October 8, 2017
Before We Worship
Our study of the Psalms regularly challenges our notion of worship. For many people today the success or the failure of worship is determined by how it makes us feel. A great worship, we presume, will leave us feeling happy. A bad worship makes us feel bad or feel nothing. By this standard the worship of Psalm 106 is profoundly bad.
Psalm 106 is a long list of Israel’s sins that leave us not in a jovial mood, but instead leave us blushing for Israel’s sake. The psalm catalogues Israel’s many rebellions against God both in the wilderness and in the promised land. Throughout history the only thing Israel was ever consistent in was demonstrating how deserving of God’s judgment she was.
Psalm 106 has another fatal strike against it. As it is a long list of Israel’s sins, it has the misfortune of not being about us. After all, how can we feel something when it is not about us? And if it doesn’t leave us feeling something, well, anything, then it must not be a good worship.
We are, therefore, left with an important question. Do we judge the worship of Scripture or does Scripture judge our worship? Is it our place to say that Psalm 106 fails to meet our standard of worship? Or is it the Scripture that tells us our understanding of worship is woefully inadequate? The answer is obvious. The Psalms challenge our notion of worship. Psalm 106, in particular, teaches us the importance of focusing on God’s attributes.
Indeed, the entire psalm is a reflection of God’s attributes stated in verse 1. “Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” The long list of Israel’s sins are the realities and places in which the LORD’s goodness and steadfast love were seen throughout Israel’s history. For the psalmist the LORD’s steadfast love wasn’t just some cliche; it was the reason why Israel continued to exist and even could hope for better things to come than wrath and judgment. Thus v. 47 is a fitting bookend to v. 1. “Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.”
We are often haunted by the remembrance of our sins, and try hard to forget them. But we may benefit from reviewing our sins. Our sins are the grounds for shame and guilt. They are also the backdrop to God’s goodness and steadfast love. So we give thanks. And we hope for better things to come. Praise the LORD!
Call to Worship
Psalm 106:1–23, 47, 48 (reading responsively from TH p. 823)
Trinity Hymnal #252 “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Thessalonians 4:1 (p. 987)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #551 “How Blest Is He Whose Trespass”
Confession of Faith — The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 1:6–10 (p. 972)
There Is No Other Gospel
Rev. Ken Han
The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper
We participate in the Lord’s Supper weekly. We welcome to the Lord’s Table all baptized believers who have sincere faith in Jesus Christ, and regularly worship in a Reformed or evangelical church.
The Lord’s Supper is a sign and a seal of the new covenant blessings. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper with faith, it strengthens our bond with our covenant Lord, Jesus Christ. Thus we participate properly when we come to our Savior with faith and repentance as we renew our resolve to forsake sin and live for his glory.
The Lord’s Supper also renews our bonds with God’s covenant community, the body of believers in the local church. As we receive the Lord’s Supper, we renew our pledge to give ourselves away in loving service.
During the distribution of the bread we will sing “Behold the Lamb” (bulletin p. 10) stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #455 ”And Can It Be That I Should Gain”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 26..
We have some new resources for you at the information table, including several new CCEF mini books, as well as other edifying books. Be sure to check them out!
Upcoming Events and Notices
Every Lord’s Day 10:15 AM: Please join us for Hymnsing, a time of preparing our hearts for worship in praise, and for learning new hymns for worship.
October 8 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
October 15: The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will meet (Qs. 58–60). The adult catechism class will resume following the conclusion of the “A Survey of Church History: 100–600” study series.
October 15: We continue our Sunday study series, “A Survey of Church History: 100–600.” Each study will consist in watching a short video lesson taught by W. Robert Godfrey, with a discussion to follow. If you would like to host a meeting (need TV and DVD player), please let pastor Ken know. We will meet for a light potluck lunch before the study. Also: Oct. 22, and Nov. 5.
October 29 (Lord’s Day 6 PM): This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation. Please join us at the Ligtenberg home as we celebrate with a lesson, food, and fellowship.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
October 8: Yoori Han
October 15: Kelly Rogers