Preparing for Worship (10/31/10)

Corporate worship is a great thing.  Of course, we can worship God on our own and with our families - and we should.  But there is something special about the people of God coming together for worship (Hebrews 10:24-25).  Thus, we hope that corporate worship is the highlight of your week.  In an effort to help you get more out of worship, we're posting a short preview of the upcoming worship service each week.  Hopefully you'll find this helpful and encouraging.

Sunday is Halloween.  And even more importantly, it's Reformation Day.  Historically, Protestant churches have used this day to reflect on the events of October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral.  Most folks point to this as the starting point for the Protestant Reformation.  If you want to read more about Luther and the 95 Theses, you can check out this interview with Carl Trueman.

But back to Halloween for a moment.  Halloween is simply a contraction for All Hallows Eve.  "Hallow" means saint, and November 1 is All Saints Day, a festival observed by many Christian churches.  Like Reformation Day, All Saints Day is a chance to remember and reflect on those who have gone before us in the faith.  So in worship this week, we'll be reading Hebrews 6:12 as the call to worship, and the majority of Hebrews 11:1-12:2 as a responsive reading.  You can read through these passages to prepare for worship.  (And on a side note, you can read James Jordan's Christian rationale for enjoying Halloween.  Whether you agree with it or not, it will give you some food for thought).

We'll also be praying for the upcoming election during our prayer time.  Last week we handed out Election Prayer Guides to aid you in praying for our country and the election.  We'll do the same this week.  You can click the link above to download one.

And lastly, the message will be called "A Tale of Two Trials" based on Mark 14:53-72.  We're getting to the end of Jesus' life on earth in our Mark series.  To prepare for worship, read this passage and ask: Why does Mark sandwich these two stories together?

See you Sunday!

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