Sing Until the Spirit Lifts You Up

Why do we worship the way we do? Thus far, we’ve said that our worship follows the covenant renewal pattern – imitating the order of the sacrifices, it is liturgical – repeating many of the same things every week because we want to learn them and we come as children. And our worship seeks to…

We Are Not Alone

Why do we worship the way we do? Thus far we have noted that our service follows the Covenant Renewal pattern found in the sacrifices of the Old Covenant: Confession of Sin, Ascension into God’s presence, and sitting down to eat the Lord’s Supper, our Peace offering — this is our sacrifice of praise. We…

What Are Parents For? #2

So then, we are committed to imitating our faithful, heavenly Father who because He loves us, disciplines us, teaching us obedience through pain (Heb. 5:8, 12:7-11). But God is perfect and omniscient, two qualities all human parents lack. We do not know all things, and even if we did, we wouldn’t respond in righteousness. But…

How To Change the World

We see injustice. We see pornography and sexual abuse. We see scraping poverty and economic systems of oppression. We see big business in bed with the military and little Arab girls get bombed to kingdom come. We see millions of children dismembered and sucked out of their mother’s wombs by medical vacuum cleaners. And meanwhile,…

What Are Parents For? #1

The central duty parents have is training up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. As many others have pointed out, this is not merely an academic pursuit, nor is it purely “spiritual” as though Jesus doesn’t have anything to say about mathematics or washing dishes. This nurture and admonition is a…

God’s Loyalty

This is a family meal. Here we meet with Jesus. Here we meet with God our Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. But that means that this is a covenantal meal. When you eat together, you are sharing peace, you offering, extending, and affirming love and commitment to one another. Or another way…

Coming Like Kids

So why do we worship the way we do? We noted last week that the overall structure of our worship service is called Covenant Renewal. We are following the thematic structure of the three main sacrifices of the Old Covenant: first we confess our sins, then we ascend into heaven in songs of praise to…

From Dust to Light

Ash Wednesday Homily Mk. 8:27-38 We’ve said before, and it’s no trouble to be reminded, that we think of the church calendar like a devotional guide. Over the course of the Christian Year, we are reminded of the most crucial, most important parts of our life in Christ: what it means to know Jesus and…

The Parable of the Cross

The first half of the life of Jesus is a parable. It’s full of parables, but it is itself parabolic — it’s mysterious, enigmatic, and constantly pressing a question: Who is this? What does it does it mean? What does He mean? And perhaps most importantly, how will you respond, what will you do? And…

Now You Belong

“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:27-28) This is the verse that our baptismal hymn is taken from, the song that…