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But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. – Luke 6:35

February starts Lent, a season to pay attention to your relationship with Jesus. It is often called a season of repentance and preparation. Many think of it as a time of harshness or at least seriousness and it is. We think most often of giving things up, of fasting, of thinking about sin. We sing slower songs, we don’t say or sing alleluia often in Lent. But this year because of the coincidence that Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day, we are reminded that to repent is to love.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
- Psalm 95:6

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
- Hebrews 12:28

What is worship? It is gathering together as a community and putting God at the center. What is Reformed or Presbyterian worship in particular? In today’s world, what is our tradition’s understandings of worship and its importance to the congregation? Is that Baptist hymn or that Catholic rite or that Lutheran phrasing of the Lord’s Prayer or that Pentecostal praise song out of place? The Director of the PCUSA Office of Theology and Worship, Rev. David Gambrell, offered these 7 ideas all based on the Directory for Worship in our Book of Order and on the scriptural and theological tradition we call Reformed. Maybe this short look will help us see why we do what we do in worship.

We are in the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany cycle again. This is the start of the Church’s Year. Like many things in the Bible and the Church, we are a little different from the world and seem to fight it—especially this time of year when the world says hurry, hurry and buy, buy but the Gospel says—slow down, know Christ is coming again, put your treasure in Him and praise God! As music is indeed such a big part of our Christian walk together, I decided to share one of our previous Friday Morning Bible Study sessions. It is from a series on Christmas carols. The questions at the end are for you so that you can reflect on what we sing. Merry Christmas!

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