December 9, 2018
Before We Worship
We began our Advent celebrations last week with a focus on the gift of Hope. The promise of the Messiah was given to Israel to keep her hopes alive amidst toils of life, struggles against sin, and later, amidst God’s judgment against them for their sin. Israel hoped in God, and hoped that God’s mercy will triumph over their sin and guilt. They hoped for light to dawn in darkness.
We continue our Advent celebration this week with a focus on the gift of Peace. For the promise of the Messiah was a promise of peace between the holy God and sinful man. Ever since the Fall and the entrance of sin in to the world, mankind has been wandering, longing for a home, yet deeply afraid of the Lord whose home they had left behind. In fact, the whole world stands now in trenchant rebellion against God. The consequence, of course, is predictable. When man raises a battle cry against God, what peace can we know? So the fallen man lives his whole life in fear and steps into eternity filled with dread.
But God has given us a gift of Peace. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Jesus was born to bring God’s peace to us. For in Jesus’ incarnate body the warfare between the holy God and the rebellious sinners come to an utter end. There is now no more fear of enmity. We have peace with God because Jesus was born.
Paul warns us in Romans 2:6–11 that the end of a self-seeking life will be “tribulation and distress.” But “glory and honor and peace” are promised to those who seek God. Our lives are often filled with turmoil because we do not seek God. As we celebrate Christ’s advent, we have an opportunity to assess the shape of our hearts and the direction of our lives. Do you presently enjoy God’s peace? Will the end of your life bring you “glory and honor and peace” or will it be “tribulation and distress”? Be wise and turn to Jesus. For apart from the Prince of Peace you will not have peace in life here and afterwards. But if we are in Christ, our peace will endure.
So believe, confess, and be comforted by the Lord who has said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27 ESV)
Call to Worship
‡ Isaiah 9:6–7 & Romans 2:6–11 (p. 573 & 940)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #197 “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People”
‡ 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
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #233 “To Us a Child of Hope Is Born”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 18:1–8 (p. 877)
Pray and Do Not Lose Heart
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 #388 “Savior, to Thy Dear Name We Raise”
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 9: Michelle Kay
December 16: Yoori Han