December 8, 2019 - Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
Longing for Peace
Advent is a season of anticipation. As a people we are directed to look forward to the coming of Christ. We look first to the birth of Christ into the world to bring peace (Luke 2:14) and then to the return of Christ to establish his eternal kingdom of peace. Yet while we wait, we must feel the deprivation of what is absent. We must experience a longing for what is to come. For while we have a foretaste of the peace that will come yet we live in a world of insecurity, anxiety, and conflict. As we celebrate this advent season we must do so with longing. A longing to know the peace that is to come at Christ’s return. To come prepared for the sermon take time this week to read and to meditate upon Psalm 122, Exodus 40:34-35, 1 Kings 8:10-11, Psalms 120, 121, Luke 19:41-44, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 2:19-22, and Revelation 21:1-3.
As we gather this second Sunday of Advent, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus”, the Acclamation of Praise “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”, and the Hymn of Response “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People”. 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!
If you’re going to be out of town this Sunday, let me encourage you to listen to the sermon online, through the Rivermont App, (available at the App Store or Google Play), or you can download the REPC podcast, which will be delivered to your mobile device.
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 greatfulness and joy and we look forward to the second coming of Christ with hope and anticipation. Note in the worship service, several elements reflecting this celebration. Along with the purple paraments, evergreen arrangements reflect the everlasting life which Christ brings to his people. This year you will notice that each week more decorations and wreaths will be added to reflect the growing anticipation that we have for the coming of Christ. 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.
Sermon Text: Psalm 122
Sermon Title: Longing for Peace
- Every Christian Must Long for the Place of Peace (vv.1-2)
- Every Christian Must Long for the Blessings of Peace (vv. 3-5)
- Every Christian Must Pray for the Coming of Peace (vv. 6-9)