June 23, 2019

Before We Worship

The New Yorker published an article by Troy Patterson, called “The Normcore Opulence of Preachers Wearing Four-Figure Sneakers” on June 14, 2019. It is a brilliant commentary on trends first noticed by an Instagram account @preachersnsneakers. This account chronicles the growing trend of hip megachurch pastors sporting sneakers that often cost many hundreds of dollars, and often more than a thousand dollars. They proudly display their luxurious wear (it doesn’t end with their shoes) for all their audience to see from the stage.

In a traditional protestant church, the minister is hidden behind a sizable pulpit. That is intentional. In the worship service, God’s Word faithfully preached from the pulpit has the attention of the worshippers. The minister is but a servant of the Word, and he is never the central figure of the worship service. But in many contemporary mega church settings, the pulpit has long disappeared. In its place, often the larger-than-life personality and charisma of the leader demand the attention of the captivated audience, who are no longer capable of being shocked for the right reasons, but, ironically, crave the constant sensation of being shocked by something extra-ordinary. To such an audience God’s blessing is measured by the preacher’s purchasing power. The more their leaders shock and thrill you, the more assured is his “street-cred” to talk about God’s blessing.

This is surely foreign to what Scripture calls blessing. It is the refrain of the Vanity Fair that says blessing means riches, and riches mean blessing. But hear what God says about blessing from Psalm 119:1–8. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who eep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!” How convicting these words are! For we do not have to wear outrageously ridiculous sneakers to miss the point. What blessing did you seek this week? What does your heart tell you is the blessing you must live for? Is it the blessing of obeying God’s instructions, doing no wrong before his eyes, and living wholeheartedly and faithfully before God? Or did you give the best of your time, resources, creativity, imagination, all in the pursuit of something else that you have convinced is a greater blessing than living for God?

We all need a heart tuneup. Indeed, one of the abiding challenges of the Christian life is learning to think rightly. Do you honestly seek the blessing of obeying God and living according to his commands and instructions?

May the Lord indeed bless us. And we will not crave for Gucci slippers and Louis Vuitton clothes. Rather, as Paul tells us in Eph 6, we will “take up the whole armor of God…having fastened on the belt of truth…the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace…take up the shield of faith…the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Amen.

Call to Worship

‡ Psalm 119:1–8 (p. 512)

‡ Trinity Hymnal #98 “Now Thank We All Our God”

‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”

Prayer of Invocation

The Shorter Catechism Qs. 40–42

The Reading and Exposition of the Law

Matthew 22:34–40 (p. 828)

Prayer of Confession

The Proclamation of the Gospel

“Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.” (Ephesians 6:23–24 ESV)

10 “Upon a Life I Have Not Lived”

Presentation of Gifts and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Luke 24:36–53 (p. 885)

The Grace of the Risen Lord

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 #647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.

Trinity Hymnal #387 “Now May He Who from the Dead”



Growth Resources

Family Devotion for the Week

The June 16, 2019 sermon, Luke 24:13-35. “All Roads Lead to Jesus” is available on our church website. You can also catch up on older sermons from our Sermon page and subscribe to sermon podcast here.

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. For July we will read Philip Ryken’s “When Trouble Comes.”

Please note that the catechism lessons will resume in the fall.

June 30 (Lord’s Day): Please join us as we discuss the book “Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough.”

Nursery Volunteers

June 23: Michelle Kay

June 30: Yoori Han