Author Archives: Herbert Tsang

The anti-idolatry campaign…

John D. Witvliet reminds us that every time we sing praise to the triune God, we are asserting our opposition to anything that would attempt to stand in God’s place.  Every hymn of praise is a little anti-idolatry campaign, as Walter Brueggemann explains:  “The affirmation of Yahweh always contains a polemic against someone else. . . It may be that the [exiles] will sing such innocuous-sounding phrases as ‘Glory to God in the highest,’ or ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow.’  Even those familiar phrases are polemical, however, and stake out new territory for the God now about to be aroused to new caring”

–see Walter Brueggemann, Cadences of Home: Preaching Among the Exiles (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997), 128.

Advertisements

The voice of the church…

“It is the voice of the Church that is heard in singing together. It is not you that sings, it is the Church that is singing, and you, as a member of the Church, may share in its song.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), 68.

The Christian calendar

By not following the Christian calendar we have come to adopt secular guidelines for our spiritual time. Christ has again become lost in our celebration of time, not because of too many saints’ days and feasts, but because of our celebration in worship of too many other days–national holidays like Independence Day and special events like Mother’s Day.

Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God’s Mighty Deeds of Salvation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishing, 1992), 170.

Order?

Worship is a corporate endeavor…some kind of order is necessary so that everyone knows what is happening and is able to participate fully. People put themselves into something confidently only when they know what they are doing. Wherever there is interaction between people, ritual forms and ceremonies arise, whereby the bonds between them can be symbolically expressed.

Frank C. Senn, Christian Worship and its Cultural Setting (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1983), 15.

Worship is…

Worship is the continuous outpouring of all that I am, all that I do and all that I can ever become in light of a chosen or cho0sing god.

– Harold M. Best, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, Downers Grove, IL : InterVarsity Press, 2003, 18.

Prayer about Scripture

Lord God, let us keep your Scriptures in mind and meditate on them day and night, persevering in prayer, always on watch. We beg you, Lord, to give us real knowledge of what we read and to show us not only how to understand it but how to put it into practice and to obtain spiritual grace enlightened by the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Lord, whose power and glory will endure throughout all ages. Amen.

—Origen of Alexandria (c. 185-254), theologian, philosopher, exegete, and teacher. As quoted in “The Communion of Saints: Resources from the Worldwide Church,” an article by Anne E. Zaki, REFORMED WORSHIP, June 2005, No. 76. http://www.reformedworship.org.

Tagged ,