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“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” As we gather together this Lord’s Day, we will focus much of the service on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States. We of all people have the greatest ground for celebrating thanksgiving, for we know to whom we direct the thanks. We know who has given us grace through Jesus Christ. What better way is there to celebrate thanksgiving, than to gather together for worship with other believers, and extol the goodness of the Lord? As you come to the house of God this Lord’s Day, consider afresh all the good things that God has done for you, and ready yourself to give vent to soul-full of praise.
In the prayer service, we will look at another instance of prayer in the book of Acts. To begin that service, we’ll look at a hymn that might be new to some of you, “Join All the Glorious Names.” If Isaac Watts’s text is unfamiliar to you, the tune shouldn’t be; we use it to sing “Praise God for He is Kind,” a paraphrase of Psalm 136 in the Red hymnal (Red 175).
In the morning worship service, we return to the book of Exodus. This week, we wade into chapter 1 and the text itself. In this passage, we consider God’s quiet faithfulness to his people through the lens of the years between Joseph and the birth of Moses. The great God we serve is a refuge for all those who trust him. This is the order of worship for this coming Lord’s Day:
Call to Worship: Psalm 107:1-3
Hymn 285 [Red] We Gather Together
Congregational Reading: Psalm 106:1-5, 47-48
Doxology: Doxology, Red 437
Hymn 324 [Red] Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above
Hymn 139 [Red] All People That on Earth Do Dwell
Scripture Reading: Daniel 6 & Ephesians 5:1-21
Hymn 284 [Red] Come, Ye Thankful People
Sermon: And These are the Names, Part 2 from Exodus 1
Hymn 334 [Red] Whate’er My God Ordains is Right This hymn by Samuel Rodigast and translated by Catherine Winkworth is not a “Thanksgiving” classic by any means. Indeed, “thanksgiving” is nowhere mentioned. Yet the spirit of thanksgiving pervades this hymn. I chose it for that reason, not to mention the way it supplemented the Scripture text that serves as the basis of this week’s sermon. Rodigast superbly articulates the great confidence a believer should have in God amidst the varying difficult circumstances of life, and he couples that with a spirit of thanksgiving that trusts the Lord no matter what. Consider the second stanza: “Whate’er my God ordains is right: he never will deceive me; he leads me by a proper path, I know he will not leave me. I take content, what he hath sent; his hand can turn my griefs away, and patiently I wait his day.” True thanksgiving not only exults in the good that God brings but rests content in the supply that God ordains to give. Moreover, all our thanksgivings ultimately recognize that there is a far better “day” of thanksgiving coming when God saves his people, for which we are now patiently waiting.
In Sunday School, I will teach on the Theology of the Gospel of Luke.