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Preparing For The Lord's Day

preparing

Preparing for the Lord's Day
The Unfaithful City 

This coming Sunday, I have the immense pleasure of inviting a dear friend and colleague, Reverend Sean McCann to preach our morning services. Sean and I go way back to our seminary days at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, where we both pursued our Master of Divinity. It was there that I witnessed firsthand Sean's deep commitment to his faith, his keen intellect in theology, and his unwavering dedication to serving Christ.

Originally from Durham, North Carolina, Sean's journey of faith began in high school, nurtured through the Young Life chapter. He then attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, majoring in history and philosophy. It was during these formative years that he met Lindsey, his wonderful wife, while actively engaging with Campus Outreach. 

After their time in Charlotte, Sean and Lindsey embarked on an inspiring path of international mission work. They joined Mission to the World and served in Costa Rica, followed by two years in Honduras. On returning to the United States, Sean's calling was further affirmed through his ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). He dedicated five years as the Associate Pastor at Sovereign Grace Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Since 2016, Sean has been serving faithfully at Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church in Asheville NC. He and Lindsey are blessed with four daughters - Lucy, Ellie, Anna, and Mary Neal. 

Every summer, during our family's vacation in North Carolina, it has become a tradition to attend services at Covenant Reformed. This not only allows us the pleasure of reconnecting with dear friends but also provides us with the opportunity to be spiritually nourished by the Word of God. Sean is an exceptionally gifted expositor of the Scriptures, and I am confident that the Lord will use his gifts to bless Rivermont as he serves as a guest preacher this coming Sunday, sharing from Isaiah 1:21-31. 

As you prepare for this coming Sunday, begin by imagining downtown Lynchburg fifteen years ago. I have been told by many that downtown was not a desirable area back then. Many of the buildings were abandoned and in ruins; there were few shops or restaurants, and crime posed a real threat to visitors. There were signs of a city that was once prosperous and thriving. However, what was once a city of communal life and prosperity had grown into a hollow shell of its former glory. Yet, over the past several years, life has returned to our downtown. New restaurants pop up regularly; contractors are converting old warehouses into condominiums; the Virginian Hotel has been restored to its former glory; the streets have been rerouted and repaved; and activities abound in Riverfront Park. There is still much to do, but restoration has begun in our city.

In our passage for this morning, Isaiah speaks of the former glory of Jerusalem. A city that once walked in faithfulness to God and in justice toward one another. Nevertheless, over time Jerusalem became a city that had abandoned the Lord and was walking in spiritual adultery and moral corruption. By their unfaithful behavior, they brought God’s judgment upon themselves. Nevertheless, in the darkness, the Lord, by his covenant faithfulness, provides a glimmer of hope. Isaiah promises that what was ruined by man’s sin will one day be restored by God’s grace. And what we will see is that though we are like an unfaithful city, by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we too will be restored. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Isaiah 1:21-31, Jeremiah 5:1, Ezekiel 22:26-30, Micah 6:8, Romans 3:23-24, 2 Peter 3:9, Revelation 21:2-5, and Westminster Confession of Faith 25.5.

As we gather to worship our loving Father this Lord’s Day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “Vast the Immensity, Mirror of Majesty, the Acclamation of Praise “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” and the Hymn of Response “Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy.Let us come to worship this Sunday prepared to hear God’s Word, to receive it in faith, to love and treasure it in our hearts, and to practice it in our lives that we may continue to glorify and enjoy Him! 

Sermon Information 
Text: Isaiah 1:21-31 
Title: The Unfaithful City

Outline:

  1. God Restores the City (vv. 21-26)
  2. God Restores the Citizens (vv. 27-31)

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