The Joy of Age- and Ability-Appropriate Obedience: Reflections on Faith Formation and Children at the Lord's Supper
An article by John Witvliet, chair of the Faith Formation Committee of the Christian Reformed Church, which explores the committee's latest thinking on discipleship and how it relates to participating in the Lord's Supper. A key way the church disciples believers is through worship. Reformed Christians have an especially high view of preaching and the sacraments, and on the way God disciples us through them.
An interview with Robert C. DeVries and Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge
Sooner or later all of us must face up to death. Energetic adolescents ignore it, and their middle-aged parents often pursue illusions of perpetual youth. But the elderly and terminally ill know better. Nothing in life is as certain as death. And we all wonder what happens when our friends and loved ones die.
Henry was dying of throat cancer. He knew it; his wife, Joan, knew it; their two grown children knew it; and the doctors knew it. But he wasn't dying quickly, and it wasn't painless. It was a slow, agonizing, painful dying. The most the pain medications could do was take the fiercest edge off the pain. He could live for weeks before his body succumbed to the cancer. The disease and the pain it brought had already beaten down his will to live, as well as the will of everyone else involved. Everyone wanted the pain to stop, even if it meant Henry's death.
God does not grade our sins on a curve; before his holy face, big or little, a sin is a sin. However, not all sins bear the same consequences, and few have as destructive an effect as do blood sins such as racism and tribalism. These are the sins that degrade the individual identity, dignity, and worth that every human being possesses as God's imagebearer and replace it with an abstraction, a group identity classification, in order to gain advantage or do harm.
Note: [The following] is a translation of the original Afrikaans text of the confession as it was adopted by the synod of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa in 1986. In 1994 the Dutch Reformed Mission Church and the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa united to form the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA). This inclusive language text was prepared by the Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
According to the certificate in the family Bible, my parents presented me before the congregation of First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables and vowed to raise me in the Christian faith and the church. I have no remembrance of the vows or the water that was sprinkled on me. I do not even remember attending church. All I remember is that weekends were spent fishing, hunting, and playing little league baseball and football. We went to church on Christmas and Easter. I never understood why; it was just something we did.