by Robert Webber (available from Hendrickson Publishing, 978-532-6546).
A copy of this article, complete with graphics, is available at the end of the article.
This series of messages was prepared for the worship life of Hillcrest Christian Reformed Church for Lent 1999. Our intent during this season was to help members of the congregation to slow down the pace of life, to think reflectively and devotionally about their relationship with God by focusing on the person and work of their Savior.