John Calvin on Bodily Postures in Worship

Those who think that worship in Reformed churches has always been a primarily cerebral affair might be surprised to learn that John Calvin frequently taught the value of various bodily postures in worship both for expressing and for forming our faith in God.  You can find a brief survey of Calvin’s teaching on posture here.

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Why do we confess sin together in worship?

Here is a short but penetrating article on the reasons why confessing our sins together as a church body in corporate worship and receiving the Lord’s forgiveness is a healing mercy and precious gift from God.

Three Views: Why Confess Sins in Worship When It Seems So Rote?
by Kathleen Norris, John Witvliet (director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship), and Enuma Okoro

Labor Day Litany

This is a prayer that we prayed today at Central Presbyterian Church for the daily work and vocations of the people of God.

Liturgist:   Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
All:          and establish the work of our hands,
yes, establish the work of our hands!  (Psalm 90:17)

We pray for those who work with their hands; who build, repair, invent, and protect; who take machines apart and put them together; who plant, weed, and harvest; who drive, lift, and load: Please help them feel your pleasure, for you are a builder and designer.  Help them keep their eyes on the people that they serve and love by their practical labor and not to grow weary in doing good.

We pray for those who educate the mind and heal the heart; who teach and tutor, who listen and counsel; who diagnose and treat; who care for those who are young and those who are old; who heal the body and the soul.  Please help them feel your pleasure in their work, for you are a teacher and healer in all these ways.  Make them lights in the world, full of your knowledge, wisdom and compassion.

Liturgist:   Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
All:          and establish the work of our hands,
yes, establish the work of our hands!

We pray for scientists who study the workings of nature, who observe, experiment, discover, and publish.  Please help them feel your pleasure in their work, for you are the source of all reason and order in the universe.  Make them lights in the world, full of insight, curiosity, gratitude, and humility.

We pray for artists and communicators who open our imaginations; who paint, sculpt, and design; who play, sing, and compose music; for novelists, film-makers, and other media producers: Please help them feel your pleasure in their work, for you are the Creator and source of beauty.  May their creativity share the light of your beauty that we might see you and our world more clearly and be drawn by love to what is pure and noble and beautiful.

Liturgist:   Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
All:          and establish the work of our hands,
yes, establish the work of our hands!

We pray for those who work in business and finance; who invest and sell; who manage money and people, buildings, goods, and services.  Please help them feel your pleasure in their work, for you own all things and provide for the needs of your world.  Make them lights in the world, full of skill to serve the common good and provide for the genuine needs of people.

We pray for those who serve in law and government, who legislate, execute, and enforce our laws.  Please help them feel your pleasure in their work, for you are a king who rules with ultimate justice.  Make them lights in the world, full of wisdom to order public life in ways that promote the common good and protect the innocent and the weak.

Liturgist:   Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
All:          and establish the work of our hands,
yes, establish the work of our hands!

We pray for those without work: Lift their hearts to you, give them bold faith to wait upon you with constant prayer and without fear, and give them the desires of their heart, a job in which to serve you, advance your kingdom, and supply their needs.

We pray for those with power to lead and make policy, to change the laws and structures where we work: Give them zeal for justice, courage to pursue it, and the patience and peace to do so in the wisest way.

We pray for those without any power to change what is broken and unjust, give them your longsuffering patience and strength to endure and to serve well out of love for you.

We pray for all of us, help those of us who trust you and follow our Lord Jesus Christ to be salt and light in the way we work and in all that we do between Sundays because we know that we work ultimately for you to enjoy your glory and love our neighbors.  Make us always eager to learn.  Help us to be the most faithful, the most responsible, the most truthful, and the most skillful people in our work.  Make us kind and joyful, patient, generous, and helpful servants to all with whom and for whom we work.  May our work show the reality of your Holy Spirit’s transforming life in us.

Liturgist:   Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
All:          and establish the work of our hands,
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Lord’s Prayer Language

Starting in June, 2013, the language of the Lord’s Prayer used in the 11:15 service will be updated to modern English found in the best modern Bible translations.  Compared to the earlier morning services, one distinctive of the 11:15 service is the use of more modern forms of expression in language and musical styles, and this change is consistent with that philosophy.

Below are the older and newer translations of the Lord’s Prayer with the key differences highlighted in bold:

Our Father, who art in heaven,         Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.                     hallowed be your name.

Thy kingdom come,                         Your kingdom come,

thy will be done,                                your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.                on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,       Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts                    and forgive us our debts

as we forgive our debtors.                 as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,        And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.                      but deliver us from the evil one.

For thine is the kingdom,                    For yours is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory forever. and the power, and the glory forever.

There are two types of change in the newer translation: (1) replacing older English pronouns with the forms used in modern English, and (2) replacing the word “evil” with “the evil one.”  Let’s explore the reasons for these changes in translation.

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