Picture Jesus Christ in your mind. What does he look like? A face gazing straight at you like the one in Warner Sallman's too-famous portrait? A cartoon character wearing a white robe and red sash (an image formed from years of exposure to church school papers)? A suffering body hanging on a rough wooden cross?
Articles in this issue:
My most distant memory of prayer in worship goes back to the “long prayer” in the Reformed Church in the Netherlands. Long it was, as the dominee covered our personal and communal sins; the needs of God’s kingdom and the Dutch kingdom as well as the rest of the world; the suffering of Sister Jacoba, who had pain in her left kidney; the cause of missions in Suriname; and an outline of the sermon.
The little boy came running over at a church gathering. “Pastor Mary!” he said, with a finger in his mouth. “Look!” I saw a fresh gap where his tooth used to be. “Ryan!” I said. “You’ve lost your first tooth!” He grinned back. “And the one next to it is loose!”
Thomas G. Long. Alban Institute, 2001. 132 pp. $16.00. ISBN 1566992400. www.alban.org
This article is the fruit of my work with CITA (Christians in the Theatre Arts) and their grant project on Worship and Theatre funded by a Worship Renewal Grant through the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. The substance of the article is the result of workshops offered at the 2001 CITA annual meeting in Oakland, California, and the 2003 Calvin Symposium of Worship and the Arts, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thanks to all whose cumulative wisdom and insight contributed to this article. For information about CITA visit www.cita.org.
Ronald P. Byars. Louisville: Westminister John Knox Press, 2002. 144 pp. $12.95. ISBN 0664225721. www.ppcpub.org
The pastor called the children to the front of church and asked them to sit on the front bench. He pulled out a long rope, then asked for two volunteers to play the parts of Adam and Eve and hold the end of the rope. Two little girls volunteered and happily shared holding the end of the rope. The pastor picked up the rope about two feet down and asked for a Noah. Immediately a three-year-old boy whose name is Noah stood up and, with a broad smile, held his part of the rope. Next the pastor called children to be Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Aaron. Then Joshua, Mrs.
Michael Horton. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2002. 256 pp. $19.99. ISBN 0801012341. www.bakerbooks.com
As our church made its way through a yearlong focus on the Old Testament (see “From Adam to Jonah,” p. 10) we wanted to show the relationship between the Old and New Testaments during the seasons of the church year. It’s a challenge to take seasons like Advent and Lent, with their decidedly New Testament story lines, and remember them with Old Testament passages. But we felt the Old Testament could give us a fresh perspective on these New Testament stories.
Recovering Mother Kirk: The Case for Liturgy in the Reformed Tradition. D. G. Hart. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003. 264 pp. $24.99. ISBN 0801026156. www.bakerbooks.com
With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed Worship. D. G. Hart and John R. Muether. Phillipsburg, N. J.: P&R Publishing Company, 2002. 208 pp. $12.99. ISBN 0875521797. www.prpbooks.com