May 26, 2019
Please note that the location and the time of our worship service has changed. We now worship at Zion Lutheran Church, 1405 E. Fallbrook Street, Fallbrook CA 92028 at 11 AM.
Before We Worship
Why would you stick with the old when you can have the new? Of course, this is the mantra of the Madison Avenue, and we would be well advised to ignore it. However, Christians can joyfully affirm “What is new is better than the old” at least in one place. The new covenant is absolutely better than the old covenant.
Jeremiah 31 is one of the well-known prophecies of the new covenant. God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to a nation of people who had utterly failed to live up to the expectations of the old covenant. The old covenant had taught them about God’s holiness and his expectations. But Israel repeatedly found that they could not live up to God’s standards. They lacked both the ability and the desire to do so. The outcome was obvious and inevitable. God rejected the covenant breakers.
So, in view of this, what can God say to Israel that will comfort them? It clearly cannot be “Things will go back the way it was.” Because the way it was had a fixed trajectory towards failure and rejection. That is why God’s message to Israel is not, “Try to do better this time.” Rather, it was God saying to them, “I will do something new.” So the Lord says, “Behold, the days are coming, declares to LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers…I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people…For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
If so, why do you hold on to the old instead of embracing the new? For many of us still live as though we are the people of the old covenant. We hear the Word, but we do not do it with joy. We have no peace before God. And having no peace with him, we have no joy. God’s Word may be on our lips, but it is not in our hearts. Here is one more reason that makes our condition that much more sad. Contrary to the way of the world where buying into the new always costs us, leaving the old covenant behind and embracing the new covenant is absolutely free. It does not cost us anything, for Jesus paid it all.
So do not think you need to “do something” before you can experience the joy of the new covenant. Do not think either that you have to suffer for it or prove yourself worthy of it. God gives it to us freely. All we need is to need it and to want it. So come to worship the Lord with a needy heart. Come and seek his face with your open and empty hands. God will meet you and bless you with peace and joy.
Call to Worship
‡ Jeremiah 31:31–34 (p. 660)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #37 “All That I Am I Owe to Thee”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Shorter Catechism Qs. 35–36
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Ephesians 4:25–5:1 (p. 978)
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2 ESV)
Trinity Hymnal #88 “With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Luke 22:63–23:25 (p. 883)
Jesus Suffered Under Pontius Pilate
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 TH #456 “When All Your Mercies, O My God” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #170 “Fairest Lord Jesus”
Family Devotion for the Week
Upcoming Events and Notices
Join us for “12 for 19” as we read 12 great books in the year 2019. For June we will read “Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough” by Rico Tice and Carl Laferton.
May 26 (Lord’s Day): Please join us as we discuss Edward Welch’s “Caring for One Another: 8 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships.”
(Nursery meets in the Conference Room)
May 26: Michelle Kay
June 2: TBA