Nielsen, Pam. Illustrated by Arthur Kirchhoff. Calligraphy by Edward Q. Luhmann. Behold the Lamb: An Introduction to the Signs and Symbols of the Church. St. Louis: Concordia, 2010. 48 Pages. Cloth. $8.99. (Currently on sale for $6.67.) http://www.cph.org/ (L)
Evening & Morning: The Music of Lutheran Daily Prayer. St. Louis: Concordia, 2009. Audio CD. $9.99. http://www.cph.org/ (L)
Among the most helpful liturgical resources we have seen are these two new releases from Concordia Publishing House.
Concluding a trilogy begun by Scot Kinnaman in Worshiping with Angels and Archangels and author Heath Curtis' introduction to the Christian Church Year, Ordering our Days in His Peace, Pam Nielsen's book, Behold the Lamb, deserves a place of honor on your shelf next to Lutheran Service Book.
This is intentionally "An Introduction to the Signs and Symbols of the Church." It is not an extensive sign and symbol dictionary. Your pastor may well have one of those or direct inquisitive young scholars and their parents to additional resources. This is a great starting place!
Symbols point to something or Someone else. The author, an LCMS Deaconness, does a wonderful job of keeping the focus on Jesus. Symbols have stories behind them. We can make the most of each opportunity we have to explain a Bible symbol, creedal symbol, or historical symbol to a new believer or a young Christian.
Behold the Lamb makes regular references to Lutheran Service Book, supporting what a child may pray, sing, and experience at worship in their own congregation, an important connection between congregational, educational, and home life.
As with the other two volumes in the series, art is reverent, creative, relevant to the topic being taught, as well as being bright, colorful, and engaging.
A brief two page glossary concludes the volume.
Behold the Lamb is a welcome addition to the resources Christian parents, Sunday School Teachers, and Pastors have to liturgically catechize the newest and youngest Christians in our homes, classes, and congregations. It introduces the reader/listener to symbols of God and Christ, cross and Church Year, Apostles and Martin Luther, preparing the way for curious minds to be hungry for more.
Discounts may be available for bulk orders or for orders of the three book set.
Choir: The Seminary Kantorei of Concordia Theological Seminary
Director: Richard C. Resch
Organist: Paul J. Grime
If you use the LSB and own a CD player (or modern computer, DVD player, etc.), you should own and benefit from this CD. Also, consider purchasing Concordia's other new prayer resource, Treasury of Daily Prayer.
If I have any critique of this CD, it is a very minor one. On the back of the CD case and the CD itself, the service titles "Morning Prayers" and "Evening Prayers" should both lose the final "s." Perhaps this could be done in a "second printing."