People of the Spirit, worshiping Jesus in all places, at all times

Posts tagged ‘development’

Keep the Traditions

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth….

The Great Litany begins with a blaring, intoned address to the Almighty God.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world…

It’s staunch orthodoxy refuses to bend to contemporary innovations.

O God the Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the faithful…

It’s movement of penitent supplication and confident faith embraces the totality of Christian life and discipline.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God….

But it continues to draw more and more of me into prayer and intimacy with God. It reshapes my mind, my heart, my body in a way that is oriented toward God, that advocates for my enemies and friends, and somehow lets me pray for the life of the world and the life of the Church at the same time.

Liturgical prayer is anything but dead. I can feel the cloud of witnesses join with me. I know in my bones that my ancestors prayed these same prayers, responding to the officiant’s supplications with “Good Lord, deliver us” and “We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.” In the United States, and in England and Wales, and in Ireland. I know my brothers and sisters pray these prayers– in Nigeria, in Australia, and in other parts of the globe. It’s tremendous. It’s a prayer that is larger than me.

And, oddly, it’s the reality of the life-giving nature of liturgical prayer that helps us guard against our own liturgical eclecticism. As Pentecostals, we should be in tune with the Spirit’s guiding the prayers of the Church through the ages and around the world. And if we are embracing that path, and giving the Spirit room to reshape us, change how we pray, and enter into words that have been handed down from one generation of apostolic faith to the next, then we will find that we are not doing anything strange at all. Instead, we are being formed into the people of Pentecost, devoted to the apostles’ teaching, the breaking of bread, and the prayers. And in that, we will see the release of God’s work among us in great acts of love and stunning signs and wonders — all to authenticate and draw attention to the great love Jesus has shown us.


Legacy: Martha

This post is long overdue and I’ve been thinking about it for most of a month. I didn’t know where to begin, or end…so, instead of something comprehensive, I’m posting just a sliver of remembrance and reflection of her legacy.

A woman’s voice cut through the silence of the day: “Well isn’t this a fine row of bishops?” I looked up to see her smiling at me and some friends, sitting by the fire. “God forbid,” I retorted. (more…)

Spirit of Truth, not certainty

Note: This is part of a group of posts on the place of doubt in Christian faith. Check out the hub here.

So admittedly, Pentecostalism sounds like a “know-too-much” tradition. Not only do we claim the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, but also in the Scriptures — not only as historical witness, but as personal and congregational direction. And if that were not enough, we’ve the audacity to claim that the Holy Spirit speaks in other ways– dreams/visions, prophecies, impressions, and languages we’ve never learned. It can seem like a know-it-all atmosphere…and for some people,it probably is. It was for me. And it wasn’t healthy. In fact, it was only when Jesus forced me to my knees with the weight of my own questions that I began to know Jesus Himself. (more…)

Thinking about Pentecostal Catechesis

So it’s a little bit of a long word, but catechesis is a historic part of Christian faith. It’s how we pass on the faith to the next generation, entrusting the Gospel to them, and bring people into the way that we live it out. Thanks to some great classes, I’ve had the chance to think about it a lot lately, and to read about it (Pentecostal Formation by Cheryl Bridges Johns is a recommended title). Here are some of my thoughts (if it sounds like a formal paper or presentation…it is), but I’d love to hear what people think should be the practices in Pentecostal catechesis. (more…)

Lex orandi, lex credendi

Nope, not writing in tongues there, but I will give an interpretation of that title: “the law of praying, the law of believing.” It’s a Latin shorthand to back up the conviction among many streams of Christianity that how we worship instructs and reinforces what we believe. If you want to change the way a congregation believes, don’t go after the statement of faith, change the content and order of worship. It’s pretty practical, and on some level, just plain common sense. But on another level… (more…)