September 24, 2023 - Preparing for the Lord's DaySeptember 24, 2023 Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
Jesus is Better
In the fall as the weather cools, my wife Elke and I enjoy sitting on our back patio with opportunities to talk, read, work, and rest. My rest often includes gazing into the trees and observing color and motion. Sometimes, the trees stand in silence with little motion apart from the occasional squirrel moving from limb to limb. At other times, the trees seem to dance as the wind creates motion and the sound of rustling branches and leaves. We sometimes witness the gentle rain of falling leaves and chuckle at the forthcoming work. Most often, I come to a place of thanksgiving for God for the beauty of His creation and the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ His Son, our God and Savior.
Sitting on the back patio and reading Hebrews 9:15-22, our passage for Sunday worship, there is both humility and wonder in accepting that Jesus Christ has secured our salvation through the shedding of His blood. In the stillness of humility, we accept that there is power in the blood and realize the profound sacrifice of our God and Savior in providing us with redemption. No wonder the writer of Hebrews proclaims, that “He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:15 ESV).
In our verses for this Sunday, the writer affirms that Jesus Christ is “The Only Mediator between God and Man,” bridging the infinite separation between Holy God and His sinful people. As the sinless man Christ Jesus, He alone brings His people into a restored relationship with our heavenly Father. Through His death and the shedding of His blood, our Mediator redeems us from our bondage to sin with joyful freedom to serve Him. Securing our eternal inheritance, my stillness in humble reflection moves to the wonder of praise for all that Jesus has done for us!
To come prepared for the sermon, take time to read and meditate upon Hebrews 9:15-22. Look for the clear assertion in verse 15 that Christ is our Mediator, which is followed by the illustrations pointing to Christ’s death and the shedding of His blood. Beyond Hebrews 9:15-22, please ponder Exodus 24:1-8, Jeremiah 31:31-34, and 1 Peter 1:3-9. Two brief chapters in the Westminster Confession of Faith also give understanding: “God’s Covenant with Man” (Chapter 7) and “Christ the Mediator” (Chapter 8). You may read The Westminster Confession of Faith on the website of the EPC by clicking here.
As we gather to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this Lord’s Day, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “We Come, O Christ, to You,” the Acclamation of Praise “How Dee the Father’s Love,” and the Hymn of Response “Let us Love and Sing and Wonder.” 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!