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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (8:30 am & 11:00 am)

August 28, 2016

Announcements & Meditation

– Call to Worship –

+ Adoration
Minister: Grace, mercy, and peace to you, from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Congregation: And also to you.
Scripture
Psalm 105:1-3
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
+ Prayer
+ PSALM
All Peoples, Clap Your Hands for Joy…………………87 (PS 47.1)

 

– Confession –

Exhortation
HYMN
The Sacrifices of God Are a Broken Spirit………..414 (SM 10.1)
Confession of sin
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
Psalm 106:6-8
+ Assurance of Pardon
Isaiah 4:2
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: Question 48
Minister:  But are not the two natures in Christ separated from each other in this way, if the humanity is not wherever the divinity is?
Congregation: Not at all; for since divinity is incomprehensible and everywhere present, it must follow that the divinity is indeed beyond the bounds of the humanity which it has assumed, and is nonetheless ever in that humanity as well, and remains personally united to it.

 

 

+ HYMN
Gloria in excelsis…………………………………..396-97 (SM 11.1)

– Consecration –

+ Scripture Reading
Song of Solomon 2:4-7; Ephesians 5:22-33
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Elder Ordination
Tim Edwards and Ty Knight

Deacon Ordination
Mike Church and Michael Hewitt
HYMN
God Moves in a Mysterious Way…………………..353 (CR 52.1)

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Congregational Prayer
Opening: Psalm 99:1-3
Thanksgiving: Psalm 106:1-5
Petitions: Psalm 102:1-2

 

+ PSALM
Psalm 133………………………………..bulletin pg. 8 (PS 133.1)

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Sermon

First Service: Cremation and Burial

Introduction
Part of living together is learning to deal with the fact of death. In the early years of our congregation, we had almost no funerals. Now we have had a number of them, and given how many of us have been worshiping together for many years, that number is only going to increase. So how shall we then die? As always, we want to look to Scripture first for our direction and instruction.

The Texts:
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, Yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25–26).

Summary of the Texts:
Job is an ancient text, and comes to us from deep within Old Testament history. Because many want to believe that the ancients had no concept of the resurrection, this text is therefore much controverted. But it is best to take it at face value. We may grant that the resurrection of the dead is not emphasized in the Old Testament the way it is in the New, but it is most certainly there. Remember that the Jews came to a sure and certain faith in the resurrection prior to one syllable of the New Testament being given. Martha confesses that she knew that her brother would rise again in the resurrection at the last day (John 11:24), and all she had to go on was the Old Testament. Remember that Jesus argues for the resurrection against the Sadducees, and does so from the Old Testament (Luke 20:37), from Exodus in fact.

So Job, in the midst of his perplexities and trials, knew certain things for sure. He knew that his Redeemer lived, and he knew that his Redeemer would stand upon the earth in the latter day (v. 25). He also knew that his own body was corruptible, and that after he died, it would in fact be corrupted. He knew that worms would destroy his body, as certainly as he knew that his Redeemer lived. And yet, despite the utter destruction of his body, he knew that in his flesh he was going to see God.

No Step Ladder:
We believe that the doctrine of the resurrection at the last day is dependent upon the power of God and the certainty of the scriptural promise. When Jesus rebuked the Sadducees for their disbelief in the resurrection, these were the two things about them that He tagged. He said they erred (Matt. 22:29) because they did not know the Scriptures (the promises) and they did not know the power of God (sovereignty).

And so no man should ever choose burial over cremation in the idea that God needs our help with the resurrection. Having a body “there and available” does not give Him a “head start.” It is not a step ladder that will help God up so that He can reach the resurrection. When it comes to raising the dead, God is not even slowed down by the fact that someone’s atoms have utterly dissipated. The sea will give up her dead (Rev. 20:13). Martyrs like Ridley and Latimer have been burned at the stake—will they be denied a share in the resurrection because of their faithfulness? According to tradition, Antipas was burned in a brazen bull, and we know he was faithful (Rev. 2:13). And in our text, Job knew that he would see his God in the flesh after his body had been destroyed by worms. A buried body can be just as dissipated as a cremated body can be, and so “making resurrection easier” is clearly not the point.

A Standing and Practical Testimony:
So what is the point? I begin this way because it is crucial to note that Scripture nowhere identifies cremation as a sin. It is not disobedience. That being the case, it is not an occasion for worry, or for conflict between Christians. If someone dear to you has been cremated, no worries. As you are making decisions, or are a part of making decisions with the extended family, I would encourage you to look for the opportunity for making a more complete scriptural testimony. But it is also true that it may not be entirely in your hands, or financially practical, or in your hands at all, or other factors may intrude. So again, no worries.

At the same time, burial provides us with a good opportunity for testimony. Think of it as an inscription on the tombstone. This is a particular kind of testimony that we see given in the pages of Scripture, and so—as possible—I would recommend burial over cremation. But we are talking about symbolism and testimony.

A Scriptural Review:
The patriarchs took great pains over the matter of burial, and Scripture attends carefully to what they are doing. Abraham buys land for Sarah’s burial (Gen. 23). When he died, Isaac and Ishmael buried him with Sarah (Gen. 25:8-10). When Isaac died, Jacob and Esau buried him (Gen. 35:29). Jacob makes Joseph promise to bury him with Abraham (Gen. 47:29-31; 49:29-33), which is dutifully done (Gen. 48:4-13). Joseph, speaking prophetically, said that God would bring Israel out of Egypt and that they were to take his bones along with them (Gen. 50:24-26). Moses was careful to do exactly this (Ex. 13:19), and so Joseph was eventually buried in Shechem (Josh. 24:32).

While there are positive images that can be associated with burning (i.e. purification, as in 1 Cor. 3:15), the image in Scripture when it comes to disposing of bodies through burning is largely a negative one. God was going to judge Moab because, among other things, Moab desecrated the bones of the king of Edom by burning them (Amos 2:1-2). Achan and his household was stoned for their crime, but that was followed by burning their bodies and their possessions—a clear symbol of judgment (Josh. 7:25). King Josiah fulfilled prophecy (1 Kings 13:1-3) when he polluted the idolatrous altar at Bethel by burning human bones on it (2 Kings 23:15-18).
And last, Jesus was buried, and our burials provide us with an opportunity to follow Him in even this. As our burial service has it, the Lord “by His rest in the tomb has sanctified the graves of the saints.” After His death, the Lord’s open disciples had fled to hide in secret, and two of His secret disciples (Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus) took up the task of burying Him openly. Joseph donated his own tomb, and Nicodemus donated the spices. And remember the Lord had defended the woman who had anointed Him by saying she was preparing Him for burial (Mk. 14:8).

Isaac Watts put it this way:

Why should we tremble to convey
Their bodies to the tomb?
There the dear flesh of Jesus lay,
And left a long perfume.

Honor, Closure, Testimony:
We have ceremonies for the dead as a mark of honor. To refuse any kind of interment at all is a mark of contempt (Dt. 28:26; Ps. 79:1-4; Ecc. 6:3; Jer. 7:33; 16:6; 25:33; 34:20). We seek to honor those who have passed before us. We also have ceremonies for the sake of closure. Godly men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him (Acts 8:2). And third, we give our testimony. A cemetery is a “grave garden,” and the tombstones are the stakes with the upside-down seed packets on them—telling us all what to expect. This image of the seed is a preeminently scriptural one, and burial is a good way to do it. Not the only way, but I think the way recommended.

Testimony to what? To the resurrection of the dead.

Second Service: More than Greetings (Francis Foucachon)

Romans 16:1-16

1. Introduction: From theory to applied theology.

2. First characteristic of the Roman Christians: they are people whose identity is first and foremost “in Christ”.

3. Second characteristic of the Roman Christians: sincere love and deep affection for the Body of Christ.

4. Third characteristic of the Roman Christians: a spirit of integration in the church.

5. Fourth characteristic of the Roman Christians: their very lives were tied to the church through sacrifice, commitment, and hard work.

Prayer
Ending with The Lord’s Prayer………………………411 (SM 21.1)
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Offertory
Prayer
+ The Beatitudes…………………………bulletin pg. 10 (SM 7.1)

– Communion –

The Bread
O Let My Name Engraven Stand……………370-71 (CR 65.1)

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The Wine
At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing…………………204 (CR 74.1)

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– Commissioning –

+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Psalm 134………………………………….bulletin pg. 8 (PS 134.2)

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Charge & Benediction
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Details

Date:
August 28, 2016
Event Category:
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Organizer

Christ Church
Email:
belmerkle@christkirk.com
View Organizer Website

Venue

Logos School Field House
110 Baker St, Moscow, Idaho 83843
Moscow, ID 83843 United States
+ Google Map
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