During the month of September, the first part of the fall sermon series on spiritual renewal will focus on the gospel (good news) of Jesus as the foundation for our spiritual life. At the 11:15 service, we will sing a new song, “You Alone Can Rescue,” to celebrate the work of Jesus that is the heart and hope of all spiritual renewal. The Christian author J. I. Packer suggests that the core message of the gospel of Jesus Christ can be distilled into a very simple statement: “God saves sinners.” “You Alone Can Rescue” enables us to celebrate that core message in a way that is both simple and profound. “When our hearts were far away,” God in Christ “came down to find us” and “led us out of death.” Therefore, we confess to God with joy, “You alone can rescue. You alone can save…To you alone belongs the highest praise.” Continue reading
During the month of September, the first part of the fall sermon series on spiritual renewal will focus on the gospel of Jesus as the foundation for our spiritual life. At the 8:30 and 9:45 services, we will sing a new song, “Before the Throne of God Above,” to celebrate the person and work of Jesus that is the heart and hope of all spiritual renewal. This old hymn text set to a modern tune enables us to sing of both the past work of Jesus in dying and rising to free us from sin’s guilt and power and also of the present work of the risen Jesus that gives us access to God and the strongest assurance of God’s forgiveness and powerful presence in our lives. Because he is our “great high priest whose name is love,” and because our names are “graven on his hands” and “written on his heart,” we can sing with confidence, “one with himself I cannot die….my life is hid with Christ on high with Christ my Savior and my God.” The Chancel Choir has learned an arrangement of this song in four-part harmony to sing with the congregation, and their musical leadership will add even greater glory to an already beautiful melody. Continue reading
The new song for Easter season in the 11:15 worship service is “Behold Our God.” The sermons during this season will focus on the beauty and supremacy of the risen and reigning Lord Jesus Christ as revealed to us in the Book of Revelation. This song draws our gaze to the risen Lord Jesus so that we might behold him together with awe and delight as we sing.
The new song for Lent at the 11:15 worship service is an arrangement of a portion of Psalm 130. The sermons during Lent this year will focus on the need for spiritual renewal with a special emphasis on the role of humble, repentant prayer in our personal spiritual growth as well as the growth of the church. Psalm 130 is a classic prayer of confession and petition that will enable us to express to the Lord our repentance as well as our longing and confident plea for his gracious healing work in setting us from “from all our sin and sorrow.”
Psalm 130 [From Depths of Woe] (Audio)
Text: Martin Luther 1523; trans. Richard Massie 1854, alt. 1961
Music: Eric Priest 2006
1. From depths of woe I raise to thee the voice of lamentation!
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me and hear my supplication.
If thou iniquities dost mark, our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
O, who shall stand before thee?
2. To wash away the crimson stain, grace – grace alone – availeth!
Our works, alas, are all in vain, in much the best life faileth.
No man can glory in thy sight; all must alike confess thy might,
and live alone by mercy.
3. Though great our sins and sore our woes, his grace much more aboundeth!
His helping love no limit knows; our upmost need it soundeth.
Our Shepherd good and true is he, who will at last his Israel free
from all their sin and sorrow.