September 2, 2018

Before We Worship

The last five psalms (146–150) provide a fitting conclusion to the entire book of Psalms. Psalms 146–150 are sometimes called the “halal” psalms, because they each begin and end with the Hebrew verb “halal”, which means to praise. Indeed, Psalm 146 in Hebrew begins with “Hallelujah” (a command to praise the LORD), and ends again with “Hallelujah” — “Praise the LORD!” This pattern is repeated in Psalms 146–150.

During the course of our meditations in the Book of Psalms, we have worked through many psalms of despair, pain, and suffering. But as the Book of Psalms draws to a conclusion, the “sour notes” of life are replaced by sweeter melody, and the cloud that so often hung over the heavy hearts of the worshiper is lifted. There remains no longer cries of pain or sorrow, but only the jubilant celebration of God’s goodness.

In some ways, the Book of Psalms resembles our lives. The life of pilgrimage that we live is filled with hard trials. We suffer and we cry. But God is good, and he leads us to a place where there is no longer cries of pain or sorrow, but only the jubilant celebration of God’s goodness.

Psalm 146, in particular, is a celebration of God’s goodness. We cannot put our trust in prices, but “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God”. For God “keeps faith forever…executes justice for the oppressed…gives food to the hungry…sets the prisoners free…opens the eyes of the blind…lifts up those who are bowed down…loves the righteous…watches over the sojourners…upholds the widow and the fatherless” and etc. God sets right everything that is wrong with this world. All evil is put away. All wounds are healed. Life, and indeed the world, is finally as they ought to be. This psalm points us towards the restoration of all things.

But it does more than point us towards the hope of restoration. It points us towards the One in whom restoration is found, for virtually all of the reasons that move the psalmist to praise God are found in Jesus Christ. For Jesus is the one “who made heaven and earth,” who gave “food to the hungry” in the wilderness, whose gospel proclaimed “the prisoners free,” who opened “the eyes of the blind.” Yes! Jesus is the reason why we sing “Praise the LORD!”

Let us sing with joy to our Savior and Lord. Our trust in men will be disappointed. Our trust in Jesus will never prove us fools.

Call to Worship

‡ Psalm 146 (Trinity Hymnal p. 837)

‡ 14 “Hallelujah Praise Jehovah”

‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”

Prayer of Invocation

The Reading and Exposition of the Law

Exodus 20:1–17 (p. 61)

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 34

Prayer of Confession

The Proclamation of the Gospel

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4–7 ESV)

Trinity Hymnal #551 “How Blest Is He Whose Trespass”

Presentation of Gifts and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Amos 7:1–17 (p. 769)

God’s Unfailing Word

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 #507 “Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.

Trinity Hymnal #708 “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go”



Growth Resources

Family Devotion for the Week

The August 26, 2018 sermon, Amos 6:1–14. “The Boasting of the First Class People” is available on our church website. But you can catch up on older sermons from our Sermon page. You can also subscribe to sermon podcast here.

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 September we are reading John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” For October we are reading Robert Godfrey’s “Learning to Love the Psalms.” Please let Janny Ligtenberg know if you would like to order a copy of the book.

September 16 (Lord’s Day): The Catechism lessons for both children and adults will resume.

Nursery Volunteers

(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)

September 2: Liza Beede

September 9: Michelle Kay