Church should be an analog oasis in the midst of a digital desert. A community and place where one can rest from the demands of Facebook likes, instant at-replies, and false-front Instagram lives. Where not everything is designed to sell something via spectacle. The values of our culture are skimming the information overflow, pixel-perfect check-ins, and sensory bombardment. We know that this produces materialism, shorter attention spans, and a culture of shallowness. (more…)
There was a time when many in the Church objected to the laity simply watching a special class of people “performing” worship. After all, liturgy means “the work of the people.” The movement that emerged from this framework has paradoxically created a culture where pro-level musicianship is a practical requirement in order to be seen as appealing.
The last time you participated in corporate worship service, could you hear yourself singing? Could you hear your neighbor singing? The answer for me is often “no.” If not to hear the sounds created, why sing? Respectfully, why not simply think the songs to yourself? (more…)
We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…
(Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
This past Sunday morning I received a call from my mom telling me that my dear grandmother (her mother) had passed away. We are blessed to know that she was a believer.
Until Sunday my thoughts on the communion of the saints were rather academic, but as we worshiped at church that morning I knew that although I am separated in a sense from my grandma, we were together in another way as we joined in with the heavenly worship through the Divine Service. (more…)
As a kid, my family participated in Advent through a liturgy that I assume my father created, drawing from various sources and scripture. Each Sunday night in Advent, we would turn off the fluorescent bulbs in our dining room, light a candle on the Advent Wreath, and pray together through Scripture. As we did this we traced the biblical prophecies of the coming Messiah, culminating in their fulfillment in the birth of Christ. From the first time we did this on, something about the liturgy—and especially the Church Year—stuck with me.
There are a multitude of reasons that all Christians would benefit from engaging with the Christian calendar, but here are the Big Three for me: