Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • Advent, Part 1

    Happy New Year! This is the first Sunday in Advent, which is regarded by Western Christianity as the beginning of the liturgical year. Sometimes Christians mistakenly think of Advent as being synonymous with the birth of Christ or with Christmas. But it really isn’t. In fact, Advent’s primary focus is on what we usually call the second coming of Christ. It’s for this reason that you will find the lectionary readings of the church focusing on this topic, this year Ps. 25; Lk. 21, for example.

    I like what Laurence Stookey says about this.

    What may seem to be an anomaly is a very important theological point: The beginning of the liturgical year takes our thinking to the very end of things (Christ’s Time for the Church, 121).

    This is important because beginning at the end equips us to make sense … Read More »

  • The Eucharist

    Even for Paul there was mystery in the Christian faith, especially when it came to the work of Christ on behalf of his church. Speaking in the context of marriage he would say, this mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church (Eph. 5:32). The preface to his summary of the rudimentary facts of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension reads like this: Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness (1 Tim. 3:16). Christianity is not in opposition to a healthy and vigorous life of the mind; nor is it in opposition to mystery. It is opposed to stupidity and ignorance on the one hand and to rationalism on the other. When we come to the topic of the Eucharist we come to a topic of great mystery. Perhaps this is … Read More »

  • Children’s Church

    Sometimes it is surprising to visitors, especially those who are on pilgrimage from broadly evangelical churches, when they find that we include our children in the worship service and encourage full participation. More and more the church is becoming segregated, no longer by race but now by age. Adults go here, middle schoolers there, high schoolers over there and children’s church over there. To operate like this is extremely troubling not only because it separates families from one another, but also because it removes those high school and under from the means of grace. Since we believe that God extends his grace to us through his appointed means (prayer, preaching and the sacraments) and through his appointed minister, it follows then that the corporate worship service offers the church something far greater than children’s church can.

    Furthermore, the corporate worship service … Read More »