Thursday, December 30, 2010

Swagger Wagon

For over a decade we drove our little family everywhere in a 1997 Dodge Caravan that we nick-named "Moby" (guess what color it was.) This is for you Moby, long may you run, long may you run...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why We Worship the Way We Do

Several years ago our session of elders read and was profoundly challenged and encouraged by a book called "The Lord's Service" by Jeffrey Myers. The book is a biblical rationale for a form of worship that Myers' calls "covenant renewal." In the five minute video (below) Pastor Doug Wilson briefly explains the essence of the covenant renewal pattern. And then farther below is an excerpt from our weekly bulletin explaining the same.

Covenant Renewal Worship from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

The essence of true worship is covenant renewal. Lord’s Day worship is a time when God reaffirms His covenant relation to His people, communing with, informing and transforming them, and then re-sending them into the world in order to remake the world after the heavenly priorities, patterns and protocols revealed to them in God’s presence.

The rhythm of worship is antiphonal: Throughout the service, God speaks to us and we respond.

The mode of worship is spiritual and incarnational: We worship God with our spirits, our hands, and our voices, employing various appropriate bodily postures.

Call to worship: God comes near and calls His people out of the world to gather in His presence. He graciously takes hold of us and brings us near to Himself

Confession and Forgiveness: God reminds us what He has done for us in Christ and declares His interest in restoring us again to His favor in Christ. We confess our sins and God absolves us of guilt. God graciously reminds us that we bear the name Christian and are members of His family in Christ. He tears us from our old sinful ways and renews His love for us in Christ.

Consecration: God speaks to us through his Word read, sung and preached. We, His people, respond by giving ourselves and our gifts as fitting offerings.

Communion: God invites us to commune with Him at His Table, and we respond by memorializing His covenant and enjoying His faithful provisions at the family feast.

Commission and Benediction: God blesses us and charges us to extend His kingdom into the future and into the world, making disciples of all nations. We are dismissed from God's special presence, transformed, renewed and equipped for this task.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Extravagant Mercy

Although it is right and good for us to note and be thankful for God's special kindness to His people over the millennia, we should also be careful to note and marvel at God's common kindness to those who hate Him and His ways. As Jesus reminded us in the Sermon on the Mount, our heavenly Father "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Christians afflicted by the "Last Days Madness" hype of our day tend to ignore or downplay the data presented in the video below because it doesn't support their "countdown to Armageddon" scenarios. Liberals likewise ignore or downplay the same data because it decreases the perceived need for more and more government intervention.

The gifts of longevity and wealth are not to be confused with the blessings of divine forgiveness and eternal life. However, that said, we should gratefully acknowledge both the gifts and the giver just the same. Enjoy.

"Pretty neat, huh?"