Lord’s Day Service – November 16, 2014
14.11.16 CTK Service
(General explanation of how we order our services.)
In two weeks we will enter the season of Advent, in which we will focus our attention upon the coming of our Savior and prepare our hearts to celebrate his birth. In this service we begin to see distant shadows of this theme as we reflect upon the necessity to prepare and be watchful for the coming of the Lord.
We begin with a Word of God from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11:
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
We should be encouraged as we consider the coming of Christ, but it should also motivate us to be sober and watchful.
We express a response of praise to the Lord with “Come, We That Love the Lord,” in which we reflect that “we’re marching through Emmanuel’s ground to fairer worlds on high.” We then lift our hearts in a Prayer of Praise and the Gloria Patri.
As we lift our eyes to Heaven in anticipation of the coming of Christ, we recognize our unworthiness to be present at his appearing and our need for pardon from our sins. Thus we plead to God for Mercy through the words of Psalm 123, the hymn “Have Mercy in Your Goodness, Lord“ (Tune), and both Silent and Corporate Prayer of Confession.
We hear Good News of forgiveness and pardon from Colossians 1:11-14:
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
We then respond with praise by singing “When I Can Read My Title Clear,” in which we rejoice in that future when we will be with the Lord in “mansions in the skies.”
The Sermon of the day is from Luke 19:11-27, a text that admonishes us to be watchful and to use what God has given us wisely as we wait for his coming.
We respond by singing “A Charge to Keep I Have“ and by the giving of our Offering.
We conclude the service by being sent out into the world with “As Sons of the Day and Daughters of Light,” descriptive terms for ourselves that were used in the opening text of Scripture. We ask that “our Lord Jesus Christ keep us firm in his grace until at his coming we meet face to face.”