Musical worship is a fixture in Christian culture. Many of us sing worship songs multiple times a week. We have hundreds, if not thousands of worship songs accessible to us through our phones, YouTube and Pandora. We go to worship nights, worship concerts, worship jam sessions. Musical worship is all around us. But is it changing us for the better?
I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for the Origins track at our summer InterVarsity camp. I wanted to study and understand more about the Old Testament, but encountering the living God caught me by surprise.
It was Sunday at church. Ayelish and Aziz stood up as the ushers to receive the offering. Ayelish is pregnant and showing. I looked over at her standing with her rounded stomach and I knew immediately there was a message here for me. How did I know? It’s as if she jumped up and was floating over our heads. How many pregnant women have I seen in my life?! Hundreds, thousands maybe. But why was this different? It was like the burning bush—I felt an inner “nudge” from the Holy Spirit.
Sex is a big deal in our culture. Never before have we been more exposed to sex in advertising, on television and on campus. Sprite says, “Obey Your Thirst,” while Nike tells us to “Just Do It.” So how do we remain faithful to God in a highly sexualized culture?
In the Christian calendar, January 6 is the Feast of Epiphany. The day commemorates the story of the Eastern magi, or wise ones, who sought out Jesus to pay him kingly homage. The word epiphany means “to bring to light” or “to make manifest” and, in this case, refers to the revealing of Christ to the Gentiles.
Resistance seems futile much of the time, regarding sexual sin or addictions, doesn’t it? I see a piece of creamy, decadent ganache topped cheesecake and I say to myself, I won’t take that cake, I won’t take that cake, I WON’T TAKE THAT CAKE…why am I taking that cake?!
Jesus’ band of followers already knew a lot about prayer. They were used to praying in their homes and at the synagogue. They were familiar with the amazing range of prayers found in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially the Psalms, so they knew you could approach God in many ways: exuberant celebration, mournful lament, respectful praise, heartfelt thanksgiving, quiet meditation, desperate petition and even troubled argument.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other (Matt 6:24a).” This is an important truth to remember during midterm season.
The blog is an avenue for staff and student leaders to hear from the visionary leaders of Collegiate Ministries about theological formation, discipleship, chapter planting, chapter growth, and other key ministry themes for campus work.