April 30, 2017
Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship
Just how honest can you be with God? Let’s say that you have been dutifully going to church all your life. You have been faithful to do all the things that you were taught to do. But lately you have become increasingly disillusioned about God. You no longer really believe that God cares about what people do. In fact, the people who do not care about God at all seem to have it better than you. They live a comfortable life. They are healthy until the end of their long life. They leave behind a legacy that is praised by many people. Now you wonder if there is any point to believing in God anymore.
If this is how you feel, would you be able to say this out loud? Could you dare say this to God? But that is precisely what Asaph does in Psalm 73. We can therefore learn some vital lessons. First, God invites us to be utterly honest with him with all our deep frustrations. We do not need to wear a mask or put on a facade when life drives us mad. Truly, Asaph’s raw confessions in Ps 73 are more bold than we had ever imagined was possible. But that is what God teaches us to do.
Secondly, we learn that life is a mystery with no answers until we go “into the sanctuary of God.” For Asaph (and for all Old Testament saints) the sanctuary was the place of worship. It was the place where sight (the lavishly appointed wares), smell (burning flesh and incense), taste (meat and wine), sound (the reading of the law and the singing) and touch (of the sacrifices and gifts) would all transport the believer out of this world and lift him into God’s presence. Only then Asaph “discerned their end.” That is, life’s mysteries were answered in the presence of the transcendent God who has appointed salvation and judgment.
Life here and now is a mess, and that is by God’s design. God would have us (almost) driven mad by this world that we find our sanity only in his grace and providence. Thus Asaph writes, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength and my portion forever.” This prayer was quite literally fulfilled in Jesus Christ. His flesh and heart failed him on the cross. But he looked to God his strength and portion. Jesus made the Lord God his refuge. In Jesus, then, we are not ashamed to be perplexed, even broken, by this world. And with Jesus we make the Lord God our refuge. Our flesh and our heart may fail, but God is the strength of our heart and our portion forever.
Call to Worship
Psalm 73 (reading responsively from TH p. 811)
“Psalm 103” (Bulletin p. 10)
Trinity Hymnal 731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 1:19–21 (p. 1011)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25 ESV)
“Greater Than Our Hearts” (Bulletin p. 4)
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
Exodus 20:7 (p. 61)
The Third Commandment: Free to Honor God
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 #622 “I Waited for the Lord Most High” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #642 “Be Thou My Vision”
J. I. Packer, the noted theologian, author, and minister, writes on One of the Most Urgent Needs in the Church Today.
Dr. J.V. Fesko, professor of Westminster Seminary California, has written a helpful article about the importance of catechesis and Why Pastors Should Catechize Their Congregations. It is a great little resource.
Family Devotion for the Week
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.
April 30 (Lord’s Day): The Children’s Bible lesson (First Catechism Qs. 27–28). Adult Shorter Catechism lessons will resume on May 7.
April 30 (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!
April 30: Yoori Han
May 7: Kelly Rogers