All tagged Worship

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday. While the story that is taught in school is the one of starving Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down together for a meal, the holiday wasn't established as a national holiday that day. Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

Vocation

I had the opportunity to teach on theological anthropology (the theological study of man) last week. We looked primarily at Genesis 1 and 2. They are really fascinating passages. In them we not only get the creation of humanity, but also humanity’s nature, purpose, and vocation. That is in Genesis 1 and 2 we have answers to the questions: What are we? What are we made for? and What are we made to do?.

Our Refuge

It is amazing how many people I talk to these days that find their schedules completely jam packed with stuff. When I ask someone how they are the answer usually goes, ‘Good. Busy. But good.’ I get it. I feel like I am barely getting a moment free these days. On top of personal busyness, it seems like the news can keep us busy as well. No matter what side of debate you are on, you are being called to care deeply about everything. From Brexit to Scottish Independence to Kavanaugh to LeBron as a Laker, we are all supposed to have a deep emotional and temporal engagement. Life can be overwhelming.

Telling Stories

Lately I have been thinking about the stories we tell ourselves, our family, and the world around us, and not only the stories we tell but also the stories we are told. Stories have power. They can create a reality for us. They can make us believe things about ourselves and the world around us.

Hearing the Word Preached

In the Clausing house these days we have been trying to get Calvin to sit with us in Sunday worship. It is tricky. He is the only child his age in the church service (he is really one of the youngest children in our church in Edinburgh). For the most part he does a great job. However, there are moments when every 3 minutes I am standing up and walking out with him. When I finish a worship service on Sunday and I have heard about half of the sermon and that in disjointed short bursts, the thought can come to me, 'Why are we doing this?'

Living Our Theology

Martin Luther once made a provocative statement: We are all called theologians, just as [we are] all [called] Christians. Luther's point is that everything we do speaks to what we believe about God. Our lives show forth who we think the God we worship is like. How do we know God? Does God care for us? Can God be trusted? Is God good? All of these questions are answered in the way we live. We are all called theologians just as we are all called Christians. There is no getting around it, we all do theology.

Longing for Home

When I was going to on the mission field, Mission to the World (MTW) required me (and all the missionaries going on the field at the time) to go through a pre-field training. It was a really great experience. I learned about language learning, adapting to being on the field, learning to be a learner, and many other important issues for life as missionary. The one topic that was mentioned, though not discussed in depth, was cultural fatigue or in some cases, homesickness. This portion of the training has stuck with me, and I am regularly reminded of it.