March 18, 2018
Before We Worship
When they look down, we look up.
Psalm 123 is another song of ascents, a song of pilgrimage. As the ancient saints sang these songs of ascents on their way to Jerusalem, so we sing our way to our heavenly home. These songs of ascents are broadly arranged along the three themes: of the dangers we face in our pilgrimage, of God’s very present help, and of the utter security the saint finds in Zion. Psalm 123 focuses on the dangers we face in our pilgrimage.
There are many things in life that threaten our pilgrimage. The psalmist here focuses on the contempt and the scorn of those who have chosen the easy and settled life of this world, those who have made a home in this world, against those whose home is in the city not made by hands: “for we have had more than enough of contempt…more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.” Those whose home is in this world are “at ease” while the pilgrims labor in their arduous journey. They look down on the saints with contempt and scorn. The saints will find no encouragement from them. In fact, those whose home is in this world will often put their contempt and scorn into action, and make the saints’ journey more difficult, so much so that the saints have no other recourse, or help, than to say, “Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us”.
But when the proud look down upon us with contempt and scorn, we look up to the LORD for help. “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!” God is in heaven, and we are on earth. And this is such an important thing to remember. Those “at ease” look down on us with proud eyes. They have exalted themselves. They consider themselves wise. They have amassed power and influence to place obstacles before us. But the truth of the matter is God is in heaven, and he looks down upon them! They are less than nothing before God who is enthroned in heaven.
God also looks down upon his saints. But whereas God looks down on the proud to count them as less than nothing, God looks down on his saints with mercy. So we look up to the LORD for help as he looks down in mercy, and our gazes meet at the cross of Jesus Christ.
We are pilgrims. We will never be “at ease” in this world. We will be looked down upon. Do not think something strange is happening. Instead, look up to the Lord.
Call to Worship
Psalm 123 (reading responsively from TH p. 831)
25 “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
1 Timothy 5:3–4 (p. 992)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11 ESV)
6 “The Lord Will Provide”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 12
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Galatians 5:13–15 (p. 974)
The Service of Freedom
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 #355 “We Are God’s People” stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #306 “Jesus, My Great High Priest”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 35.
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.
Join us for “12 for 18” as we read 12 great books in the year 2018. For March we are reading “Liturgy of the Ordinary” by Tish Harrison Warren.
March 18: The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 84–85) and the Shorter Catechism lesson (Q. 35) will meet after the worship service.
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)
March 11: Kelly Rogers
March 25: Michelle Kay