I just received 8 of these today! I bought a copy for each of our deacons to have. What are some options for consuming the content? Individually reading and group follow up? Slowly read it when we meet and discuss? Thoughts?
Daily Archives: April 19, 2021
Order of Worship—4/18/2021
Welcome and Pastoral Prayer
Reading—Genesis 1:26-27, 31; 2:7
(This reading is intended to remind us that God created us and what he created was good. He breathed life into mankind and it is only because of Him that we have life at all.)
Song—Hymn # 1 “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”
(In light of the fact that God is our Creator, He is almighty, He is King of Creation, He is our health and salvation…may we hear be drawn to His Temple and praise him).
Reading—Romans 5:12; John 11:25-26
Prayer of Confession and Hope
(After Reading Romans 5:12 and John 11:25-26)
Almighty God and Creator…You are perfect in holiness and You created all things good. (Ps. 36:5-6) “Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like a great deep.”
Yet, we, your creation, rebelled against You. Indeed, sin entered through one man and death through sin. Death spread to all of us because we have all sinned. But…(Ps. 130:2-5) “Lord, hear [our] voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of [our] supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. [We] wait for the LORD, [our] soul does wait, And in His word do [we] hope.”
But what is our hope? Is it not that You loved us by sending Your Son into the world that whoever believes in him might be saved? Yes, You have loved us in this way. He is the One of Your own choosing and he has won the battle. And even still, the enemy lurks in the shadows and presents himself as light but he is nothing but darkness and death. He threatens to undo us but we know his doom is sure.
May we trust that this truth, Your truth, remains as we just read when…(Jn. 11:25-26) Jesus said…, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” May we let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also because we shall live forever in Christ, who is our life.
In the name of Christ we pray, amen.
Song—Hymn #664 “A Mighty Fortress is our God”
(This song of response in praise for His might in light of the resurrection of Lazarus. The battle over death will be won by the man of God’s own choosing which is Christ Jesus (it is he!) I incorporated the scripture readings and this song into the prayer of confession and hope. This song intends to demonstrate that God is our rock, my fortress, and my deliverer from 2 Sam. 22:2-3. I think it is very fitting and filled with much hope.)
(I chose this text because it seems clear that Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord in the context of the death of King Uzziah. Similarly, the people see the glory of God in the context of the death of Lazarus.)
Song—Hymn # 664 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
(This song is meant for us to think about that God’s ways are different than ours. He uses such things as death, suffering, and pain for good purposes. His ways are mysterious (not in the sense that we cannot know them) but that He works differently than we would. This song also acknowledges the fact that it is painful (frowning providence) and good (smiling face). “The clouds you so much dread, are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head”—wow!)
Message—John 11:38-46 (Jason)
Song—Hymn #448 “Before the Throne of God Above”
(This song is fitting to end with in that we have the same Jesus though resurrected himself as our strong and perfect PLEA as Lazarus had. And if we are in Christ, no tongue can bid me thence depart and my life is hid with Christ on high. In other words, my life is in his hands.)