August 4, 2020

Sacramental Preaching

In sacramental traditions, the concept of preaching, and even the corporate reading of Scripture, is different than in revivalist traditions. It is about God literally acting through the spoken word. I know pastors who don’t think, for example, that the lectionary readings should even be printed in the bulletin. The words presented in worship are […]

Footnotes on Holy Saturday

“It is rare to hear a sermon about Easter Saturday; for much of Christian history the day has found no place in liturgy and worship it could call its own within the triduum, or three-day festival spanning Good Friday and the Day of Resurrection…” – Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday Alan E. […]

Fr. Ernesto on Liturgy

Thanks to our dear friend, Fr. Ernesto Obregon for contributing his insights on liturgy from the Orthodox perspective today. I encourage you to read his blog, Orthocuban. * * * Liturgy is not simply what we habitually do It is common to speak of liturgy as though it is little more than what we habitually […]

iMonk: “The Worship Setting”

Michael Spencer’s classic post: The Evangelical Liturgy 1: The Worship Setting Originally posted Aug. 14, 2009 * * * New Covenant worship can take place any place and any time. There is no setting specified in the scriptures, neither is there any arrangement of worship externals that we are told to imitate. Our Roman Catholic […]

A Remarkable Sanctuary

This weekend, Gail and I traveled to Davenport, Iowa to visit St. Paul Lutheran Church. The Rev. Dr. Peter W. Marty is the senior pastor there, and they have a wonderful ministry in their community, to those entering the ordained life, and in needy places around the world. I encourage you to visit their website […]

Eyes Fixed on Him

“The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.” (Luke 4:20)  * * * Rather than meditate on the story told in today’s text, I’d like to riff on this one sentence and think about the spaces in which we meet to worship. This sentence communicates well the purpose for the rooms in […]

How I Think the Creed

The Apostles’ Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third […]

C.S. Lewis — The Conservative Worshiper

One of the clearest statements of what might be termed the “conservative” position on the practice of worship was made by C.S. Lewis in Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. I wonder how you respond to it. “It looks as if they [innovative clergy] believed people can be lured to go to church by incessant […]

Come to the Quiet

Yet in our busy, noisy, overstimulating mission field of the world, it is one of the church’s high callings to give the gift of silence, of greater spaciousness to make room for contemplative encounters with the means of grace, so that the Spirit may most freely do the works of salvation to form us in […]

When “Worship” Is about Getting High

Through the influence of our consumer culture we’ve come to believe that transformation is attained through external experiences. We’ve come to regard our church buildings, with their multimedia theatrical equipment, as mountaintops where God’s glory may be encountered. Many of us ascend this mountain every Sunday morning wanting to have an experience with God, and […]