August 5, 2018
Before We Worship
This week’s meditation on Psalm 143 is taken in its entirety from Psalms by the Day by Alec Motyer.
The structure of a psalm - the way its various sections belong together, match each other, or follow in sequence — is itself as much the message of the psalm as any individual verses. Psalm 143 is a good case in point. The psalm is concerned with a particularly troubled period in David’s life, but it is bracketed round by the righteousness of Yahweh (143:1—2, 11—12). His righteousness, before which we sinners stand condemned and helpless, is here the ground of our safety and salvation — because it guarantees that he will always act in fidelity to his nature as the God of grace ( 1), and he will never abandon his own in trouble (11). In this sense his ‘righteousness’ points not only to his holy character, but to his utter changelessness. The next circle of meaning in the psalm is verses 3—4 and 9—10 which are linked by the contrast between ‘my spirit’ and ‘your Spirit’ (4, 10). Prolonged trouble causes an erosion of human resilience, a loss of vitality to face another day, but there is always a second factor in every circumstance, however wearying: the good Spirit of God, seen here as at hand to take the initiative to bring about a new situation, a land where things are as they ought to be. The end of our tether is but the beginning of his! The description ‘a land of uprightness’ is designedly vague. It is not for us to specify how the Holy Spirit will change our circumstances; it is part of the way of faith to leave that to him, knowing that he can only do what is good. He always leads in ‘paths of righteousness’ (Psalm 23:3) — paths that make sense to him. The psalm contains fifteen petitions (four in each of the opening and closing sections; seven in verses 7—10) — a true lesson in how to face life and deal with difficulty. But the centre ground is the waiting soul (5) — no petitions here (remembering, meditating, musing, the mute appeal of the outspread hands) — and the committed soul (6). This is the attitude expressed by ‘until’ in Psalm 123:2, a place of stillness in the middle of the storm.
Call to Worship
‡ Psalm 142 (Trinity Hymnal p. 837)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #390 “Lord of the Sabbath, Hear Us Pray”
Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Titus 1:7–9 (p. 998)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:19–21 ESV)
13 “My God My Father Blissful Name”
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 30
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Amos 3:9–4:13 (p. 766)
Prepare to Meet Your God
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 #485 “O Thou That Hear’st When Sinners Cry”
Family Devotion for the Week
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 August we are reading Tim Keller’s “Every Good Endeavor.” And for September, John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.
August 12 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for the monthly fellowship potluck lunch.
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
August 5: Liza Beede
August 12: Michelle Kay