August 4, 2019
Before We Worship
The Shorter Catechism makes a seamless transition from the Old Testament Sabbath to the New Testament Lord’s Day. The Shorter Catechism is not inventing anything new here at all. Throughout most of the New Testament church history Christians have consistently regarded the Lord’s Day as the natural NT equivalent and a necessary development of the OT Sabbath. Yes, there are fringe communities that disagree, but they are just that, fringe communities. Even so, why does the Catechisms spends so much time on this topic? We can briefly consider two reasons.
First, the Lord’s Day magnifies God’s glory and mercy. See Genesis 2:3. The Sabbath does not begin with Moses and it does not end with him. The Sabbath is rooted in God’s creation of the world, and reflects God’s satisfaction at his handiwork: “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy.” It also testifies to God’s omnipotent power in which what he set out to do, he finished: “because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” In other words, the Sabbath attests to the goodness of God’s creation, and the goal for which he created the world, that is, to bless, to make holy, to cherish, and to delight in it.
But sin came into God’s good world through Adam. How, then, can the Lord still call it holy and cherish a world that has rebelled against him? How can he approve a world that has now become a grave? But God restored the fallen world through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, communion rises out of the ashes of alienation, and we are once again brought near to God. In Jesus God’s goal for the creation is achieved as he embraces redeemed sinners to bless, to make holy, to cherish, and to delight in them. Thus what the OT Sabbath both symbolized and longed for is made real and ours in Jesus Christ. For this reason Christians throughout the ages have always understood the connection between the OT Sabbath and the NT Lord’s Day. So the NT Christians gathered to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on the Lord’s Day (Luke 24:1; Acts 20:7; Rev 1:10). The apostles set apart the first day of the week for worship and ministry (1 Cor 16:2). The Lord’s Day became the focal point of the celebration of God’s glory and mercy.
Second, the Lord’s Day dignifies man. Just as the Lord’s Day testifies to God’s goodness through Jesus Christ, it sets us apart as God’s redeemed children, whom he holds close to his heart. The Lord’s Day is Christians delighting in God’s mercy, rejoicing once again of their honored status before God. But, some will say, we can do this throughout the week and do not need a special day for this. That is true. We should always boast of God. But we also should not be wiser than God or the apostles.
Besides, Christians who cannot give their Lord and Redeemer one day out of seven are not likely to give their lives to God in any meaningful sense. The Lord’s Day, indeed, is where our faith becomes more than words into something real and tangible, and our commitment to God something more than an abstract concept. For on this day we proclaim “God is my all, and he has my all.”
Call to Worship
‡ Hebrews 10:19–25 (p. 1007)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #377 “Jesus, Where’er Your People Meet”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Exodus 20:8–11 (p. 61)
The Shorter Catechism Qs. 61–62
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:10–12 ESV)
Song #3 “Here Is Love”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
James 1:12–18 (p. 1011)
O Thou Who Changest Not, Abide with Me
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 #402 “Abide with Me: Fast Falls the Eventide” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–5 during the distribution of the cup.
Trinity Hymnal #32 “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Family Devotion for the Week
The July 28, 2019 sermon, Acts 5:17–42. “How Does the Resurrection Shape the Mission of the Church?” 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 August we will read Christina Fox’s “Idols of a Mother’s Heart.”
Please note that the catechism lessons will resume in the fall.
August 11 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship meal after the service.
August 4: Kelly Rogers
August 11: TBA