When my now-grown sons were young, we took a lot of car trips. On one particularly long journey, after we’d exhausted the usual repertoire of the license plate hunt, Riddly Riddly Ree, and Twenty Questions, the boys came up with a game of their own. They made two signs on pieces of drawing paper. One sign said “Hello!” That one went in the front passenger window. The second said “How is your day going?” The boys held that one up in the back passenger window. It then became my job to pass as many cars as possible.
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- Here on Jesus Christ I Will Stand; La Uncion; Faithful Is Our God; Sixfold Amen
One of my favorite churches is the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California. While this church has many striking and meaningful features, I especially love the majestic earth-toned tapestries hung along each side of the nave.
In an old movie titled Joe Versus the Volcano, Tom Hanks plays a young man who’s been shipwrecked. He survives by floating on his luggage, which he’s tied together to form a raft. At one point, delirious from thirst, he sees the moon slowly rising over the horizon, incredibly huge and brilliant. Astonished, he cries out, “God, whose name I do not know, thank you for my life. I forgot how big. Thank you, thank you for my life.” It is a moment of awakening for him—a moment of recognizing great truth and mystery.
If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you’ve already heard me whine about my struggle to reconcile the fleeting nature of projected visuals with the more tangible and tactile nature of permanent or semi-permanent worship visuals. Bright shiny pixels versus wood and cloth! Here I give up the battle and admit that projection is here to stay.
This conversational drama was the centerpiece of a service examining the significance of taking Christ’s body and blood during the Lord’s Supper. It includes four narrators in costume: Jewish scholar, Man-on-the-street, Scientist, and Nurse. A table in the center holds chemicals and glassware for a science demonstration. If possible, obtain a few slides (see list of props) to project at appropriate points as a visual aid.
Throughout Scripture, God reveals his table grace to us. We are given a feast of themes and images to interpret the Lord’s Supper. Poets and musicians have highlighted these biblical themes and images in their songs. You’ll find some of them listed below, along with songs that accentuate them. Use these songs to surround the Table with music that proclaims the grace of God and deepens our participation in the Lord’s Supper.
Almost every autumn, pastors in some churches feel a push to preach about giving. This year we wanted to do more than focus attention on the church budget. We wanted to set the tone for a positive and “big picture” conversation about stewardship.
This kid-friendly litany is intended for use at the beginning of a new church school year. The two sections may stand alone or be used together as a prayer of illumination for learners and a commissioning for teachers and other leaders. The language is broad enough to include Sunday school, midweek programs, and small group ministries for children through adults.