There is a health update at the end of this message.
Registration is now open for the 2010 CALVIN SYMPOSIUM ON WORSHIP,
January 28-30, 2010, in Grand Rapids. Presenters include Jeremy Begbie, Marva Dawn, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Lester Ruth, John Witvliet, and many others. http://www.calvin.edu/worship/sympos/2010
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Those are the words of the apostle Paul to the first-century believers in Philippi. Our Advent celebration this Sunday focuses on biblical joy, rejoicing in the God of our salvation. Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is a prayer from Arthur Bennett's THE VALLEY OF VISION, a precious reminder that we are too easily satisfied with lesser gods. I am particularly challenged by the last four lines: How easily we are seduced by Delilah! [For this prayer, I have taken the liberty of modernizing the language a bit. See below for a link to the original.]
A COLLOQUY ON REJOICING
Remember, O my soul,
It is your duty and privilege to rejoice in God:
He requires it of you for all his favors of grace.
Rejoice then in the giver and his goodness,
Be happy in him, O my heart, and in nothing but God,
for whatever a man trusts in,
from that he expects happiness.
He who is the ground of your faith
should be the substance of your joy.
From where, then, come heaviness and dejection,
when joy is sown in you,
promised by the Father,
given by the Son,
woven together by the Holy Spirit,
yours by grace,
your birthright in believing?
Are you seeking to rejoice in yourself
from an evil motive of pride and self reputation?
You have nothing of your own but sin,
nothing to move God to be gracious,
or to continue his grace toward you.
If you forget this, you will lose your joy.
Are you grieving under a sense of indwelling sin?
Let godly sorrow work repentance,
as the true spirit which the Lord blesses,
and which creates fullest joy;
Sorrow for self opens rejoicing in God,
Self-loathing draws down divine delights.
Have you sought joys in some creature comfort?
Look not below God for happiness;
fall not asleep in Delilah's lap.
Let God be all in all to you,
and joy in the fountain that is always full.
—Arthur Bennett, editor. THE VALLEY OF VISION: A COLLECTION OF PURITAN PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999 (first published in 1975), ISBN 0-85151-228-3. [For the original version of this prayer, see www.banneroftruth.org/pages/dailydevotion_detail.php?2529 where you can also learn about Max McLean's stunning recording of the VALLEY OF VISION prayers.]
MORE WORSHIP QUOTATIONS FOR ADVENT & CHRISTMAS
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2005-12-06 (“O Come, O Come, Immanuel”)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2000-12-26 ("Thou Who Wast Rich")
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=1995-12-20 (C. S. Lewis)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2004-12-21 (Ambrose and Luther)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2005-12-20 (Dutch Carol)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=1996-12-24 (Ulrich Shaffer)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2006-12-12 ("The Gift of Gifts")
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2004-12-07 ("Of the Father's Love Begotten")
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2006-12-26 (Augustine and Lewis)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2007-12-18 (Thomas à Kempis)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2007-12-25 (Clarkson, Communion Hymn)
www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=2008-12-30 (Wise Men and Worship)
HEALTH UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST
FOR CHIP STAM, CANCER PATIENT
Dear Praying Friends,
Longer journal entries and new photos about my cancer journey are available at www.caringbridge.org/visit/carlstam (click on "journal" or "photos").
Last Thursday (Dec. 3) I had a routine morning visit to the cancer clinic. As I was leaving, they said, "If you develop a fever, call us right away." After dinner, sure enough, I had a fever of about 101, and we called the clinician who instructed us to come straight to the hospital. And that is where I am still, five days later. I have had a long series of antibiotics and other things so that they can watch me closely.
The wheels are rolling to find a donor for my upcoming stem cell transplant. Please pray for effectiveness of these medicines and a clear and perfect match with a donor.
We continue to fight the disease, trusting in a God who is both great and good. Your concern and prayers are precious to us.
In His perfect care,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
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