June 24, 2018
Before We Worship
The Songs of Ascents (Pss 120–134) are the songs of the traveling pilgrims. They sang these songs as they journeyed toward Zion. Psalm 135 (and 136) appear to be the songs the pilgrims sang once their pilgrimage was over in and they were securely in Zion. It is no great surprise, then, that the main theme of Ps 135 is Israel’s pilgrimage out of Egypt: “He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt…sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants; who struck down many nations…and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.” As the later pilgrims remembered Israel’s homecoming, they remembered God’s faithfulness, power, provision, that kept the first pilgrims safe. The later pilgrims were thus encouraged in their pilgrimage.
Modern people tend to not value history very much. We are far more interested in the here and now, rather than the people and the events of the past. This is, in part, reflects our misunderstanding about history, as well as shows our chronological snobbery—the past doesn’t matter, only the present matters, because we (the most important people that have ever lived) live in the present!
But history matters, especially redemptive-history (how God delivered his people throughout history) because, since God does not change, his past works become the pattern for the future. Just as he delivered his people in the past, so he will deliver his people now and in the future. Just as he could not ignore his suffering people in the past, so he does not and will not ignore his suffering people. So the psalmist writes, “For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.” The God who was faithful in the past will be faithful now and in the future.
Thus, not only is the past instructive, it is also corrective. The psalmist remembers how the nations the LORD struck down were nations that worshiped idols. And how vainly so! “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is their any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.” There is something truly dehumanizing about idol worship, as it results in a rather systematic loss of themselves. What else would you call a people who end up mute, blind, deaf, and utterly impotent? We become what we worship.
Note, then, how the psalmist is not diminished by his worship of the LORD, but he truly comes to his full self. He sees the beauty of the LORD, speaks his praise, understands the promises, and truly comes alive. How blessed it is to praise the LORD! For it makes us what we were truly meant to be. So we join the psalmist and say, “Blessed be the LORD from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!”
Call to Worship
‡ Psalm 135 (Trinity Hymnal p. 834)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #622 “I Waited for the Lord Most High”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
2 Timothy 2:20–23 (p. 996)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—” (Ephesians 2:1–5 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #308 “Jesus Paid It All”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 25
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Romans 8:9–30 (p. 944)
The Spirit of Glory to Come
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 #387 “Jesus Lives, and So Shall I”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 38.
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 July we are reading Aimee Bird’s “No Little Women.” For August, Tim Keller’s “Every Good Endeavor.” Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
June 24 (Lord’s Day): The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 105–106) will meet. The children’s catechism lesson will then be on summer hiatus until August 19.
June 24 (Lord’s Day): Please join us as we discuss David Murray’s “Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture” after the worship service.
July 1 (Lord’s Day): Join us for the last adult catechism before the summer hiatus on the topic of baptism. Adult catechism lessons will resume on August 19.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
June 24: Yoori
July 1: Kelly Rogers