December 2, 2018
Before We Worship
In this first week of the Advent season our meditations focus on the gift of hope. The Immanuel prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 was given to a nation amidst God’s judgment. The coming of Immanuel would turn their sorrow and gloom into joy. So Israel hoped for the fulfillment of this promise.
But this promise would not be fulfilled in order to give earthly political relief to Israel. Rather, the Immanuel prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 1:18–25, with the climactic announcement that Jesus “will save his people from their sins.” Of course! Israel’s very difficult predicament in Isaiah was the result of their sin. So what good is a political relief unless the problem of sin is dealt with? Indeed, Jesus came to deal with the root problem of sin, to save his people from it.
As we remember Christ’s first Advent, we continue to hope. For we are not yet fully delivered from sin. While we are no longer condemned before God as sinners, and while sin no longer has dominion over us, we continue to struggle against sin, and we long to be freed from it. Indeed, our great hope is, as the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul” eloquently expresses it: “O Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll, the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, “Even so” — it is well with my soul!”
Christ’s first Advent reminds us that we are a people of hope. Hope, for those who have hoped in God for salvation were not disappointed. Hope, for we look forward to the glory of Christ’s second Advent. Hope, because it makes us who we are.
Call to Worship
‡ Isaiah 7:14 (p. 571)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #196 “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Matthew 1:18–25 (p. 807)
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 47–48
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #691 “It Is Well with My Soul”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 17:22–37 (p. 876)
The Crisis of God’s Kingdom
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 #330 “Holy Ghost, Dispel our Sadness” and Trinity Hymnal #340 “Come, Dearest Lord, Descend and Dwell” during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #521 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”
Family Devotion for the Week
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.
Join us for “12 for 18” as we read 12 great books in the year 2018. December we will read Sinclair Ferguson’s “Child in the Manger.”
The Children’s Catechism Lessons and the Shorter Catechism Lessons will resume in January.
December 22 (Saturday 1PM): Please mark your calendar for Christmas fellowship. Come, and invite your family and friends, for a time of celebration, music, and food!
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
December 2: Liza Beede
December 9: Michelle Kay