September 16, 2018

Before We Worship

The first question of the Shorter Catechism famously asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is just as memorable: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” We were created for a higher purpose than to grovel over the insignificant things that are here today and gone tomorrow. We were created to be satisfied with nothing less than God himself. That is why nothing really truly fulfills our souls except when our souls find the pleasure of knowing God. And because our souls were made to glorify God, who is infinite goodness, our souls inevitably get bored when our sights are set on the things of this world to glory in them.

However, it is not at all unusual to meet people bored with God today. Their souls prefer anything and everything but God. This is not just true of the unbelievers, but many believers as well. Many Christians are more moved by watching a movie than reading the Bible. They look forward to holidays with a greater longing than they look forward to the Lord’s Day. We prefer spending time on Facebook over prayer. There can be no doubt that we are very far from what we need to be. We long for the day when we are fully healed and restored to be the men and women God has created us to be.

And it is that full restoration that we meet in Psalm 148. The psalmist is enraptured in praise of his God and LORD. But not only he, but the entire creation is restored. The angels, sun and moon, shining stars, the highest heavens and the waters above the heavens, everything that God created resound in praise to God. All things inanimate and living, even the “kings of the earth” who rose in rebellion against God in Psalm 2, the young and the old, all “glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

Oh how our souls long for that day! We want to be there today. We want the glories of this cosmic restoration, not tomorrow or in the near future, but we want it yesterday! And yet God does not leave us entirely in a state of yearning. For our longing for the day is the proof that God has already begun the work of restoration in us. Eternity has cast its glories back into the present. God has taken hold of souls bound in here and now, and made us a people of eternal glory. It is for this reason that Ps 148 ends with “He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!” In the Old Testament the “horn” is the oft-used symbol of strength. And notice what that God has given “praise for all his saints” as the “horn for his people.” In other words, praise is our strength. Praising the LORD is what makes us secure. Praise is our protection is this world, and the power of the ages to come. Praise the LORD!

Call to Worship

‡ Psalm 148 (Trinity Hymnal p. 840)

‡ Trinity Hymnal #107 “Praise Ye the Father!”

‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”

Prayer of Invocation

The Reading and Exposition of the Law

Exodus 20:7 (p. 61)

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — Lord’s Day 36

Prayer of Confession

The Proclamation of the Gospel

“as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12 ESV)

Trinity Hymnal #247 “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”

Presentation of Gifts and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Amos 9:1–15 (p. 769)

Man’s End Is God’s Beginning

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



Growth Resources

Family Devotion for the Week

The September 9, 2018 sermon, Amos 8:1–14. “Famine or Feast?” 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.

The Shorter Catechism lesson of the week is posted here: Q. 38.

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.

September 30 (Lord’s Day): Please join us as we discuss John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”

Nursery Volunteers

(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)

September 16: Yoori Han

September 23: Kelly Rogers