September 23, 2018

Before We Worship

In the life of the church, music can be one of the most contentious subjects. On the one hand, there are those who only want the tried and true hymns of the past that they grew up with. On the other hand there are those for whom whatever is new is always better than the old, and the idea of singing old hymns is just unthinkable. But who is right?

According to Psalm 149, both extremes are wrong. Ps 149 commands, “Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints.” God’s glory is such that no one generation or one particular body of hymnody can fully do justice. The immensity of God’s beauty, the astounding things he has done, will need, quite literally, an eternity of time and an endless throng of people to fully appreciate and praise. Thus the command “Sing to the LORD a new song”. It may be that being content only with old songs, and insisting only on them, is a sign that we have stopped plumbing the depths of God’s fathomless glory. We need gifted people to write new songs of praise, and also people eager to appreciate new dimensions and expressions of God’s glory.

On the other hand, not everything that is new is good. “Better than the old” is the mantra of the market place. Our worship should never be swayed on the basis of what is new, but according to Scripture’s teachings. For example, Ps 149 directs our worship along specific trajectory. We praise God because he is our Maker and because he is our King (v. 2). We praise the LORD because he “takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation” (v. 4). The focus of praise is on God’s work (as our Maker and King) and his character (mercy).

In addition, vss. 6–9 directs us to worship for reasons that make us uncomfortable: “to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples” for to praise God for such reasons “is honor for all his godly ones.” Indeed, to truly praise God means recognizing that he is truly the only one worthy of enduring. Thus we long for the day when all who have opposed our God’s kingly reign will finally perish. In this way, Ps 149 leads us to long for the day when God’s kingdom comes in power.

In other words, our worship is not good or bad because we sing old or new songs. Rather, the only important question is whether our worship exalts God’s work and character. Does our worship direct our heart’s longing towards the vindication and celebration of God’s glory over all people and things? Indeed, that is how we must worship. And that is how we are going to worship.

Call to Worship

‡ Psalm 149 (Trinity Hymnal p. 840)

‡ Trinity Hymnal #3 “Give to Our God Immortal Praise”

‡ 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 37

Prayer of Confession

The Proclamation of the Gospel

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.” (Psalms 103:13 ESV)

10 “Upon s Life I Have Not Lived”

Presentation of Gifts and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Acts 1:8 (p. 909)

Permission to Share the Gospel

Mr. Mike Pettengill

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 #672 “Trust and Obey”



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 23 (Lord’s Day): We welcome Mr. Mike Pettengill to our pulpit today. For 10 years Mike served as a full time missionary with Mission to the World. He served as a team leader, church planter, and seminary professor into countries. For eight years Mike and his wife served in Honduras, in central America. And for two years they served in Equatorial Guinea in Africa. In 2017 Mike was hired to open up a new West Coast office for mission to the world, where he recruits, trains, and mentors new missionaries. Mike is a native Californian and is a graduate a Reformed Theological Seminary. Mike will bring God’s Word to us, and give us a missions presentation after the service.

September 23 (Lord’s Day): The children’s catechism lesson (Qs. 109–113) will meet.

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 23: Kelly Rogers

September 30: Liza Beede