August 20, 2017
Before We Worship
This week's news coverage has focused on issues of racism following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The concentrated attention of the media impresses upon us the critical urgency of the matter. At the same time, if what people have been posting on Facebook (e.g. posts about sports, jokes, first day of school, etc.) is any indication, life goes on as it always has. It seems to me we need both. We need to both weep for the sin of racism and also have a hearty laugh for all the sweet mercies God has blessed us with. Indeed, we weep and laugh because we believe that our God is king.
Psalm 97 is a celebration of God’s kingship. “The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” And note that our King’s reign has a very specific feature: “righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.” God is righteous. His internal and essential disposition is pure and holy. God also exercises justice. God exerts his essential righteousness externally to oppose all that is evil, to punish all wrong, and subdue all injustice. That is why his Kingdom people are urged thus: “O you who love the LORD, hate evil!” This makes it utterly impossible for God’s people to dismiss or silently ignore the evil of racism. There can be no extenuating circumstances or mitigating factors that justify racism or lessen its horror. We have to weep for it and speak out against it.
At the same time, because the LORD reigns, we can rejoice over the kind mercies that fill our lives. “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!” Psalm 97 is not a hymn for an earthly utopia, a world with no evil or brokenness. Rather, it fully recognizes that this world urgently needs God’s justice (v.2), and, indeed, how deserving this world is of being utterly wiped away by God’s fire (v.3).
In other words, Psalm 97 is good news to people living in a world that makes them weep. For even though this world is beyond redeeming (after all, we do believe in final judgment and the destruction of this present world), we also know that God reigns for the good of his people. And he daily fills our lives with the comfort of his grace. This is how life goes on even amidst evil. This is how we laugh and rejoice even when surrounded by darkness.
So, then, let us do both, to weep and to laugh. We will mourn and we will celebrate. And one day his light will drive away all darkness.
Call to Worship
Psalm 97 (reading responsively from TH p. 820)
“14 Hallelujah Praise Jehovah” (Bulletin p. 10)
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 5:9 (p. 1013)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14–16 ESV)
“Come Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted” (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
Luke 14:1–6 (p. 873)
Jesus Silences His Foes
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 #707 “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 20..
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.
August 20: Shorter Catechism (Q. 22) lesson will meet after the worship service. The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will resume (Qs. 44–48).
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
August 20: Yoori Han
August 27: Kelly & Rebecca Rogers