December 6, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
In the sermon for this week, I make an important distinction between waiting for peace and waiting with peace. The difference between these two realities is expressed merely by a difference of preposition yet is experienced by a difference of magnitude. To wait for peace means that peace lies somewhere in the future. It is far off. It may eventually come but your current experience in life is one of chaos and anxiety. And who could blame you for feeling this way? Life is hard and uncertain. It would be a good thing to look forward to a day when there will be peace; the day when Christ returns. Yet for a Christian, there is more than just waiting for peace to come at Christ’s return. The word of God teaches us that we may also wait with peace. Peace can be the present experience and reality of those who are in Christ. In our Psalm for this Sunday great promises are made to those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, take encourage us to not merely wait for peace but to wait with peace. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Psalm 91, 2 Samuel 7:16, Matthew 4:5-7, Luke 21:16-18, John 11:25-26, and Romans 8:37-39.
This week we will celebrate that sacrament of the Lord’s Supper during our worship service. As we receive the elements of bread and wine we look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. For as we physically receive the signs of the Lord’s body and blood, spiritually we feed upon him and all his benefits. Our hymns for this week include “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” “Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” and “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People.” We look forward to the Carillon Handbells performing in the 8:00 and 11:00 services. During the Offertory Anthem, the Carillon Handbells will perform in the 8:00 service and the Praise Ringers will perform in the 11:00 service.
Text: Psalm 91
Title: Waiting with Peace
- Every Christian Must Trust in Christ’s Faithfulness (vv. 1-2)
- Every Christian Must Trust in Christ’s Victory (vv. 3-13)
- Every Christian Must Trust in Christ’s Reward (vv. 14-16)
A Liturgical Note:
Last week began the season of Advent in which we celebrate the coming of Christ. We look back to the first coming of Christ with gratefulness and joy and we look forward to the second coming of Christ with hope and anticipation. Note in the worship service the several elements reflecting this celebration. Along with the purple paraments are evergreen arrangements that reflect the everlasting life which Christ brings to his people. On Christmas Eve night the paraments will change to white and the sanctuary will be fully decorated to welcome the Christ Child, Immanuel, God with Us.
Each week we will also include the lighting of the Advent wreath candles. This moment includes a Scripture reading and a prayer that reflects the four themes of Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. On Christmas Eve night the final candle will be lit, the center white candle. This signals the birth of Christ, the light of the world.
We hope that each of you will take time to reflect upon the beauty of the season displayed in the floral arrangements, the paraments, the liturgy, and the special music. May our hearts long for Christ and the beauty of His coming.