December 5th, 2021- Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
Thy Kingdom Come
This time of year is truly the season for parties and gatherings. As April and I began to fill-out our monthly calendar the number of Christmas events was overwhelming. We have tree-lightings, music at the church, music for the schools. We have classroom parties. We have team parties. We have office parties. We have family get togethers. We have the pastors’ party. We have more parties than I can keep track of without a whiteboard calendar. Tis’ the season of parties.
In our passage for this Sunday Jesus teaches us that the Kingdom of God is like a party. It is a party to which all are invited but, strange enough, not all will come. As we celebrate this Christmas season we must be reminded that every gathering and celebration is meant to point us to the one great party to which we are invited in Christ Jesus. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Matthew 22:1-14, Isaiah 55:1-2, John 1:11, Revelation 19:7-9, and Westminster Confession of Faith 15.4.
This week we will celebrate the 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.”
Text: Matthew 22:1-14
Title: The Feast of the Kingdom
- The Kingdom is like a Feast
- All Are Invited to the Feast
- Few Will Make it to the Feast
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.