February 18, 2018
Before We Worship
The Book of Psalms begins with the memorable words “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he mediates day and night.” The Psalters, in other words, radically challenges our notion of blessedness. The blessed life is one in which we are constantly meditating on God’s Word. Would you agree?
Psalm 119 unpacks for us what Psalm 1 puts so succinctly. In Psalm 119 the psalmist mediates on God’s word, not only day and night, but through all seasons of life both good and bad. The very structure of Psalm 119 shows how much thought the psalmist poured into his meditation. Psalm 119 is an acrostic psalm, where its 176 verses are divided into 22 sections of 8 verses each. Each of these 22 sections begin with the Hebrew alphabet in a consecutive order. So verses 1–8 all start with Hebrew words that begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Then verses 9–16 all begin with Hebrew words that begin with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Verses 17–24 all begin with Hebrew words that begin with the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and so on and so on.
Unfortunately, this acrostic feature of Psalm 119 is impossible to faithfully translate into another language. Thus no English translation manages to capture, for example, how verses 41–48 all begin with the word “And” in Hebrew. For if we could see that, the cumulative effect of these 8 verses would be very hard to miss: “And…your word” (42), “And…word of truth…your rules” (43), “And…your law” (44), “And…your precepts” (45), “And…your testimonies” (46), and “And…your commandments…your statutes” (47, 48). As Alec Motyer notes, these 8 verses describe the essential feature of a converted life. For the converted person the Word of God is central. It controls every aspect of his life. The Word is never far from his mind. The Word shapes his reaction to the world around him, and charts the way forward for him. By the Word he knows how to act. This is what we would all do if we truly believed blessedness as God tells us in Psalm 1.
But, alas, we give a mere lip service to true blessedness. Our scripture reading is as superficial as it is perfunctory. We may spend more time on Facebook than on The Book. We are more preoccupied with what happens in between our Bible reading, than we are with what we have read. Motyer puts it bluntly: “we love our beds too much to start the day with God or to end it with real time in his presence.” Is it any wonder, then, that our lives are full of confusion?
But it does not have to be this way. We can seek God’s blessing this very moment, by turning to his Word, by giving it the place in our lives it rightly demands and deserves. And when we have given the Word its rightful place in our lives, then we will see God’s blessing has come upon us.
Call to Worship
Psalm 119:33–56 (reading responsively from TH p. 829)
Trinity Hymnal #148 “How Shall the Young Direct Their Way”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Timothy 4:7–10 (p. 992)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15)
Trinity Hymnal #247 “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 8
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 4:12–20 (p. 974)
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 #65 “Before Jehovah’s Awesome Throne”
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 18 (Lords Day): The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 78–79) and Shorter Catechism lesson (Q. 33) will meet after the worship service
February 25 (Lord’s Day): Join us as we discuss 12 for 18: February book, R. C. Sproul’s “The Holiness of God.” For March we are reading “Liturgy of the Ordinary” by Tish Harrison Warren. Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
March 25 (Lord’s Day): The Session requests all communicant members to attend our annual congregational meeting for the purpose of adopting a new budget for the fiscal year 2018–19.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
February 18: Liza Beede
February 25: Michelle Kay