June 10, 2018
Before We Worship
Most of us have Bibles where the translators and editors provide subheading titles for various paragraphs and sections. For example, the ESV bible has as its subheading title “The Promise of the Holy Spirit” for Acts 1:1–5, our last week’s passage. These subheadings are often quite helpful. But they were not part of the original biblical text, and do not tell us anything that we cannot figure out by reading the passage that follows.
Most of the psalms also come with subheading titles. For example, Psalms 120–134 are all indicated as “A Song of Ascents” at the very beginning of each psalm. But unlike other subheading titles throughout the rest of the Bible, the Psalms’ subheading titles are actually part of the inspired Scripture present in the original Hebrew texts of the Bible. And they often provide proper orientation for understanding the psalms.
Psalm 133, in particular, has as its title “A Song of Ascents. Of David.” This tells us that when the OT saints made their pilgrimage to the Jerusalem Temple, they found David’s reflection about brotherhood and fellowship very proper and helpful. In other words, the Spirit instructed the OT saints to think of their pilgrimage, not as an individual effort, but as a communal task carried out in the presence of their fellow pilgrims.
We need this lesson so urgently today. Our culture is rife with individualism, and with a corresponding neglect of the community. Many Christians consider their daily Quiet Time to be more important than meeting with other believers for corporate worship. They understand their spiritual life largely in terms of what they are called to experience and to do as individuals, rather than as a call to a life lived together in a community of shared faith. This mindset shows up in many tangible ways, from the neglect of corporate worship, to quickly leaving as soon as the worship service is over.
In Psalm 133 the Holy Spirit teaches us to think differently. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” Remember the context of this psalm as “A Song of Ascents.” This psalm is not chiefly describing nice neighborhoods, but the spiritual fellowship of pilgrims. Our shared faith and destination unite us. Notice then how David describes this brotherhood and fellowship. “It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!” This is not exactly an appealing picture for us. But it is alluding to the ministry of the High Priest in Exodus 29–30. The High Priest was anointed with oil, which symbolized anointing of the Spirit. And this was an overflowing anointing, so much so that the oil ran down from the priest’s head to his face to his beard to his robe. It is a picture of an abundant presence and blessing of the Lord’s Spirit.
And it is in these precise terms David describes the spiritual fellowship of fellow pilgrims. For we experience God’s presence and blessing in fellowship with other believers in ways not possible on our own. There is glory and joy in sharing our pilgrimage with one another.
Call to Worship
‡ Psalm 133 (Trinity Hymnal p. 834)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #339 “For Your Gift of God the Spirit”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
2 Timothy 2:8–13 (p. 995)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11–12)
Trinity Hymnal #708 “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 23
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
John 1:12–13; 3:1–15 (p. 886)
The Spirit of New Birth
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 #252 “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” stanzas 1–2, and stanzas 3–4 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #520 “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”
Family Devotion for the Week
The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 36.
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 June we are reading “Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture” by David Murray. For July we are reading Aimee Bird’s “No Little Women.” Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
June 10 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
June 17 (Lord’s Day): The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 103–104) and the adult Shorter Catechism lesson (Q. 38) will meet.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
June 10: Liza Beede
June 17: Michelle Kay