October 25, 2020 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
The dawn of the sixteenth century in Western Europe brought with it much anxiety about the future. The political, cultural, and religious landscape were in a period of transition unlike anything the region had experienced in centuries. The status quo of the Medieval period was coming to an end. What would replace it? It was in the midst of this time of upheaval that the Protestant Reformation was birthed. The anxiety of the age fueled the flames of this movement which offered great comfort and assurance to God’s people. For the official teaching of the Roman Catholic church left people without comfort but only a vague hope that through acts of penance they had assuaged the anger of God against their sins. Reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, however, discovered that the Word of God did not lead people to such uncertainty concerning their relationship with God. Rather, the promise of the gospel was full forgiveness, acceptance, and love through the life and death of Christ Jesus alone.
Similarly, we live in an age of rapid change and anxiety. There is a lack of identity and a surplus of chaos. Just as the Reformers turned to the Word of God for direction and support so too must we. As we turn our attention to Psalm 46 this Sunday we will see that all of God’s people can be comforted by God’s presence in the midst of a dangerous world because of Christ’s saving power. It is no wonder that this Psalm was the inspiration for Martin Luther’s famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. To come prepared for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Psalm 46, Exodus 14:13, Isaiah 41:8-13; 43:1-2, Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 2:15 and this article: Where is Your Refuge?
As we gather to bring glory to God alone on this Reformation Sunday, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Processional Hymn “All Creatures of Our God and King”, the Acclamation of Praise “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”, and the Hymn of Response “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” 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!
A Liturgical Note:
As you will notice this Sunday the paraments have changed from green to red, indicating our celebration of Reformation Sunday. The Reformation was sparked when Martin Luther, a German Monk, nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenburg on October 31, 1517. This document outlined his objections to the Roman Catholic practice of selling indulgences. However, this one act of protest led to a broad movement to reform the Church according to God’s Word alone. As Presbyterians we trace our theological heritage to the great themes of the Reformation: Salvation by Grace Alone; Through Faith Alone; By Christ Alone; According to the Word of God Alone; All to the Glory of God Alone.
Text: Psalm 46
Title: Fearless in a Fearful World
- We can be Fearless because God is our Refuge (vv. 1-3)
- We can be Fearless because God is our Help (vv. 4-7)
- We can be Fearless because God is our Peace (vv. 8-11)