Tracy Leonard was planning not to take communion that Sunday, but not a soul in Bethel Church knew it, not even her husband. This is the path her determination had taken. The Lord’s Supper is a means of grace—the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ broken and spilled all over the earth for the sin of humankind, hers included.
Articles in this issue:
Anyone who has been to the Church of Reconciliation in the small French village of Taizé and worshiped there with Christians from all over the world, knows what an unforgettable experience it is. But translating extraordinary worship experiences to our own communities and congregations is notoriously difficult.
Q. What makes a piece of music durable?
A.Some factors that contribute to durability are fairly objective: music must be singable and interesting, texts must be true and memorable. Generally, songs with comparatively trite or idiosyncratic rhythms, melodies, or texts become dated in a hurry, as do songs that are dependent on a certain cultural context.
The previous issue of Reformed Worship (57) included an article describing our church’s dramatic production on the life of Jesus based on Michael Card’s The Life. In this article I’d like to make suggestions for others who want to take the journey from the page to the stage.
1. Start with excellent material.
Tom Kraeuter. Lynnwood, Wash.: Emerald Books/Training Resources, 1997. 157 pp. $9.00. 1-888-333-1724.
Our choir was invited to participate in the service so we came early to rehearse; their worship team was already practicing when we got there. The worship leader was surrounded by keyboard, guitars, drum set, and miked singers. It was a scene that wouldn’t have been out of place in Minneapolis or Memphis—but we were in Manila, in the Philippines.
Union Churches for Expatriates
Sonja Stewart. Louisville: Geneva Press, 2000. 276 pp. $24.95.
When I opened my copy of Following Jesus, I felt like a young child for whom Christmas morning has finally arrived! I have led worship for four- and five-year-olds for several years and have eagerly awaited this sequel to Stewart’s first book, Young Children and Worship.
Of all the blessed and powerful images in the Bible, the image of the lamb, the Paschal Lamb of God, touches me most deeply. None speaks more profoundly of our redemption from the slavery of sin. None inspires more confidence in God’s ultimate righteous rule on this planet. None concludes with greater certainty that the Lamb of God is also the Lion of Judah who will restore all that was lost and ruined in the fall.
Lynn Hurst. Nashville: Abingdon, 1999. 1-800-3320. 143 pp. $12.00.
Can we ever truly experience the grief of Good Friday? We know the ending and rejoice with our Savior that it is a happy one come Easter morn, but that very knowledge keeps us from fully realizing the tragedy that Christ’s death brought to those who lived through it. Whatever their understanding of his ministry, whatever hopes and dreams they had built for the future, all came crashing down before the stark and ugly death he suffered on the cross. Leader, friend, teacher, son—all seemed irretrievably lost.