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**This Lord’s Day, we will observe Communion in the afternoon service after the fellowship meal.**
We are a needy people, and this neediness brings God glory. God is glorified, not by men acting like they have it all together, but in the humble acknowledgment of their desperate need for his grace and reliance upon him. On the one hand, this shows why prayer is such a fundamental mark of true godliness and faith. Prayer is the vocalization of our constant need for God’s grace. Furthermore, our prayer for the Lord’s grace is itself an act of worship. This is reflected in Jeremiah 31:7, our Scripture call to worship for this coming Lord’s Day: For thus says the LORD: “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’” The point of interest in this passage is the connection between the people’s praise and their cry for God’s grace: give praise, and say… save your people. When we ask God to save us, we do so in shame, acknowledging that we have sinned and stand utterly dependent upon God’s mercy. It is counter intuitive to think of such a declaration as worship. But worship it is, for God hears the prayers of such poor sinners, and he answers, and when he does, he glorifies his name in our salvation.
In the prayer service, we will sing again the hymn we’re learning this month, “How Bright These Glorious Spirits Shine” (Red 306). We’ll also return to book of Acts and the next occurrence of prayer.
This Sunday’s sermon introduces the book of Exodus and begins an exposition of its first chapter. I will explain some particulars of Exodus that must be believed by any who name the name of Christ. In the early part of Exodus, we see God at a distance, but nevertheless at work with his people. The early verses both pick up the story from the closing of Genesis and anticipate the end of the Pentateuch and the entrance into the land of Canaan. This is the service order for our worship this Lord’s Day:
Call to Worship: Jeremiah 31:7
Hymn 4 [Blue] Praise Ye the Triune God!
Congregational Reading: Psalm 45:1-7
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn [Insert] Hail! Thou Once-Despised Jesus!
Hymn 26 [Blue] Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart The hymn Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart is one of great gratitude and joy. After considering the atoning work of Christ with the hymn Hail! Thou Once-Despised Jesus! we return thanks to God for this work. The refrain is filled with this thanksgiving: Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice, give thanks and sing! The first line of the hymn gives the great reason for our gratitude: Rejoice, ye pure in heart, the hymn-writer, Edwards Plumptre, writes. To be considered pure in heart is ground enough for thanksgiving, for this is only possible through the finished work of Jesus Christ. The hymn goes on to gather together all sorts of different people to rejoice and thank God: “bright youth,” those of “snow-crowned age,” “strong men,” “maidens,” “angel choirs,” and “saints on earth.” All are to rejoice in God and thank his holy name! So let us answer the call, as we behold our God, and rejoice, give thanks, and sing!
Scripture Reading: Daniel 5 & Ephesians 4:17-32
Hymn 342 [Red] Be Thou My Vision
Sermon: And These are the Names, Part 1 from Exodus 1
Hymn 348 [Red] Come, Ye That Love the Lord
In lieu of Sunday School, after the fellowship meal we will break bread in a Communion Service.