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December 2011

Walking the Stations of the Cross

One Congregation's Journey

The sun threw its first gloriously warm beams of the spring season upon the singing birds, busy trucks on the downtown street, a neighborhood band rehearsing somewhere out of view. Children scampered eagerly over the playground across the street as we gathered from our homes, schools, and places of employment.

Songs for Lent, Good Friday, and Easter

There in God's Garden; When the Son of God Was Dying; Honduran Alleluia; See, What a Morning

The seasons of Lent and Easter bring countless images of our Lord’s suffering, passion, and resurrection. What better way to capture the significance of this image-rich season than through these songs with their rich texts and music?

Jerusalem News Broadcast: Palm Sunday

If Palm Sunday occurred today, how might it be covered by the media? That was the question I found myself asking as I was preparing for Palm Sunday and thinking about the gospel reading. My answer to that question comes in the form of the following Palm Sunday “broadcast.”

"You Have Heard It Said . . ."

A Good Friday Service

While reading Tim Keller’s book Counterfeit Gods and contemplating a series of messages on idolatry during the Lent season, I realized that perhaps each violation after the first two of the ten commandments (you shall have no other gods; you shall not make idols) points to some expression of idolatry. And then I read Keller’s reference to what Martin Luther wrote in his Larger Catechism: “The fundamental motivation behind law breaking is idolatry.”

Banners for Lent and Easter

Our church was looking for some new banner ideas for Lent and Easter. We decided to create two banners—one with an image of a crown of thorns, and another with an empty tomb. Here’s an outline of the process we followed.

I Believe in the Resurrection

Confessions of faith come in many forms, from traditional ecumenical creeds like the Apostles’ Creed to personal testimonies. The following is an exposition on the resurrection and what we believe about that historical event. It is appropriate to use anywhere a typical creed would function in a worship service, but it is especially appropriate for use on Easter Sunday during a service celebrating the resurrection.

—JB

Connecting Baptism and Lent

Q. I’ve heard that baptism and Lent are supposed to go together, but I don’t know why, and I haven’t noticed any such connections made in my church. Should there be?

Highlighting the Church Year with Dance

We are a church relishing in the resurrection. I like to think that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who heard the good news of Christ’s resurrection did not simply hurry off to tell this exciting news, but that they danced. “They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him” (Matt. 28:9). How could they have kept still?

Worshiping the Triune God: Proclamation

A Study Guide to a Global Dialogue Part 3 of 5

This article is the third in a series introducing “Worshiping the Triune God,” a working document published after the inaugural meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in June 2010. (For parts 1 and 2, see RW 100 and 101.)

Going Viral: What's Your Song?

If you’ve been anywhere near a computer in the last decade, you’re familiar with the phenomenon called “going viral.” It’s what happens when email inboxes, websites, and social networks light up like postmodern switchboards at the discovery of something new: the video of the cat doing that thing, the unexpected hit single, or that new author nobody’s ever heard of before who’s written something incredible. Suddenly, with unprecedented speed, everybody knows about it.

Beyond Blame

Worship during Holy Week

Historically, Christians have used some verses from the gospel accounts of Jesus’ suffering to figuratively bludgeon Jewish people. But does our awareness of this historical misuse of Scripture make any difference in the way we plan and lead worship, especially during Lent and Holy Week? Can we apply some principles to dealing with those “troubling tellings” while still taking the Scriptures very seriously?

Psalm 22: Cry of Anguish, Song of Praise

An Arts Week Chapel Service

The following service was designed to be part of an arts week at Regent College. The readings were organized by Stacey Gleddiesmith and Robert Lockridge. The service was coordinated by Stacey with help from Aminah Al-Attas Bradford, Robert Lockridge, and Andrea Tischer. Various Regent College students and faculty members contributed their artistic talents for this service as we sought to exegete and communicate the text of Psalm 22 through various art forms.

Service

Call to worship: Spoken prayer 1