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02.10.2019

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: 

“God is great; God is good; let us thank him for our food.” Maybe you grew up reciting this simple prayer before a meal. It’s easy to remember, but it’s difficult to comprehend. What does it mean that God is great and how does that differ from his goodness? Join us on Sunday as we contemplate why it’s necessary to worship a great God.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

God shows himself to be the great and true God in the fact that He can and will let His grace bear this cost, that He is capable and willing and ready for this condescension, this act of extravagance, this far journey. What marks out God above all false gods is that they are not capable and ready for this. In their otherworldliness and supernaturalness and otherness, etc., the gods are a reflection of the human pride which will not unbend, which will not stoop to that which is beneath it. God is not proud. In His high majesty he is humble. It is in this high humility that He speaks and acts as the God who reconciles the world to Himself.

Karl Barth

 

Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.

A.W. Tozer

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Ephesians 3.14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Isaiah 40:9-31

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,
or what man shows him his counsel?
14 Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18 To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
19 An idol! A craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
20 He who is too impoverished for an offering
chooses wood that will not rot;
he seeks out a skillful craftsman
to set up an idol that will not move.

21 Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23 who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25 To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
and because he is strong in power,
not one is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Most holy and merciful Father: we confess in your presence the sinfulness of our nature, and our shortcomings and offences against you. You alone know how often we have sinned–in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, and forgetting your love.  

Silent Confession

 

Have mercy on us, O Lord

Forgive our sins through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

1. When we see the risen Savior with the bread that he has blessed,
He becomes the living Servant, heav’nly food for holy rest.
Stay with us, for day is fading, feast with us, O secret King,
Show to us how Scripture’s story speaks of you in everything.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power.

2. Jesus, show yourself the Author and Perfecter of our faith,
In your living and your dying, consummation of God’s grace.
From creation to the exile, incarnation to the grave,
Resurrection to ascension; come, O Jesus, come to save.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power.

Open our eyes, shine on our sight,
O risen Lord, reigning on high;
Give us your life, bread from the skies;
Lift up our hearts, open our eyes.

3. You’re the Word that spoke creation, you’re the end of Moses’ Law,
You’re the goal of Abram’s blessing, you’re the King whom David saw;
You’re the Day the prophets longed for, you’re the covenant of grace,
You’re the hero of the Scriptures, now we see you face to face.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power. (Chorus)

4. Jesus, show yourself the Prophet, Jesus, show yourself the King,
Jesus, show yourself the Priest, all in all, and everything.

from Our Strivings Cease, released November 18, 2018
Words & Music: Bruce Benedict and Zac Hicks, 2012, 2018
(c)2012 Cardiphonia | Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)