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Downtown Sunday Morning Service (9:30 am)

December 17, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am

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. Amen.

 

SCRIPTURE
Joel 3:10,11
Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!

 

+ PRAYER

 

+ HYMN

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– Confession –

 

EXHORTATION

 

HYMN

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CONFESSION OF SIN
Congregation is invited to kneel if able
Joel 2:12,13

 

+ ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Isaiah 30:26
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 126
Minister: What is the fifth petition?
Congregation: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” That is: be pleased, for the sake of Christ’s blood, not to charge to us, miserable sinners, our many transgressions, nor the evil which still clings to us. We also find this witness of thy grace in us, that it is our sincere intention heartily to forgive our neighbor. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ HYMN
Magnificat…………………………………………..416-19

– Consecration –

+ SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 12:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
Congregation: Thanks be to God!

 

ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBER
CC: Larry Crawford

 

HYMN

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CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER
Opening: Joel 2:27
Thanksgiving: Joel 2:26
Petitions: Joel 2:32

 

 

+ HYMN

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CC: Advent 1 (Douglas Wilson)

Sermon

 

Introduction:
The message of the gospel is one that not only brings us forgiveness of sin, but also one that upends all our categories. God unmakes our tawdry pasts, and replaces them with a fresh start, a new birth, a clean slate. But He also intends to unmake our officious assumptions about what all those things must mean.

The Text:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:8–9).

Summary of the Text:
Through His prophet Isaiah, God tells the Israelites that He does not think the same way that they do. His ways are not their ways, according to the Lord’s declaration here (v. 8). The reason for this is that God’s ways are higher than ours, and are higher in the way that the heavens are higher than the earth. The same thing goes for His thoughts (v. 8). God’s ways and thoughts are higher.

But this means that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts about what constitutes higher things. God, in other words, can be highly irreverent. Through the Incarnation, God has declared that He at any rate was not going to stand upon His dignity. We believe that for God to be higher means that He could not possibly dwell with the lowly. But this is far from the case. The Incarnation—even when we think we have gotten used to it—is profoundly unsettling.

A Different Calculus:
What men think is wealthy and respectable is Mammon worship in the sight of God.

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).

What men think is reverent and humble is thought by God to be arrogant and insolent nonsense.

“Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:49–51).
What men call obedience is actually stiff-necked rebellion in the sight of God.

“And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites” (1 Sam. 15:20).

A God of Reversals:
So with all that in mind, consider this great juxtaposition from Isaiah:

“For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is. 57:15).

Where does God live? He inhabits eternity. He dwells in the high and holy place. So far, this accords with our sense of propriety. But this high and holy one, this eternal one, also dwells with the contrite and lowly spirit. What is He doing there? He is reviving the hearts of those who are contrite. God stoops in order to pick us up. How far did He stoop?

In a Lowly Manger:
And how does this apply to our understanding of Christmas? Take these thoughts from Martin Luther:

“If Christ had arrived with trumpets and lain in a cradle of gold, his birth would have been a splendid affair. But it would not be a comfort to me. He was rather to lie in the lap of a poor maiden and be thought of little significance in the eyes of the world. Now I can come to him. Now he reveals himself to the miserable in order not to give any impression that he arrives with great power, splendor, wisdom, and aristocratic manners.”

The Lord Jesus was born into our poverty so that He might liberate us from our poverty. And by poverty I mean poverty of all kinds—spiritual, financial, emotional, and intellectual. The Lord Jesus was no Little Lord Fauntleroy. He was not, as the French saying goes, like a “little Jesus in velvet pants.” Joseph and Mary sacrificed turtle doves at his dedication, which was the sacrifice that the Mosaic law set apart for the poor. What does this mean? He means that He is the Savior. Let us use a word that might hit us harder (because we have turned Savior into one of our “religion words”). He is our Shield and Buckler. He is our Deliverer. He is the Messiah. He is the Christ, I tell you.

So It Begins With a Child:
When the first Adam was created, he was shaped out of the dust of the ground, and he was a fully formed man, but without the breath of life. When God breathed into him, he had sudden existence, and though he was just five minutes old, he looked like a thirty-year-old man (say).

But the Lord Jesus stooped all the way down to a single cell. The eternal Son of God, according to His Deity, was conjoined with a cell that had roughly the thickness of a hair. He was of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared to be the Son of God through His resurrection (Rom. 1:3-4). He was not only as small as we are, but He also became small in comparison to us.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, To order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice From henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Is. 9:6–7).

The Zeal of the Lord for Salvation:
What has been accomplished for us has been accomplished by the zeal of the Lord of hosts. He is the one who has performed it, and He began by stooping low. As C.S. Lewis put it so wonderfully.

“He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders.”

 

 

 

CCD: Wise Men and Worship (Ty Knight)

Sermon

Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Introduction
As we consider this familiar passage, I’d like us to view this as the story of kings and their worship. I’m not referring to the “We three kings of Orient are…” rather, just to the two kings––King Herod and King Jesus. The magi appear with the announcement that the King of the Jews has been born, and they have come in order to worship him. So who is the king and who gets the worship? We observe three responses to this worship for the king by the wise men, the Jewish religious leaders, and King Herod.

Ironic King of the Jews (vs. 1-3)
Mathew draws our attention to Herod being the king so we need to know what kind of king he was. By the time Jesus is born Herod has been ruling in Judea for around 40 years. He first came to power when Marc Antony (of the Cleopatra fame) made him the tetrach of the region and was then appointed “the King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate. The chronology of Herod’s life reads like the biography of a mob boss with regular hit jobs for rivals mingled with lavish checks to the neighborhood charities. So when Herod, the King of the Jews, hears the report of a new born “King of the Jews,” all his well sharpened survival instincts kick in.

The Magi and the Star (vs. 2)
Who are these men that cause a ruckus for Herod and Jerusalem? Matthew describes them as wise men or magi from the East. Before they became associated with the nativity scene, magi would have been associated with kings and the ruling class. “Magi” was the Babylonian or Persian title given to priests, astrologers physicians, sorcerers who various kings in the ancient world consulted for their skill in interpreting omens, signs, and the stars.

Once the magi arrive in Jerusalem they start asking around, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East…” Perhaps the star is a reference to Balaam’s prophecy in Numbers 24:17, “I see Him, but not now: I behold him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A scepter shall rise out of Israel, and bater the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult.” And so these pagan magi from foreign nations follow the star in order to worship the King of the Jews.

Indifferent Priests and Scribes (vs. 4-6)
Herod the King is trouble and so assembles all the chief priests and scribes together and asks, “Where the Christ was to be born?” Did you get that? Not just the King of the Jews, but the Christ. They respond, “Bethlehem” while pointing to Micah’s prophecy (Micah 5:2). The Christ, the long expected Messiah, the promised deliver will be born about six miles down the road from Jerusalem. The Magi have travelled for hundreds, if not thousands of miles, and Jewish religious leaders can’t be bothered to go less than ten miles to find their Christ.

Do we not find ourselves following the easy option of the scribes and the priests? We too know the Bible answers about the Christmas story. We’ve heard it, read it, sung it hundreds of times. But are we hesitant to worship? Perhaps we think it’s all too inconvenient. Perhaps we fear being reported by the palace’s holiday tolerance division. And so we remain comfortable and safe in our religious shelters.

Magi’s Worship
The magi follow the directions and the miraculous star leads them to Jesus. “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (vs. 10). This the biblical language for jumping up in the air with high fives, fist pumps, sobbing tears and laughter. The magi bow down and worship the Christ child, the greatest gift God could give and has given. And from this worship they become like God and give their treasures. Here Jesus and Magi at the beginning picture what will happen at the end––all nations will come and bow down before Jesus Christ the King.

Christmas Reveals your Worship
Christmas reveals your worship. The question is not whether you will worship, but who will you worship? The options in this story were King Herod or King Jesus. But this new story presents itself as the Kingdom of Jesus continues to increase.

So here are the days we live in––Jesus has been born as the King of the Jews and the Messiah for the World. How ought you to respond? Don’t be like the scribes and chief priests. Don’t be content knowing all the facts about Christmas but indifferent to Jesus Christ. Don’t be like Herod who attempted to destroy King Jesus and his increasing kingdom. Those like Herod still actively seek to make Christmas Christ-less. Be like the wise men and worship. Celebrate your discovery that you have found the King. Bow before him and delight in the gift of the Son. Imitate the Father and offer him the treasures of your life. Splurge. Celebrate Christmas in such a way that makes Christ-less kings worry. Let your battle cry ring of “Merry Christmas.”

 

 

 

PRAYER

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OFFERTORY

 

 

PRAYER
+ Rejoice, All Ye Believers…………….bulletin pg. 9

 

 

– Communion –

 

 

THE BREAD
A Boy Is Born……………………………bulletin pg. 10

 

 

THE WINE

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– Commissioning –

 

+ CLOSING DOXOLOGY
The congregation may raise hands
Doxology……………………………………………225 v. 6

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 peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessings of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon, and remain with you always. Amen.

Details

Date:
December 17, 2017
Time:
9:30 am - 11:30 am
Event Categories:
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Organizer

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

Venue

Nuart Theatre
516 S Main St
Moscow, ID 83843 United States
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