Here are eight worship services on the theme of creation. The general idea for the worship services was originally inspired by a seminar with Tim Brown on his book The Seven Pillars of Creation, although the worship services developed in a somewhat different direction than the book.
For each service, you are encouraged to adapt the prayers of the people to fit the needs of your congregation.
Here’s a summary of the themes and Scripture passages for each of the eight services.
This service was originally designed to be a chapel service at Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, Michigan, during Holy Week, but it could be expanded into a full worship service by adding elements like a sermon, offering, and time of confession/assurance. It could also be adapted for use at any time during the year when there is an emphasis on God’s marvelous creation.
(On stage: Speaker 1 and men’s chorus.)
During Holy Week we often focus on the “red” storyline of Christ’s shed blood offered as atonement for our sins. This is the central message of the cross. However, both before and beyond the cross is a bigger, grander, “greener” story of redemption that highlights the “red” storyline even more.
Honest faith requires expressions of lament. Most of us do not have to ponder too deeply to realize that something is wrong; the world’s not all as it should be. However, this feeling, this sense of discomfort and frustration, is not often expressed in our worship. Shouldn’t we be able to express ourselves honestly in worship, asking God the difficult questions—the ones that keep us up at night due to our lack of satisfying answers?
Over the nearly sixteen years when I was preaching two new sermons every week, I dipped into the Revised Common Lectionary only sporadically. Typically I’d turn to Lectionary texts for Advent or maybe for Lent, especially if I had no fresh ideas for a sermon series. However, since coming to Calvin Seminary seven years ago, I use the Lectionary every week as the basis of the sermon-starter articles some colleagues and I have been posting on the Center for Excellence in Preaching website every Monday morning.
Q:Are there ever instances in which it could be appropriate for people to celebrate the Lord’s Supper using a video feed over the Internet, especially for small rural churches in northern Canada that are separated by miles yet served by only one pastor? Could that be considered a real celebration of the Lord’s Supper?
The following service was designed to be part of an arts week at Regent College. The readings were organized by Stacey Gleddiesmith and Robert Lockridge. The service was coordinated by Stacey with help from Aminah Al-Attas Bradford, Robert Lockridge, and Andrea Tischer. Various Regent College students and faculty members contributed their artistic talents for this service as we sought to exegete and communicate the text of Psalm 22 through various art forms.
Call to worship: Spoken prayer 1
Historically, Christians have used some verses from the gospel accounts of Jesus’ suffering to figuratively bludgeon Jewish people. But does our awareness of this historical misuse of Scripture make any difference in the way we plan and lead worship, especially during Lent and Holy Week? Can we apply some principles to dealing with those “troubling tellings” while still taking the Scriptures very seriously?
If you’ve been anywhere near a computer in the last decade, you’re familiar with the phenomenon called “going viral.” It’s what happens when email inboxes, websites, and social networks light up like postmodern switchboards at the discovery of something new: the video of the cat doing that thing, the unexpected hit single, or that new author nobody’s ever heard of before who’s written something incredible. Suddenly, with unprecedented speed, everybody knows about it.
This article is the third in a series introducing “Worshiping the Triune God,” a working document published after the inaugural meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in June 2010. (For parts 1 and 2, see RW 100 and 101.)
We are a church relishing in the resurrection. I like to think that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who heard the good news of Christ’s resurrection did not simply hurry off to tell this exciting news, but that they danced. “They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him” (Matt. 28:9). How could they have kept still?
Confessions of faith come in many forms, from traditional ecumenical creeds like the Apostles’ Creed to personal testimonies. The following is an exposition on the resurrection and what we believe about that historical event. It is appropriate to use anywhere a typical creed would function in a worship service, but it is especially appropriate for use on Easter Sunday during a service celebrating the resurrection.
While reading Tim Keller’s book Counterfeit Gods and contemplating a series of messages on idolatry during the Lent season, I realized that perhaps each violation after the first two of the ten commandments (you shall have no other gods; you shall not make idols) points to some expression of idolatry. And then I read Keller’s reference to what Martin Luther wrote in his Larger Catechism: “The fundamental motivation behind law breaking is idolatry.”
If Palm Sunday occurred today, how might it be covered by the media? That was the question I found myself asking as I was preparing for Palm Sunday and thinking about the gospel reading. My answer to that question comes in the form of the following Palm Sunday “broadcast.”
The seasons of Lent and Easter bring countless images of our Lord’s suffering, passion, and resurrection. What better way to capture the significance of this image-rich season than through these songs with their rich texts and music?
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