Thinking Out Loud

April 21, 2019

The Traditional Easter Greeting in a World of Multiple Translations

 

In most churches the common greeting for Easter Sunday morning is:

Worship Leader: The Lord is risen!
People: He is risen indeed!

But for some — especially those who went through the whole hippie movement in the 1960s and are now chairing the deacons boards at most local churches — this reflects far too much conformity. It also seems especially uniform when you look at the diversity of Bible texts we use: NIV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, NCV, NLT, NRSV, MSG, CBS, NBC, FBI, CIA, KGB, COD, LOL, YMCA, UPS, FedEx, DSL, Ctrl, etc. (Wow, just think of the search engine potential I just created!)

So, depending on the liturgical style, geographic location and socio-economic culture of your place of worship may we offer a few alternatives:

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: You got that right!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Fer sure!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Definitely!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Right on, man!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Totally!

So what others can you think of…?

Cartoon sourced at World Magazine where there was no attribution, and I can’t read the tiny writing in the bottom right corner, but after blowing it up 400% on the photocopier, we think it might be Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star.

February 5, 2014

Wednesday Link List

Things I Hate

They left the worship band’s spotlights on during the sermon this week, and my pastor saw his shadow, which meant six more points before the benediction. Here are some links as I try to forget… 

Clicking anything below will take you to PARSE, which has exclusive rights to the mid-week link.

…if you’re new to this whole link list thing, I did a rare Weekend Link List about ten days ago with some reruns from 2011.

April 12, 2012

Easter Liturgy in a Multi-Translation World

Filed under: Church — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:06 am

Although Easter was considered by some to have come “early” this year, Easter 2013 actually occurs at the end of March. It’s never too early to start thinking about the season to come, so we turn our thoughts to an interesting challenge.

In most churches the common greeting for Easter Sunday morning is:

Worship Leader:  The Lord is risen!
People:  He is risen indeed!

But for some — especially those who went through the whole hippie movement in the 1960s and are now chairing the deacons boards at most local churches — this reflects far too much conformity.  It also seems especially uniform when you look at the diversity of Bible texts we use: NIV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, NCV, NLT, NRSV, MSG, CBS, NBC, FBI, CIA, KGB, COD, LOL, YMCA, UPS, FedEx, DSL, Ctrl, etc.  (Wow, just think of the search engine potential I just created!)

So, depending on the liturgical style, geographic location and socio-economic culture of your place of worship may we offer a few alternatives:

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People:  You got that right!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Fer sure!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Definitely!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Right on, man!

Worship Leader: The Lord is Risen!
People: Totally!

So what others can you think of for an alternative order of service in 2013?

Cartoon sourced at World Magazine where there was no attribution, and I can’t read the tiny writing in the bottom right corner, but after blowing it up 400% on the photocopier, we think it might be Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star.

September 11, 2011

Because People Tend to Forget

September 11, 2011

Seen enough of the TV specials? Tired of hearing of “9/11?”  You should know there’s a good reason why we need those programs and magazine features and internet tributes:

People Tend to Forget

Jesus understood this.  Scripture tells us that on the night he was betrayed he took bread and broke it and said, “This is my body, broken for you; this do in remembrance of me.”

But you already know that. Those words from I Cor. 11 are often the most-repeated words in most churches during the course of a church calendar year. “For I received from the Lord that which also I delivered unto you;” is somewhat how I think the KJV renders it.  The section from verse 23 to approx. verse 30 forms what is called “The Words of Institution” for the communion service aka Lord’s Supper aka the Eucharist.  Even if you attend a church where things are decidedly non-liturgical, these verses probably get read each time your church observes “the breaking of bread;” and even if your pastor leans toward the New Living Translation or The Message, it’s possible that he lapses into King James for this one.

Why did Jesus institute this New Covenant, Second Testament version of the Passover meal? 

Because people tend to forget.

Want proof?

Let’s look at the section we almost never read when we gather around the communion table, Luke 22.  In verse 19 and 20 he tells them to remember. He tells them his life is about to be poured out for them. What a solemn moment. A holy moment. But unfortunately, a very brief  moment.

In verse 24, Luke makes it clear that he’s trying to capture an accurate picture of what happened that night.  Even if it makes the disciples look bad.  It’s the kind of stuff that you would never include in your report to Theophilus if you were merely trying to make Christianity look good.  If you were writing propaganda.

24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

I don’t want to be disrespectful here, but Luke might as well have written, “At this point, one of the disciples looked out the window of the upper room and announced, ‘Guys, you gotta come here for a minute; there’s a girl out there that is totally hot.'”

I’m serious.  It’s that much out of place with all that has just happened.  Jesus is telling them — trying to tell them — all that he is about to suffer in order that a plan laid out from before the foundations of the world will be fulfilled.  And they’re arguing about who gets to be Disciple of the Month.  How could they go from one extreme to the other so quickly?  In a matter of seconds?

Easily.  People tend to forget.

Whether it’s what happened in New York City, Washington, and that Pennsylvania field ten years ago; or whether it’s what happened in Roman occupied territory in the middle east two thousand years ago; we need to continually rehearse these stories in our hearts and pass them on to our children.

This is a day that is about remembering and like the upper room disciples, we can get so totally distracted.  September 12th comes and everyone moves on to the next topic or news story.  We must not let ourselves lose focus so easily.  We must not forget.

Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Image: The Cross or Rubble – Ray Tapajina
at The Art Project – Artists Respond to Terrorism

February 6, 2011

Praying By The Book

This is Superbowl day, so I’m expecting most of my traffic today to be women.  Yes, a stereotype, I know.   In my experience, women are the “pray-ers” of the church.  Behind every great Christian male leader, there is a woman (or several) praying for him not to make a mess of things!   I wrote this post a year ago while wrestling with the issue of how prayer takes shape differently depending on your faith family…

Prayer is talking to God.

Talking is a natural form of communication. Think of the number of people you talk to in a day. How many times does the average person work from a prepared text?

None. You don’t write out ahead of time what you’re going to say unless you’re giving a speech at a wedding reception or don’t want to miss anything when you’re telling the boss why you’re giving your two weeks notice.

So why “read” your talking to God? What exactly is the point of a “prayer book?” Granted, you might use a phrase book if you were in a foreign country. Could it be that when some people leave their normal world and enter a Church building, or into prayer, they feel they are in a foreign country?

And why repeat The Lord’s Prayer (aka The Our Father) over and over and over and over again, when in fact, it’s recorded in scripture directly after a verse that says don’t repeat prayers over and over and over and over again.

Learn a new word today:

This is the word that describes a type of prayer that is open, honest, vulnerable…

God wants people who are in relationship to him. A relationship based on love, which casts out fear. The closer the relationship, the less prepared text. You don’t know all those people who are going hear that wedding speech, so you prepare. You fear the meeting with your boss, so you write out notes.

Is there ever a time for a prepared prayer? If you’re coming to God on behalf of a group of people in a corporate worship setting, perhaps. You don’t want to miss anything and you want to be specific. You’re not just going to mention the requests made by John, Jessica, Nathan and Emily, but you want to remember what it is you’re asking that God might do for them. You want to remember the military serving overseas, the orphans in Haiti, victims of human rights violations in China, etc.

But even this can be done naturally. If you can tell someone afterward what it is you prayed for, you can also construct a prayer on the spot that tells God the same thing, without extensive notes.

Matt 6: 7(CEV)When you pray, don’t talk on and on as people do who don’t know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers.

It’s interesting that no matter how this verse is translated — “pagans” is used most often — ornate prayers are associated with “people who don’t know God.” So by implication, less flowery prayers are often prayed by people who do know God.

Word of the day: Extemporaneous. Short, breath prayers. Prayers from the heart. Talking to God as you would talk to a friend. An agenda, perhaps; but not a script. And definitely not out of a book.

When is the last time you simply poured out your heart to God and told him everything you’re feeling and thinking? Now is a good time to start.

UPDATE: After I wrote this piece, I received what is perhaps a kind of op-ed comment, one of the few times my wife left a comment here:

Written prayers are the church equivalent of greeting cards.

Some people just pick one with the right phrase up front ’cause you’ve got to pick something.

And sometimes how they’re written expresses your heart better than you could yourself and you’re thrilled to find just the right one.

You can read the rest of the comments from a year ago here.


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