June 11, 2017
Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship
Just what exactly is the “normal” or “ideal” Christian life? Some say that the Christian life is lived most fully when God’s presence and favor are felt close at hand, the heart brims over with joyful praise, and we conquer all our enemies, be they our besetting sins or our enemies. It all sounds so wonderful. Unfortunately, it is utterly false if we measure according to the experiences of the saints that walked most closely with God. Abraham, Moses, David, the many prophets, or Jesus and his apostles, their lives were all often full of trials and tears. For the “normal” or “ideal” life of faith is not one of easy victory, but of persevering in faith when life screams at us to give up.
David’s Psalm 86 is indeed full of cry for help. David struggles with personal frailty: v.1 “for I am poor and needy.” It is hard to conceive a king struggling with poverty. David certainly did not have that kind of material poverty, but God’s providence in his life was such that he felt significant weakness and poverty in other ways. David also mentions the troubling experience of injustice: v.14 “O God, insolent men have risen up against me, a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.”
Clearly, David himself realized that his life was not “normal” or “ideal” in any number of different ways. Yet, his and others’ experiences tell us that God ordains for us a life that brings out perseverance and faithfulness. Indeed, the life that we deem “normal” and “ideal” is the very life where virtues such as faith, hope, and love will never be tested or grown.
We are always looking for glory. But Jesus came looking for the cross. Indeed, Psalm 86 finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. It was against Christ that insolent men rose to destroy his life. Jesus, the son of God’s maidservant, Mary, persevered faithfully while the world screamed at him to give up. But he did not. Jesus conquered with much tears and prayers. And so we learn from Jesus that life’s many poverties are God’s wise providence for us. And we can live to our fullest, not when life is at last free of trouble, but while it is deeply troubled. For in all our troubles we trust: “you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”
Call to Worship
Psalm 86 (reading responsively from TH p. 814)
“Hallelujah Praise Jehovah”” (Bulletin p. 4)
Trinity Hymnal 731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 2:18–26 (p. 1012)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1)
Trinity Hymnal #246 “Man of Sorrows! What a Name”
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 20:15 (p. 61)
The Eighth Commandment: Free to Give
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 #647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #251 “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?.
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.
June 11 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
June 25: The Children’s Bible lesson (First Catechism Qs. 40–43). And adult Shorter Catechism (Qs. 12–13) lessons will meet after the worship service. Today we discuss God’s eternal decree & predestination.
June 11: Liza Beede
June 18: Michelle Kay