Increasing numbers of churches are celebrating World Communion Sunday on the first Sunday of October. It’s a service I look forward to more each year, especially as I get to know brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Early this year I met several in Geneva, Switzerland, when I had the privilege of attending an International Consultation on Reformed Worship.
Articles in this issue:
The marriage of rock music and church music has often been, well, rocky. Just think of the Catholic priest in the 1960s who changed the lyrics of Beatles songs to reflect a Christian message. Unfortunately, songs like “I Want to Hold His Hand” did little more than show that the church was desperate to try anything to reach young people.
Throughout the Old Testament, God commands his people to observe special holidays. Chief among them are three fall and three spring festivals. The fall festivals were all celebrated in the same Jewish month of Tishri; the equivalent of our September/October:
Sharlande Sledge. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc. 1999. 144 pp. $16.00. 1-800-747-3016; www.helwys.com.
The idea of planning our Advent and Christmas messages around Mary had its genesis at a worship conference at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario. Keynote speakers Richard Middleton and Sylvia Keesmaat of the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto unpacked Mary’s Song, also called the Magnificat. Ron VandenBurg, a member of our worship committee at Jubilee Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, returned to us full of excitement, suggesting this as our focus.
Nick Wagner. San Jose, Calif.: Resource Publications, Inc. 2000. 96 pp. Paper $10.95. 1-888-273-7782; www.rpinet.com.
Our children’s ministry team wanted to provide an opportunity for the children of the church to offer their gifts in worship in a visible way. Elizabeth Henstock, a member of the team, developed the concept of creating a collaborative piece for Advent using the fourteenth-century fresco Adoration of the Magi by Italian artist Giotto. The children were told and shown the story of how the magi brought gifts to Jesus. They enthusiastically agreed to work together on a large mosaic as their way of also bringing a gift to Jesus.
Vol. 2. Canton, Ohio: Communication Resources, 2001. 187 pp. $49.95; includes CD. 1-800-992-2144; order@Com Resources.com.
Many churches observe the Feast of Christ of King on the last Sunday of the Christian year, which falls on the third or fourth Sunday of November and celebrates Jesus’ conquering of sin and victory over death, his eternal reign, and our identity as a royal priesthood that shares in his reign. This festival was established in 1925 by the Roman Catholic Church as a proclamation to combat the secularization of society and to call on everyone, including governments, to submit to Christ.
Vol. 1. 1998. 234 pp. $43.95; with diskette, 49.95; Vol. 2 (2001) 216 pp. $49.95, includes CD. Canton, Ohio: Communication Resources, 2001. order@ComResources.com