September 2010

RW 97
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • All families develop rituals and traditions. In one family, the grandmother always cut off one end of the Easter ham and baked it in a separate pan. When someone eventually asked Grandma about the symbolism behind this ritual, she laughed and said there was no symbolism. For the many decades she’d been in charge of the Easter feast, she’d never had a pan big enough to hold the whole ham, so she always cut it. It was as simple as that.

  • Reviews

    Calls to Worship: A Pocket Resource by Robert I. Vasholz.
    Christian Focus Publications (Scotland, UK), 2009. 137 pages.
    www.christianfocus.com.

  • Awhile ago I happened to be reading one of the minor prophets when I came across a prophecy about the Messiah. I wondered why this prophecy was not included in the traditional service of lessons and carols made popular by the King’s College, Cambridge. My interest piqued, I decided to try to create a new service of lessons and carols using different lessons than those we usually hear.

  • Letters, News & Notes

    We Did It!

    I thought I would send you some photos of what our visual arts committee did with your idea. The back cover of Reformed Worship is always our favorite. Thanks so much for all of your work and ideas.

    Jackie Verhulst
    Worship Director, Brookfield CRC,
    Brookfield, Wisconsin

  • Ordinary Holiness

    Wonder
    is at the root
    of praise.
    Wonder
    is at the heart
    of Christmas,
    and not for one day only
    but for each waking day.
    At the heart
    of Christ’s incarnation
    is the truth
    that God makes extraordinary things
    happen
    in ordinary places,
    that heaven and earth
            holy and earthly
            God and human
    are intertwined.
    The wonder of Christmas

  • Lately I’ve been struck by the frantic pace of life. Some folks are complaining about being overloaded; most simply look tired. Meanwhile, I feel increasingly compelled to help people rest in God’s presence.

  • Jesus' Family Tree

    Sometimes, having an art education can be a problem when choosing books for your kids. There are many fine storybooks out there, but there are also many so-so offerings with overly simplistic storylines and color

    palettes that include only primary colors.

    And then there are the picture books of Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert. Clever and beautifully illustrated with cut and torn paper, they are a treat for kids and the adults who read with them.

    All in the Family

  • Banners to Bookmarks

    Afew years ago, we designed a worship service for the first Sunday of Advent to introduce and explain the general themes of the season, including the lighting of Advent candles. In past years, the latter had received cursory attention, consisting of a short Bible reading followed by the lighting of the corresponding candle. I saw value in giving the Advent candle themes more attention, perhaps by “illuminating” their meanings (hope, love, joy, peace) visually. We decided to create a banner for each Advent candle.

  • With Heart and Voice

    This dramatic reading was written to show how the announcement of a coming Savior fit snugly into the history and expectations of God’s

    people, how the Lord Almighty is a God of justice who watches over the needy, and how this God will be manifest in Jesus.