December 5, 2020

Another Look: Worship as a Meal Gathering

  The following was part of a 2011 post, The Order of Christian Worship. It has been edited and updated. * * * The liturgy, the historic worship order in the Western Church, makes sense to me as a pattern for meeting with God and focusing my attention on Christ and the Gospel. It seems to […]

Learning to Walk in the Liturgy

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” ― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics * * * On Friday in the comments to Mike Bell’s post, Danielle wrote: I would love to see IM discuss how to make liturgy more accessible to newcomers. I would also love […]

Good Works Week II: The Work of the People

The Work of the People: A Tale of Two Services And it came to pass that two men died, and their families requested that their funeral services be held in their respective churches. One man was Roman Catholic, the other a member of an evangelical church committed to reformed Protestant doctrine. In the Catholic church, […]

Ancient-Future Faith (4): Worship in a Postmodern World

As a young student in Bible college, newly awakened by the Spirit and called to pastoral ministry, I never had a single class on the subject of worship. So when I graduated and went into my first church armed with a guitar and accompanied by a wife who played the piano, we did what we […]

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 […]