In This Issue:
From the Director
Planning worship with CCEL.org and Hymnary.org
Do you prepare for worship?
Worship leaders of course study and meditate on the scripture passage in advance, but even if you are not leading worship, you can make the worship service more meaningful by studying and praying about the passage beforehand. Look up the passage in our new bible study tool. Read a commentary or two on the passage. Look at sermons and meditations. Perhaps you could sing a hymn on the passage so that it will stick with you throughout the day.
You can find related hymns at CCEL's sister site, Hymnary.org. In addition to searching by scripture passage, you can search all the hymnals on your shelf by typing a search term on your computer. You can search by first line, scripture reference, subject, melody, or other attributes, then pull the hymnal off your shelf and turn right to the hymn you want, or use the resources online at Hymnary.org. Find a version of a hymn with different wording or in a different key. Find instrumental or choral arrangements. May your new year find you well prepared for worship!
Worship Around the World
In thinking about worship, Emily Brink has written an article which discusses how worship spaces vary throughout the world. After relating several experiences of worship in different countries based on her travels, Ms. Brink concludes the article with several provocative questions about the role of church buildings and worship space. Take a moment to read this short article, and let us know about unique and interesting worship spaces you have visited.
The 25th Annual Worship Symposium
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship will host its 25th annual Worship Symposium at the end of this month. This symposium is is a three-day ecumenical conference that brings together a wide audience of pastors, worship leaders and planners, artists, musicians, scholars, students, and other interested worshipers. Between 1,500 and 2,000 people from all around the world are expected to participate in a time of learning, fellowship, and worship. This year the symposium will explore praying and worshiping through the Psalms. Both CCEL.org and Hymnary.org will share a display table at this year's symposium which will take place at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. Registration for the conference is still open.
What We're ReadingA Brief Instruction in the Worship of God
by John Owen (1616-1683)
In A Brief Instruction in the Worship of God, which came to be known as The Independents’ Catechism, Owen outlines the constitution and ordinances of a Christian Church, and explains the duties of office-bearers and members. Scarcely fifty questions, this short catechism gives insight into one of the greatest Puritan theologians and provides rich spiritual nourishment.
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Featured Hymn"O Worship the King All Glorious Above" by Robert Grant
The text [of this hymn] is a meditation on the creation theme of Psalm 104. Stanzas 1-3, which allude to Psalm 104:1-6, focus on God’s creation as a testimony to his “measureless might.” More personal in tone, stanzas 4 and 5 confess the compassion of God toward his creatures and affirm with apocalyptic vision that the “ransomed creation, with glory ablaze” will join with angels to hymn praise to God.
-Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Read more about Hymnary
"The Nature and Beauty of Gospel Worship"
John Owen's sermon entitled "The Nature and Beauty of Gospel Worship" (Sermon III) discusses, "a new and more glorious way of approaching unto God in his worship." His next sermon (Sermon IV) discusses the role of the Holy Spirit in Worship. While both of these sermons are characteristic of traditional Puritan theology which tends to be a bit heavy, they nevertheless emphasize the importance of growing closer to Christ (as does Owen's "Sermon V: Of walking Humbly with God"). The language and style might be a bit dated, but the message is still essential and meaningful today.
Read this sermon at CCEL
Did You Know?
CCEL has a vast collection of sermons by Thomas Manton, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, George MacDonald, and many others. CCEL currently has about one third of Spurgeon's 3,561 sermons and is in the process of adding the rest of his sermons to its library. To find a sermon on a certain topic, use our advanced search engine and place the topic for which you are searching in the 'full text' box and the word 'sermon' in the 'keyword' box.
Visit the advanced search feature at CCEL
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