Monthly Archives: January 2014

  • Hospitality

    “Worship is a space of welcome because we are, at root, relational creatures called into relationship with the Creator, in order to flourish as a people who bear his image to and for the world. In response to God’s welcome, we practice hospitality in worship, which is practice for extending hospitality beyond it.” ~ J.K. Smith

    I love that. Worship is practice for real life. And real life involves hospitality. Let me suggest to you three reasons for being engaged in hospitality, that is, opening your life to others and letting them in.

    First, we practice hospitality because we are covenantal creatures who have been made in God’s image. In other words, we are hospitable because we have been made to be. We have been made to live in community – whether in the family or the culture or the … Read More »

  • The Case for the Psalms

    John Calvin is remembered for a lot of things, by friend and foe alike. Love him or hate him, his prominence during the protestant reformation has forever etched out a place in the history books. When it comes to Calvin’s legacy, it seems to me that popular perception is different than scholarly perception. I could be wrong but it seems to me that popular perception of Calvin is that of an ivory tower theologian, whereas scholarly perception is that of Calvin as a reformer, particularly in the area of worship. To put it another way, scholarly perception views Calvin as a churchman. I think scholarly perception is correct here. To be sure, Calvin was a theologian – a theologian par excellence. But all of his theology was done in the context of the trenches of pastoral ministry. It’s for this … Read More »

  • The Meaning of Christmas, part 2

    In our culture “the Christmas Season” begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through December 25th; then it’s over. But even among our cultural observances of Christmas there are little things here and there that demonstrate that we are doing it backwards. Consider, for example, the song by many during Christmas. “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” And on it goes for twelve days (the song is really interesting and includes references to the gospels, Pentateuch, the 10 commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, just to name a few). I will admit that up until recently I had no idea what the days of Christmas were. This song, Laurence Stookey suggests,

    is evidence that once Christmas truly was celebrated as a season of twelve days – not simply a day – and not December 25 … Read More »