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As you prepare to gather with fellow-believers in worship this coming Lord’s Day, I hope the words of David in Psalm 26:8 regarding the Tabernacle express your own attitude toward the church of Jesus Christ: “O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.” We as an assembly are by this world’s standards small and insignificant. We are a band of weary pilgrims gathering together as we make our way through the world’s wasteland to our heavenly home. Nevertheless, we are a place of glory, a place in which the incomprehensible God dwells. And, as such, our gatherings are to be loved. The weekly gathering of Christians is not be loved because of something worthy in and of itself, but because we are a place where God dwells. His worship is a beautiful thing. Since God is present with us, how we can do other than love our gatherings. God is with us. His Son is with us (“where two or three are gathered…”). His Spirit dwells in our midst (1 Cor 3:16-17). So, as you prepare to gather, brothers and sisters, come with your spiritual eyes open, glorying in the reality that we are God’s people, and that he is with us because of Christ’s death and resurrection.
In the prayer service, we’ll look at Stephen’s prayer in Acts 7. The service will begin with the hymn, “Hear, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face” (Blue 191).
The passage for this week’s sermon is 1 Cor 15:50-53. This passage reiterates the necessity of resurrection and explains how it will happen for church saints, whether dead or living. If we would inherit eternal life in the Kingdom of God, we must be changed. Now we are incapable of entering this Kingdom. We presently live under the heavy burden of the fall and curse, but, the Scripture says, “we shall all be changed.” We must be changed to live forever with God, and this change is going to happen to us all who have believed in Jesus Christ, whether dead or alive. In our passage, Paul wants to comfort us by upholding the imminent resurrection that Christ will give the members of his body, the church. Knowing that we serve a God who keeps his promises, and that confessing that our Savior is the Resurrection and the Life, let us come before this God of our salvation in joyful worship and praise.
Call to Worship: Psalm 26:12
Hymn 345 [Red] Come, Thou Almighty King
Congregational Reading: Psalm 26:8-12
Doxology: Gloria Patri, Red 436
Hymn 236 [Blue] Amazing Grace
Hymn 335 [Red] What Wondrous Love is This?
Scripture Reading: Job 35 & Mark 11:15-33
Hymn [Insert] The Solid Rock
Sermon: Forever Changed from 1 Corinthians 15:50-53
Hymn 74 [Red] I Waited for the Lord The words of Psalm 40 capture the reverent hope of Christ’s church as we wait for the moment we are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air: “I waited for the Lord; he stooped and heard my cry. He brought me out of the pit, out of the dungeon mire, my feet set on a rock, my footsteps made secure. My lips he gave a song, a song to praise our God.” It might seem difficult to continue hoping in our resurrection when the promise of his coming was given some two thousand years ago. But you can know that Christ is coming, and he is going to bring life and immortality with him. Let us wait for the Lord, and, as we wait, may we live as our Savior did, as described in the last verse of this Psalm: “To do your will, O God, to me is my delight.”
During the Sunday School hour, I will open up the floor and take questions from you. Whether about the material we’ve been covering in the morning sermons or Sunday school, or perhaps a current event or theological question, bring your questions for our Quodlibet.