It isn’t often that listening to Scripture in a worship service is absolutely riveting. But listening to Dennis Dewey proclaim Scripture was one of the most powerful parts of COLAM 2001, a worship conference cosponsored by Reformed Worship and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Wheaton, Illinois. I spoke with him one afternoon during that conference.
Articles in this issue:
Fourth Sunday of advent
The Charismatic Stream:
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Song setting of Psalm 89: “I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord” PsH 169, TWC 30 or “My Song Forever Shall Record” PsH 593, TH 99
Sermon Text: Luke 2:8-20
Q. All Saints’ Day sounds so Roman Catholic. Why does our Reformed church celebrate this day? Doesn’t this betray our roots?
A. The sixteenth-century Reformers abolished all celebrations related to saints. They had deep pastoral concern for people who believed that the saints could offer prayers on their behalf. The Reformers saw this as a direct challenge to the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement for sins and priestly intercession.
The following is a possible note of explanation that could be printed in a bulletin to accompany the Epiphany banner shown here.
I-to Loh and Pablo Sosa are highly respected authorities on congregational song, I-to Loh on Asian hymnody, and Pablo Sosa on songs from Latin America. We’re thrilled that both are planning to come to the 2003 Calvin Symposium on Worship and the Arts, and they’re looking forward to seeing each other again—previously they’ve worked together in international ecumenical conferences, including the World Council of Churches. Here is a brief introduction to both.
The Hymns of I-to Loh
Many churches held prayer services after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. A year later, or during Advent, or during the cold of winter, your congregation may wish once more to gather to pray for peace in our broken world. This service could be adapted in many ways. For example, a choir is optional and you may want to consider alternative hymns (if so you’ll need to adapt the commentary as well).
The disciples asked Jesus a simple question: “Teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). He gave them, in response, the Lord’s Prayer. Today’s wired Christian might ask that same question not only of Jesus, but also of Jeeves, an electronic concierge/search engine located at www.askjeeves.com. What he or she gets in response will show that in the daunting task of putting words of prayer on the lips of God’s people, good help is hard to find. Hard, but not impossible.