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March 22, 2020

holiness-of-god

We will continue this week to worship together virtually as we move forward in the season of Lent. This week, our focus will be on the holiness of God. You'll also notice that many elements from the Psalms were taken to construct the service. When you feel like you need an outlet to express your deepest longings to God, pray the Psalms!

Prelude – "Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts)"

We feel as if this is a psalm that has become our banner for this season as a church. We want to sing this to open our time of worship together by proclaiming back to God that he is our Refuge and Strength. "Though oceans roar, you are the Lord of all, the one who calms the wind, waves and makes my heart be still. Though the earth gives way, the mountains move into the sea, the nations rage, I know my God is in control. Lord of hosts you're with us, with us in the fire, with us as a shelter, with us in the storm. You will lead us through the fiercest battle, Oh where else would we go, but with the Lord of Hosts."

"Jesus, Lover of My Soul"

We had planned this one many weeks ago to be sung this Sunday in Lent. How poignant it would turn out to be. Note how the imagery of the second verse goes so well with the content of the prelude from Psalm 46 as well as from Psalm 91: "Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me! All my trust in thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing."

"Have Mercy on Me"

This is simply a song of deep repentance for sin in light of God's holiness. It is a combination of Psalm 51 and 130: "I a sinner, you're blameless, Lord. My sins against you can't be ignored. Your law demands it, for you are just. If you would count everything that I've done wrong, who could stand? But there's forgiveness with you God. Have mercy on me, have mercy on me. A broken and a contrite heart you won't turn away. Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, because of your steadfast love."

"How Deep the Father's Love For Us"

Just like last week, it is important to have gospel balance when focusing on important issues such as sin and repentance. This song gives us both. We sing of our sin that nailed Christ to the cross and yet of the Father's love for us that sent him to that cross. "How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that he should give his only Son, to make a wretch his treasure. How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turns his face away, as wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory."

Response – "Holy, Holy, Holy"

We'll respond to the Word preached with the hymn that perfectly frames our theme of holiness for the morning. The third verse has many elements to it that fit our current season, the theme for the morning, and Lent more broadly: "Holy, holy, holy, though the darkness hide thee. Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see, only thou art holy, there is none beside thee perfect in power, love, and purity."