December 2001

RW 62
Lent/Easter
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • This article is reprinted with permission from Perspectives (March 2001).

    It seems to me no accident that the recovery of interest in biblical preaching has coincided with an increase in the frequency of Holy Communion. In his 1962 book Pulpit and Table, Howard Hageman, a pastor and scholar from the Reformed Church in America, said, “A church that loses the Word must finally lose the sacrament. But is it not equally true that a church which loses the sacrament must finally lose the Word?”

  • John Bell has been avoiding me.

    In the past few years, I’ve been increasingly nurtured by the music the Iona Community produces and distributes. But for most of that time, the hope that I would ever encounter Bell, perhaps its best-known member, had been diminishing.

  • Songs from Iona

    According to the Iona community’s Wild Goose Worship Group, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter “are marked by a series of progressions.” As Christ walked a path marked by suffering and unparalleled victory, so believers follow in his steps—“through fear to courage, from private suspicion to public testimony, from a scattered band of loners and losers to a tightly knit community of faith” (Stages on the Way: Worship Resources for Lent, Holy Week & Easter, p. 11).

  • 4/10 Planning Meeting

    The team helped me make sense of the cryptic note I’d made on our order of worship for last year’s service: “Too big, too fast.” They remembered how the beginning especially felt like forced celebration. All those “Alleluia”s and “He is risen”s and a long set of exuberant songs to start things up. But the night was cloudy and dreary, and the team was tuckered out from helping to lead the “pull out the stops” services in their home churches that morning.

  • The Internet was first touted to the general public as an extraordinary information-sharing tool: a resource to help like-minded people exchange knowledge, encouragement, and inspiration. But today what people share, as often as anything else, is credit card numbers. Everyone, it seems, is out to make a buck—even in the world of worship. There are dozens of sites on the web that offer worship resources—drama, music, liturgy, technical advice, even sermons—for a price.

  • Daniel A. Frankforter. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001. 195 pp. $19.95.

    Daniel Frankforter is a professor of medieval history and an incredibly articulate critic of the prevalent worship practices in today’s church. As much as this new volume troubles me, I must say that it has been extremely valuable to me as a worship planner, leader, and educator.

  • Notes

    New from CRC Publications/Faith Alive Christian Resources

  • The other day I was grocery shopping. The cashier and I exchanged the standard “How are you doing today?” But this time she took my question seriously.

    “Not so good.”

    “Why is that?” I asked, going (somewhat unwillingly) into pastoral care mode.

    “I had a hard weekend. Two funerals—an aunt and a friend.”