September 1990

RW 17
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Woman at the Well

    A Scripture Drama from John 4

    [Jesus enters and sits on a stool draped with a dark cloth (to look like a rock) near the well.]

    Narrator: He came to a town in Samaria named Sychar,
    which was not far from the field
    that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
    Jacob's well was there,
    and Jesus, tired out by the trip,
    sat down by the well.

    [Woman begins to enter and will sit on well seat.]

  • The worship life of the church traditionally begins with Advent, the season in which we anticipate and then celebrate the birth of our Lord, the long-awaited Messiah. This year Advent begins on December 2, and this issue is filled with ideas and resources that will help you plan your worship services for this significant time in the church year.

    Again, we are indebted to people who send us their bulletins, their ideas, and sometimes entire articles.

  • Leaving a service of worship one Sunday, I heard a woman say to her husband, "I got more out of the Scripture reading than I did from his sermon." I was pleased that she found the Scriptures meaningful—especially because I've so often heard the opposite: "Why are the Scriptures so dull?" "Scripture readings bore me." "I like to get to the real stuff when the preacher starts to preach."

  • Brian Wren. Carol Stream IL: Hope Publishing Co., 60 minutes, $29.95

    In How Shall I Sing to God? Brian Wren provides us with a thought-provoking introduction to contemporary hymnody, an introduction to his own visionary hymn writing, and an intriguing discussion regarding language appropriate for worship.

  • Picture the following scenario, a drama most of us have witnessed many times:

    The elders move to the front in smooth, orderly motion while worshipful music plays quietly in the background.

    The pastor climbs down from the podium, signaling a change in scene and mood. He moves behind a table, ceremoniously covered with crafted utensils filled with bread and wine.

    The pastor opens the Bible—a strong symbolic action. He reads to the congregation.

  • Using texts from Handel's Messiah in an Advent communion service

     

    The Opening

    The Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight; behold, he is coming, rejoice greatly, shout in triumph.

    Our king is coming. He is the righteous Savior, He shall speak peace unto the nations.
    (Malachi 3:1; Zech. 9:9-10)

  • In our daily environment we are assaulted by visual images. Most of them are related to our daily "needs" and call attention to what we "could" have or "should" have. When I take a ride, read a newspaper or magazine, or sit down to watch a movie, I am bombarded by such reminders. But when I attend church, I seldom see any kind of visual that reminds me of my spiritual "needs."