Preparation for Worship for the Lord’s Day, December 11, 2016

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“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!” How highly do the Scriptures raise up the great name of our God! In the face of such glory, the question for every human soul is does my innermost heart exalt in God like the Scriptures do? In Psalm 48, the sons of Korah first confess that God is indeed great. Then they point to the response that such greatness demands of every human heart: this God is greatly to be praised. Our hearts ought to respond with an echo of worship corresponding to the greatness of Him whom we worship. He is great, and so our worship of him must be great. Yet do not miss in what manner this great God is to be greatly praised: in the city of our God. This brief phrase points to two further controls on our worship. Praise is to be offered “in the city of our God,” that is, corporately and as God prescribes. Clearly, true worship is not to a willy-nilly thing to God. He demands that we worship together, and that we worship according to his rules, and that we give him our all in praise. So let us come and worship him who is great this Lord’s Day with great praises in our lips, and as we do so, we will do it corporately and according to his rules.

In the prayer service this Lord’s Day, we will return to the book of Acts. To begin the hour, we will sing together selected stanzas of Martin Luther’s hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” (Red 232).

The sermon this Sunday considers God’s providential working in the life of Moses, the deliverer of the people of Israel. At the end of the passage, the Scripture tells us that Moses named his son Gershom because “I have been a sojourner in a strange land.” The passage gives us a glimpse of Moses’s faith in God, faith that transformed a man of the Egyptian court into a wandering shepherd in the land of Midian. Just as we pilgrims ourselves, I will look especially at the example of Moses’s faith, which profoundly instructs our own.

Worship Service

Call to Worship: Psalm 48:1

Hymn 240 [Red] Joy to the World!

Congregational Reading: Psalm 48:9-14

Doxology: Diademata, Red 293

Hymn 220 [Red] How Lovely Shines the Morning Star!

Hymn 226 [Red] Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People In the context of Exodus 2, the people of Israel find themselves still under oppression. Moses himself attests to this in v 11: he went out to his people and looked on their burdens. Even though it surely seemed to many of the children of Israel that God was absent amidst the slavery and oppression under Egypt, God was working. He had already with skilful sovereignty orchestrated the birth and deliverance of the young Moses. Now he continues to work in Moses’s life to prepare him to lead his people. Moses, for his part, acts by faith. These episodes remind us of the plight of all God’s people throughout the ages. Whether the believing remnant of Israel or the church of Jesus Christ today, we continue to long for God to save his people for his glory. This longing is well put in the words of this hymn, loosely stating the precious truths of Isaiah 40. Consider the final stanza: “Make ye straight what long was crooked, make the rougher places plain: let your hearts be true and humble, as befits his holy reign, for the glory of the Lord now o’er earth is shed abroad, and all flesh shall see the token that his word is never broken.”

Prayer

Offering

Scripture Reading: Daniel 8 & Ephesians 6:10-24

Hymn 242 [Red] Lo, How a Rose Eer Blooming

Sermon: A Sojourner’s Faith from Exodus 2:11-25

Hymn 246 [Red] Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Prayer

Benediction

There will be no fellowship meal or Sunday School this Sunday. Instead, we’ll regather at 4:00 PM for our annual Christmas fellowship.