February 4, 2018
Before We Worship
There are many reasons why we meditate on the psalms as we prepare to worship God. One of the main reasons, of course, is that the psalms remind us that worship is about Jesus Christ. Indeed, various parts of Psalm 118 are cited in the New Testament, some by Jesus himself, others by his apostles, to unpack the person and the works of Jesus Christ, as well as to set the expectation for the life of faith.
For example, Jesus himself cites Ps 118:22, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” as prophecy concerning himself now fulfilled by him (Mt 21:42; Mk 12:10–11; Lk 20:17). Peter does the same (Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:4–7), as does Paul (Eph 2:20). Also, Ps 118:26, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!” is what the crowd shouted as they welcomed Jesus during his triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:9; Mk 11:9; Lk 19:38).
In addition, Ps 118:6, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear” is cited in Heb 13:6 to draw the believers’ hearts from sin and the love of money. Finally, Ps 118:18, “The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death” is the thought behind Paul’s words in 2 Cor 6:9 “as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed”. In other words, Ps 118 richly paint for us the life of Christ, and the believers’ life in Christ. We learn that those who follow the Lord who was rejected will find that world and life (as the world defines a good life) will reject them. In turn, we reject the view of “life” that once seemed to us so sweet—riches and ease of life are all the price we would gladly pay to know and follow Jesus Christ.
But this true discipleship of self-denial makes sense only if we see the beauty of Christ. Alec Motyer summarizes how Ps 118 portrays Jesus in nine different ways. Let us reflect upon them, and thus on the beauty of Christ, as we prepare to worship God: 1. the king prayed under extreme pressure and was answered (v. 5; Heb 5:7); 2. he was confident against all comers (vss. 19–14; John 18:3–60); 3. he overcame through the Name (v. 12; John 10:25; 17:12); 4. faced one particular, individual foe (v. 13; John 12:21; 14:30); 5. found Yahweh’s help, strength and salvation (vss. 14–16; John 6:57; 8:29); 6. came through deadly dangers alive (v. 17; Mt 28:5–7); 7. endured Yahweh’s ‘chastening’ (v. 19–21; John 16:8–10; Heb 5:5; 6:19; 9:24; 10:20); 8. was rejected by human judgment (v. 22a; Mt 21:42; 1 Pet 2:7); 9. became the chief cornerstone (v. 22b; Mt 21:42; Acts 4:11; Eph 2:20).
The psalmist who penned the words of Psalm 118 could only dimly understand what the Holy Spirit was inspiring and guiding him to write. So how blessed are we that we can see far clearly than he did? If so, how much more willing and eager should we be to join the psalmist, and say, “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” Indeed, we say, Amen and Amen!
Call to Worship
Psalm 118 (reading responsively from TH p. 828)
Trinity Hymnal #391 “Safely through Another Week”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
2 Thessalonians 3:13 (p. 990)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” (1 John 3:19–20)
Trinity Hymnal #551 “How Blest Is He Whose Trespass”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 6
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 4:1–7 (p. 974)
Children of the Heavenly Father
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 #131 “Children of the Heavenly Father” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #526 “Blessed Are the Sons of God”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 28.
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.
The Catechism lessons for children and adult will resume on January 21, 2018.
February 4 (Lord’s Day): Catechism lessons for children (Qs. 76–77) and adult (Shorter Catechism Q. 32) will meet after the worship service.
February 4 (Lord’s Day): The Session will meet at the Ligtenberg home.
February 11 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
February 4: Yoori Han
February 11: Kelly & Rebecca Rogers