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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30 am & 10:30 am)

November 27, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Announcements & Meditation


– Call to Worship –


+ Adoration
Minister: The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who are in awe of Him.
Congregation: He will hear their cry and save them.


Psalm 22:25-26
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!


+ Prayer


+ Hymn
Savior of the Nations Come…………………………225 (CY 7.1)


– Confession –





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Confession of Sin
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
Psalm 32:5



+ Assurance of Pardon
Psalm 32:7
Minister: Your sins are forgiven through Christ.

Congregation: Thanks be to God!

+ Confession of Faith: Apostles Creed
Minister: Christian, what do you believe?
Congregation: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the virgin, Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended into Hades.  On the third day He rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.



+ Responsive Reading: Heidelberg Catechism: Questions 63 & 64
Minister: Will our good works merit nothing, even when it is God’s purpose to reward them in this life, and in the future life as well?
Congregation: This reward is not given because of merit, but out of grace.
Minister: But does not this teaching make people careless and sinful?
Congregation: No, for it is impossible for those who are engrafted into Christ by true faith not to bring forth the fruit of gratitude.



+ Hymn
Magnificat…………………………………………..416-19 (SM 14.1)



– Consecration –


+ Scripture Reading
Genesis 1:1-5; John 1:1-9
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!



Lo, God, Our God……………………..bulletin pg. 6 (CY 17.1)



Congregational Prayer
Opening: Psalm 28:1-2
Thanksgiving: Psalm 26:6-8
Petitions: Psalm 20:5-6



+ Hymn

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First & Second Service: Incarnation and Gratitude 1


We have often reminded you that ownership of time is inescapable. Either we will mark and define our days with reference to God and His Christ, or we will allow the calendar to be defined by unbelievers. So, for example, either your year will be defined by Christmas and Easter, or it will be defined by something like Memorial Day and the 4th of July.

But there is more to the topic than this. If we are to be biblical people, we have to pay attention not only to what we celebrate, but also to how we celebrate it. In other words, there are ostensible ways of marking the life of Jesus that are nevertheless grotesque and debauched. What is Mardi Gras? Why the drunken and orgiastic revels? Well, that occurs on the eve of Lent, a period of time in which you are supposed to be really good, and Lent is the run up to Easter, the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And the resurrection of Jesus occurred to liberate us from the condition of being the kind of people who think that Mardi Gras might be an appropriate thing to do.

The Texts:
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward” (Matt. 6:16).

“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col. 2:20–23).

Summary of the Text:
Because man is created in the image of God, he is homo adorans. He is created for worship, and cannot do anything but worship. But because he is fallen, he has the impulse, down in his bones he has it, to worship a false god or, failing that, to worship the true God falsely. He wants to veer off from the worship of Jehovah, and will do it either in the direct object or in the adverb. He will turn to Molech or Baal, or he will worship Jehovah under the auspices of something like Aaron’s golden calf.

Now one of the ways that men have always wanted to propitiate the gods is by dancing around altars and cutting themselves with knives. When this impulse has been allowed into the church, it has usually been domesticated somewhat, but we are still told to resist the inroads of this kind of thinking. When you fast, Jesus teaches, no one should know about it. And while there is a show of wisdom in harsh treatment of the body, abasing yourself in arbitrary ways, Paul says that it is of no value in mortifying the flesh. No value. It does not really get the job done.

Good Fellowship Despite This:
Now the point of preaching on this topic is not so that we can get into holiday conflicts and clashes with friends or family members who think differently about these things. Rather, it is to make sure you know that our reasons for abstaining from certain themes and practices in our worship service is a principled stand. It is not because we are slow on the uptake, and somehow have not figured out how Christmas and Easter are supposed to go. We are Puritans, but we are Puritans who accept the charge Paul gave us in Romans. “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5). It is not the end of the world when others do what we wouldn’t do. But we draw the line at us doing what we wouldn’t do.

Pestilential Penitential Seasons:
Because the seasons of the church year developed over the course of centuries, many of those developments occurred when a false notion of merit theology had dominant sway in the church. It was that merit theology that in large measure necessitated the Reformation. The error was not a small one, and it did not cause tiny dislocations.

During these centuries, two penitential seasons developed. Lent was the run-up to Easter and Advent was the run-up to Christmas. The idea was that these preparatory seasons were times for reflection, penitence, anticipation, and giving things up. When you got to the festival—the 12 days of Christmas—you would then celebrate. Having come through the wilderness of the penitential season, you would enter the Canaan of the festival. The same thing was true of Lent and Easter.

Now as this church year has come down to most Americans, some of it arrived in an unrecognizable condition. If you mention Lent to a cashier at the grocery store, most everyone will know that you are supposed to “give something up.” In other words, the penitential aspect of it is still visible to pretty much everyone. If you mention Advent, people simply think you are talking about preparations for Christmas—hanging lights, counting the days, shopping for presents, etc. Nobody thinks it is supposed to be penitential. That is why I feel free to celebrate Advent and not Lent—Americans wrecked the penitential aspects of Advent with celebratory consumerism.

You Had One Job . . .
So at bottom, we need to see that the ascetic impulse and the licentious impulse are the same thing, and amount to the same kind of will-worship. This is not to say that the pursuit of pleasure is automatically bad, or that fasting is automatically bad. But it is to say that both these paths run along a narrow ridge with a steep cliff on either side. In order to stay on the path of “enjoyment,” we must pursue it according to the Word. In order to stay on the path of “self-discipline,” we must pursue it according to the Word. So, for example, if you are fasting, what one thing must you not do to your face? When you are fasting, Jesus said, make sure you don’t do what? You must not disfigure your face, or be downcast. You must not smudge your face.

Gratitude for the Coming Christ:
The issue is never our discipline, or our lack of it. The issue is always Jesus Christ. We are looking forward to His liturgical coming, and because we have been given the entire story, our celebration is full of anticipatory joy.




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– Communion –



The Bread

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The Wine

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– Commissioning –



The congregation may raise hands
Savior of the Nations Come, v.s 6…………………….225
Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally.



Charge & Benediction
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26


November 27, 2016
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
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Christ Church