August 25, 2019
Before We Worship
There is no misery like the misery of hopelessness. When we are in a dark place, and when we also know that things will never change for us, that sense of hopelessness slowly suffocate our souls and drain us of life. Then we begin to walk through life like zombies. We feel dead inside but we do not have the good sense to stay down. Or is that we are alive, but just barely? Such people have come to know what the Bible calls life only by its absence. In the Bible life is never just being alive. Life means to be whole, to know joy and peace. That is to say, hopelessness is the result of not having life in its fullness according to the Bible.
Indeed, hope is what separates the believers from the unbelievers. The unbeliever has no reason to expect that bad times will change for the better, or that the good times will endure. They live somewhere in between wishful thinking and denial. The tragedies of life, the uncertainty of life, are all too frightening to face. They smile bravely, but inside they are full of fear. Is it any wonder that the characteristic disease of the modern society is addiction? People are addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, entertainment, all to avert their eyes from the painful reality.
Believers, on the other hand, are sustained by hope in our worst darkness. We also exist in a fallen world, and faith in Christ has not given us the ability to control life or predict the future. Life is hard and confusing for us also. However, we have hope, because Christ has us.
Paul writes in Galatians 1:3–4 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age…” Our faith in Christ enables us to acknowledge our lives as lived in “the present evil age”. We do not live in denial. Instead, we can fully acknowledge how much darkness surrounds us, and yet hope, because Jesus has promised “to deliver us from the present evil age”. Our hope has nothing to do with our ability to cheer ourselves. And it is not about having the internal fortitude to endure. For that would mean that our hope springs from within us.
On the contrary, our hope comes from the fact that Jesus “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father”. In other words, our hope is built on the love of Christ and the will of our Father. Our hope springs from our living God.
So we are set apart from the world. While people without hope plunge themselves in addictions of various kinds, we worship. Darkness will not last. Pain will not endure. God will safely lead us through “the present evil age” and bring us to that coming age of glory and joy. And now even the darkest night is not so dark anymore. And we give glory to God.
Call to Worship
‡ Galatians 1:1–5 (p. 972)
‡ Trinity Hymnal #168 “I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art”
‡ Trinity Hymnal #731 “Doxology”
Prayer of Invocation
The Reading and Exposition of the Law
Exodus 20:14 (p. 61)
The Shorter Catechism Qs. 71–72
Prayer of Confession
The Proclamation of the Gospel
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”” (Isaiah 6:6–7 ESV)
(Insert) #15 “In Christ Alone”
Presentation of Gifts and Offering
The Proclamation of God’s Word
Romans 8:28–30 (p. 944)
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 #605 “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”
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. In September we are reading Winston Smith’s “Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments”
Please note that the catechism lessons will resume in the fall.
August 25 (Lord’s Day): Please join us as we discuss the book “Idols of a Mother’s Heart” by Christina Fox.
September 8 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship meal.
September 14 (Saturday 10:30 AM): All men are invited to men’s brunch. Please join us for a time of encouragement and fellowship. Location and details forthcoming.
August 25: Yoori Han
September 1: Kelly Rogers