May 21, 2017
Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship
Psalms 79 and 80 form a pair. Ps 79 cries out to the Lord for the southern kingdom of Judah in the aftermath of the exile. Ps 80 cries out for the northern kingdom of Israel after her exile. Psalms 79 and 80 together plead for the entire nation that has tasted the bitter cup of God’s judgment.
Psalms 79 and 80 also share a common theme of the Shepherd and the flock. So 79:13 “But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” And 80:1 “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.” This confession of faith, that God is the Shepherd even while Israel is in ruins, does two things.
First, it stresses the tragedy that the Shepherd Lord no longer regards Israel with favor. 80:3 “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” Asaph is thinking of the Aaronic blessing, which Israel’s high priests pronounced on God’s behalf. “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Num 6:24–26) God’s shining face was his smiling face of blessing. But God was no longer smiling on Israel, and there was no peace for them.
Asaph knew why God; Israel had sinned and had forfeited their covenant privileges. Sadly, Asaph and other godly saints were also swept up in God’s judgment against Israel. So it is. The righteous sometimes suffer evil that is not of their own making.
However, God’s withdrawn smile does something else. It makes Asaph long for the restoration of that smile. But God’s smile will not be restored to them through Israel’s works. Rather, “But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!” God will once again smile because of “the son of man” at God’s right hand. Asaph looked forward to Christ, who, upon finishing his work, sat down at God’s right hand. But what price he paid! God hid his smiling face from Jesus, that he may look upon us with favor. And because of Jesus, God’s smile is now never withdrawn.
So we trust, in the midst of pain and shock over evil, much of it not our making, that God remains our Shepherd. God has granted us to suffer for a while. Yet he is our good and loving Shepherd. His face shines on us in this dark world.
Call to Worship
Psalm 80 (reading responsively from TH p. 813)
“On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand” (Bulletin p. 4)
Trinity Hymnal 731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 2:1–7 (p. 1011)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Trinity Hymnal 254 “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed”
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 20:12 (p. 61)
The Fifth Commandment: Free to Bow
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 #371 “O Lord of Hosts, How Lovely” stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #387 “Now May He Who from the Dead”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 9. What is the work of creation?.
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.
May 21 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for the monthly fellowship potluck lunch at the Han home.
May 21 (Lord’s Day): The Children’s Bible lesson (First Catechism Qs. 32–34). And adult Shorter Catechism (Q. 9) lessons will meet after the worship service. Today we discuss God’s eternal decree & predestination.
May 21: Michelle Kay
May 28: Yoori Han