What language shall I borrow to thank you,
For this, your dying sorrow, your mercy
Lord, make me yours forever, a loyal servant true,
And let me never, never outlive my love for you.
—Medieval Latin poem
Q We hear a lot about people “giving things up for Lent.” What implications might this practice have for corporate worship?
A Individuals often go without a certain food or activity as a way to make Jesus’ journey toward the cross more prominent in their life. But perhaps congregations could consider similar practices or emphases communally.
For this litany David Gambrell took Psalm 22, a traditional psalm for Good Friday, and interspersed it with quotes from The New York Times (Good Friday, March 21, 2008). Consider putting together a similar service using current news articles. You could use two readers—one for the psalm quotes (in italics) and one for the news quotes (roman)—or use many readers by having
different readers for each of the news quotes.
Psalm 22. For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.
The staff of RW has been working hard in anticipation of our 100th issue, which marks twenty-five years of sharing worship resources and articles. That issue will be dedicated to the theme of celebration and joy, with resources from the book of Philippians. If you have resources related to any of those topics, please send them to us by December 1, and we will be happy to consider them for inclusion in that issue.
Eleven medium-size rocks, ten on a large black cloth at stage left and one at front, center stage. Metal wheelbarrow at back, center stage. Wooden cross, stage right. Lighted Christ candle on a high table next to Narrator.
Narrator; Person (dressed in black and wearing black gloves); Judas; Jesus; False Witnesses; High Priest; two Servant Girls; Peter; Observer; Pilate; Crowd (can be made up of False Witnesses, two Servant Girls, and Observer); Soldiers
Jesus turned to Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns’” (Matt. 16:23).
When I read that verse, my first response is that I want that kind of wisdom to rightly discern what is not of God. But then Jesus goes on to say to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (v. 24).
As a culture we enjoy a rich verbal component to our worship. We read Scripture, offer praise and petition, listen to sermons, and share our celebrations and concerns. Some of us are more comfortable using words to express our response in worship, while others are more at ease with images (see the article “A Creative Communion” by Eric Nykamp, p. 18.)