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Christ Church Sunday Morning Service (9:00 am)
January 8, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Announcements & Meditation
– Call to Worship –
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.
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
Sussex Carol……………………………bulletin pg. 7
– Confession –
Confession of sin
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
+ Assurance of Pardon
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 71
Minister: Where has Christ promised that we are as certainly washed with his blood and Spirit as with the water of baptism?
Congregation: In the institution of Baptism which runs thus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned.” This promise is also repeated where the Scriptures call baptism “the water of rebirth” and the washing away of sins.
– Consecration –
+ Scripture Reading
Isaiah 49:1-7; Luke 2:25-35
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!
Rue Emmie Benard
Gretel Enid Belschner
Congregational Charge: Little children, for you Jesus Christ came to this earth, struggled and suffered; for your sake He crossed Gethsemane and went through the darkness of Calvary; for your sake He cried: ‘It is finished’; for your sake He died and for your sake He overcame death; indeed for your sake, little children, and you—still—know nothing of it. And thus the word of the apostle is confirmed: ‘We love God, for He loved us first.’
(Taken from an old French Reformed Baptism Rite)
Opening: Hosea 1:10
Thanksgiving: Hosea 14:5-7
Petitions: Hosea 14:1-2
Song of Simeon…………………………………….428-29 (SM 23.1)
Psalm 81 / Open Your MouthSermon
There is only one God, and so for a creature there are only two ways to go—toward Him or away from Him. We can listen to Him, or we can ignore what He would tell us. We can surrender to Him, or rebel against Him. This psalm describes the consequences of each kind of choice.
“Sing aloud unto God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob . . . ” (Psalm 81:1-16).
Summary of the Text:
The superscription to this psalm is “upon Gittith,” which is literally upon the winepress. The psalm is possibly a vintage song, but the meaning is ambiguous. The God of Jacob is our strength, and we should make noise before Him (v. 1). Do it with a psalm, a tambourine, and a psaltery (v. 2). Celebrate the new moon, celebrate with solempne (v. 3). Such celebration was a statute in Israel (v. 4). When God led Israel out from the land of Egypt, God heard a language He didn’t understand (v. 5)—in other words, God does not speak the language of idolaters. God delivered them from their burdensome toil (v. 6). They called out, and He answered them (v. 7). Listen, Israel . . . if you will just listen (v. 8). If you listen, there will be no strange gods (v. 9). God is the one who saves. Open your mouth, and God will fill it (v. 10). But even with God poised to be good to them, Israel would have none of Him (v. 11). Therefore God let them run headlong (v. 12). God then laments—oh, that His people would just listen (v. 13)! Then He would have subdued their enemies (v. 14). God-haters should have submitted to Him, and He would have blessed them (v. 15). Then they would have been feed with refined wheat, and with honey from the rock (v. 16).
A Language God Doesn’t Understand:
It is not the case that there is an intelligible language that God doesn’t know. God knows everything that can be known. But idolatry is insanity. It is incoherence. In every form of idolatry, man sinks to the level of brutes and below. We become like what we worship, and when we are worshiping something other than the infinitely ordered mind of God, we are in the process of losing our minds. When Nebuchadnezzar lifted himself up, he was cast down into lunacy. The language of idolatry is inchoate, contradictory, and shapeless. God Himself does not know what triangular circles look like, and this is not a limitation in God.
Open Your Mouth:
Our God is the God of gracious promises. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it, He says (v. 10). We are taught in Scripture to look to God for the fulfillment of everything we need. The Lord required us to pray to His Father for our daily bread. So when the people of Israel are invited to open wide, we also are being invited to open wide.
Now if we are His children, God’s promises are given to us with regard to what we need, and not with regard to what we may want in any given instance. The gulf between those two can be vast, and God gives to us in different ways. Keep in mind what we will be learning from v. 12. God grants us our requests, and God grants us our lusts. When it is the former, we are finding God to be the great covenant-keeping God. When it is the latter, we are coming under the chastisement of the Lord.
The Curse of a Granted Lust:
“And he gave them their request; But sent leanness into their soul” (Ps. 106:15). In the first chapter of Romans, we see that the wrath of God is described as God “giving them up.” When God lets go the reins and lets the horses run themselves into a lather, this is not a blessing. We see the same principle here.
God “gave them up” to their own hearts’ lust. This meant that they got what they wanted, and rejoiced (at least initially) in having obtained it. They had the sensation of fulfillment, liberty, satisfaction. They rejected all those tired old doctrines and ethical scruples, and the day after they had done so, the sky was still blue and the grass still green. The prodigal son did not run out of money on his first harlot.
But it was not just a matter of being granted the judgment of sticking their hand into the piranha tank of their own lusts. That happened, and was bad enough. But Israel was also given the judgment of being given over to her own delusional counsels. “They walked in their own counsels.” This means that, in the first place, you destroy yourself and, in the second place, you are given over to the illusion that destroying yourself in this way was a good idea.
Honey From the Rock:
You either listen to God, or you listen to man. You either approach God, or you flee from Him. If you approach Him, He invites you to be blessed by Him. “I would have subdued their enemies” (v. 14). God would have filled you when you opened your mouth wide.
But the covenant blessings of God are not a vending machine in the hallway of the hotel—located at the same place on every floor, with the same products in the same slots, all costing the same amount of money. Do not try to domesticate your God. He is your covenant-keeping, promise-fulfilling God. He is not your lackey.
The blessing you are offered is honey from the rock. A rock is about as barren a thing as you imagine, and honey is about the sweetest thing you can imagine. And so the bees found a crevice in the rock, and there they fill it up with their goodness. The rock is the rock of affliction, and honey is what God provides for us from it.
This is true in the lesser things, and it is true in the greater things. It is true in the day-to-day afflictions, and it is true in the great affliction, the death of Christ on the rock of Golgotha. And what is that rock? It is the place where all the honey in the world comes from.
– Communion –
How Lovely Shines vs. 1-3…………………….220-21 (CY 4.1)
How Lovely Shines vs. 4-7……………………..220-23 (CY 4.1)
– Commissioning –
+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
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