September 3, 2017
Before We Worship
How should we worship God? Sincerely? From the heart? Joyfully? Constantly? Most Christians will answer “Yes” to all. And rightly so. What is uncertain, however, is how many will say “We will worship the LORD shaking in our boots.” Indeed, even to suggest that our worship should be anything but happy strikes against our modern sensibility. For today we are obsessed with what makes us feel good. Many people take it for granted that worship is supposed to put us at ease. But Psalm 99 teaches us that worship will sometimes leave us shaking like a leaf.
“The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!” The cherubim are not the chubby cheeked cherubs often depicted in pop art. They are the guardians who shut out the sinners from Eden with a flaming sword (Gen 3:24). None who looked upon these great beings would dare trespass into God’s holy presence. Yet even such awesome creatures are but God’s footstool, for the LORD “sits enthroned upon the cherubim”. How great, then, is the LORD? And how much more is he to be feared?
The psalmist also proclaims “let the earth quake!” The earth itself trembles before God. How much more, then, ought we to tremble before God? And we must. Notice the emphases upon God’s holiness. “Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he!” “Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!” “Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy!” If our worship truly brings us into the presence of God who is holy, if indeed we have an authentic meeting with God, then “shaking in our boots” in our presence is not only normal, but right.
In other words, comfort in God’s presence is not divorced from a deep sense of discomfort, for what creature can take God’s holiness lightly? Do you know whom you come to worship? Yes, tremble before him. For it is that trembling that deepens our joy. For God sits enthroned upon the cherubim. This was physically depicted in the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments, the Law that spelled out our sins before the holy God. But the blood-sprinkled mercy seat with the cherubim covered the Law, and the holy God stood upon the earth where the blood made atonement. For God will one day stand upon the blood soaked earth to meet us with mercy. We tremble because we understand what the cross of Jesus means.
Call to Worship
Psalm 98 (reading responsively from TH p. 820)
Trinity Hymnal #100 “Holy, Holy, Holy!”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
James 5:12 (p. 1013)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19–20 ESV)
“9 Thy Will Be Done” (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 14:12–24 (p. 873)
The Lord’s Banquet
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 #490 “Come, for the Feast Is Spread,” and Trinity Hymnal #466 “I Sought the Lord, and Afterward I Knew” during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #464 “I Was a Wandering Sheep”
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.
September 3: Shorter Catechism (Q. 25) lesson will meet after the worship service. The Children’s Bible First Catechism lessons will resume (Qs. 51–52).
September 17 (Lord’s Day, 1:30 PM): We are beginning a new Sunday study, “A Survey of Church History: 100–600.” Each study will consist in watching a short video lesson taught by W. Robert Godfrey, with a discussion to follow. If you would like to host a meeting (need TV and DVD player), please let pastor Ken know. We will meet for a light potluck lunch before the study. Also: Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, and Nov. 19.
October 29 (Lord’s Day dinner): This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation. Join us as we celebrate with a lesson, food, and fellowship. Please let pastor Ken know if you can host.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
September 3: Liza Beede
September 10: Michelle Kay