March 29, 2020
We'll continue worshiping virtually this week as we move through Lent with a look at Sin.
Prelude – "Psalm 46"
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."
"What Wondrous Love Is This"
We begin with singing about the truth of Christ bearing our sins in his body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24): "What wondrous love is this, O my soul! what wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul!"
"Be Thou My Vision"
This song is also deeply personal and introspective but ends in a hopeful way as we begin to shift the gaze of our hearts: "Riches I heed not nor man's empty praise, thou my inheritance now and always, thou and thou only first in my heart, High King of heaven, my treasure, thou art. High King of heaven my victory won, may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun! Heart of my own heart whatever befall, still be my vision O Ruler of all."
"Speak, O Lord"
This song serves two functions. The first is that it sings of our theme for the morning. The Holy Spirit is the great illuminator of our sin. He gives us an awareness of it and draws us to repentance. God also gives us faith in this process to see Christ as our perfect Savior. And he does this through the truth of his Holy Word as we read it and hear it preached to us. The second reason for singing the song is that it functions as a great prayer of illumination – may the Spirit take the preaching of the Word and "plant it deep within us." "Speak, O Lord as we come to you to receive the food of your Holy Word. Take your Truth, plant it deep in us; shape and fashion us in your likeness; that the light of Christ might be seen today in our acts of love and our deeds of faith. Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us all your purposes for your glory."
Response – "It Is Well With My Soul"
We'll be sent back into the world (or our homes!) with the opportunity to proclaim that even as we have been made keenly aware of our fallenness in sin, we can say, it is well with my soul! "My sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part, but the whole is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! It is well, with my soul. It is well, it is well, with my soul!"