image :: Enclosed Field With Rising Sun, Vincent van Gogh (1889, Dutch)
Preparation for Worship on May 7 2017 :: New Creation
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” (W.B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”)
“When St. Paul says that God has given him the ministry of reconciliation, he means that he is a preacher of this peace. He ministers reconciliation to the world….It is not the main part of his vocation to tell men to make their peace with God, but to tell them that God has made peace with the world. At bottom, the Gospel is not good advice, but good news. All the good advice it gives is summed up in this – Receive the good news…When Christ’s work was done, the reconciliation of the world was accomplished. When men were called to receive it, they were called to a relation to God, not in which they would no more be against Him – though that is included – but in which they would no more have Him against them. There would be no condemnation thenceforth to those who were in Christ Jesus” (James Denney)
Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs for May 7 include ::
:: 10,000 Reasons (Redman & Myrin, 2011) CHART :: Give Me Jesus (African-American Spiritual) CHART :: None Other Lamb (Christina Rossetti, b.1830) CHART :: Jesus, Lover of My Soul (Charles Wesley, 1740) CHART :: Doxology (Thomas Ken, 1709) CHART :: How Great Is Our God (Tomlin, Reeves & Cash, 2004) CHART // AUDIO
Call to Worship :: Psalm 103:1-5, 22
Bless the Lord, O my soul; all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Confession of Sin :: Psalm 32:1-5,10
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him.
Words of Encouragement :: II Corinthians 5:21
For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Old Testament Reading :: Isaiah 43:1,4,18-19
But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. Because you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Sermon :: II Corinthians 5:16-21
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.