March 12, 2017
Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship
Psalm 68 was occasioned by the events of 2 Samuel 6:12–17, where King David welcomes the ark of God into Jerusalem. The Levites carried the ark of the LORD. For every six steps they took, David sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. David himself danced with all his might as the ark of the LORD came into Jerusalem.
Psalm 68 was the processional hymn composed for the occasion. As the ark enters Jerusalem, David recounts the LORD’s movement from Egypt to Jerusalem. God is one “who rides through the deserts” (v.4) and who “went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness” (v.7). But his march was both of power and tenderness. “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” (v.5)
Psalm 68 then brings us to Sinai, where “the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.” Next comes the conquest of Canaan. “The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host: The kings of the armies—they flee, they flee!” (v.11) This movement of the LORD at last reaches its destination in Zion. “Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain, at the mount that God desired for his abode, yes, where the LORD will dwell forever?” (v.16)
The rest of Psalm 68 celebrates God’s power and tenderness. On the one hand the LORD powerfully crushed kings and kingdoms that stood in his way. The most powerful of the world were not powerful enough before God. On the other hand God was the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows” (v.5). The weakest of the world are not forgotten by God. David summarizes the Lord’s ascent to Zion thus: “You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there” (v.18). The captives in his train are the once-rebellious people who now joyfully offer up their gifts and praise at God’s presence.
Ephesians 4:8 cites Ps 68:18 with a slight modification. In Ps 68:18 God received gifts. In Eph 4:8 “When Christ ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” Paul therefore shows us Ps 68 as a prophetic anticipation of Christ, who will lead in his train a once-rebellious people, giving them the gifts that make them rejoice before God. See, then, Christ’s ascension to heaven in Psalm 68, and the joy of offering him our worship.
Call to Worship
Psalm 68:1–20 (reading responsively from TH p. 808)
“Hallelujah Praise Jehovah” (bulletin p. 4)
Trinity Hymnal 731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Hebrews 13:15 (p. 1009)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15)
"Greater Than Our Hearts" (Bulletin p. 10)
Confession of Faith - The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty; Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets; and we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Jonah 4:5–11 (p. 775)
The God Who Has Come
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 Trinity Hymnal #507 "Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat" stanzas 1-3, and stanzas 4-6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #499 “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me”
Have you ever struggled with sanctification? Actually, a better and more realistic question would be, "Who hasn’t struggled with sanctification?" We all know how hard it is to grow in holiness. We all need help! A new book by Sinclair Ferguson, Devoted to God: Blueprints of Sanctification is just that help that we all need. We encourage you to read Pastor Ken’s comments here.
Family Devotion for the Week
Sunday sermons are posted online here. We encourage you to make use of it.
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.
March 12 (Lord’s Day): Please note that the Daylight Saving Time begins. We spring one hour forward.
March 12 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
March 17 (Friday 7PM): The Session will meet.
March 19 (Lord’s Day): The Children’s Bible lesson (First Catechism Qs. 18–19). Adult Shorter Catechism lessons will resume on May 7.
March 19 (Lord’s Day): Membership class will meet after the worship service. Please join us if you are interested in becoming a member, or interested in learning biblical ecclesiology (the doctrine of the Church). Everyone is welcome! Also April 2, 23, 30.
March 26 (Lord’s Day): Our annual congregational meeting will be held after the worship service. All communicant members are requested to attend.
March 12: Kelly Rogers
March 19: Liza Beede