FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship….
It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement….
The only opportunity you will ever have to live by faith is in the circumstances you are provided this very day: this house you live in, this family you find yourself in, this job you have been given, the weather conditions that prevail at the ...moment….
– Eugene Peterson
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Philippians 2:1-11
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty - Adoration
Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand - Adoration
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds - Grace
Jesus, the Lord, My Savior Is - Response
Heal Us - Communion
Doxology - Tallis Canon
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos that summarizes in a few minutes one book of the Bible.
This week check out the summary of Exodus 1-18.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Jesus, Cast A Look On Me
Leaning on Thy loving breast,
Where a weary soul can rest
Feeling well the peace of God,
Flowing from His precious blood.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Heavenly Father, your love brings life to dead souls, light to darkened minds, and strength to weak wills. Depending on our own strength we stumble; proclaiming our own goodness we sin; glorying in our own righteousness we corrupt everything we touch; indulging in self-pity we blind ourselves to the needs of those around us. Please forgive us and help us to believe that no wrong we have done, and no good we have failed to do, is too great for you to forgive through the merits of Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.
Words of Grace
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Hebrews 10:19-25
1. The movements of gathered worship (v. 22-25)
2. The motives for gathered worship (v. 19-21)
The Heart of the Message
We are in the midst of a vision series at RMC, specifically looking at our core values. This week we looked at our second core value: Gathered Worship. Why is Gathered Worship the second core value? Because we were never intended to live the life of faith alone. In fact, according to scripture, the spiritual health and vitality of the individual is utterly dependent on the nourishment, love and care of the community. In other words, Gathered Worship is the core response of God’s people to the good news about Jesus (our first core value). Gathered Worship is the practice of God’s people keeping the Gospel central in all we think, do, and say. In Hebrews 10:19-25 the writer teaches us the three basic movements of Gathered Worship along with the necessary motives for worship. The three basic movements are 1) drawing near (v. 22), 2) holding fast (v. 23), and 3) stirring up (v. 24-25). But what if the movements of Gathered Worship are, or feel out of reach for you? Where do we find the resources to practice these movements? The answer is knowing Jesus as your confidence and your great priest (v. 19-21). What is a priest? In the Old Testament, the high priest was the only person who could go behind the curtain in the Temple, which separated the people from God. But Jesus has replaced the curtain with himself. What does that mean? It means that Jesus now makes it possible for you to go where you’ve never been able to go before. He makes us fit and ready for the presence of God. We do not. He has the power to free us from the guilt, power, and shame of sin. He has the power to sustain us in the midst of the brokenness and ravages of sin as we look forward to that great Day.
- What features of this passage stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
- Pick one (or more) of the three movements of Gathered Worship. How would you define it based on the passage? Which one do you most resonate with? Which one are you most challenged by?
- To say, “Jesus is our great priest,” means he makes it possible for you to go where you’ve never been able to go before. What does that truth make you think or feel or desire?
- Where would you like Jesus to take you in your life this week? How can you participate in that work this week?
Confession of Faith: The New City Catechism, 2017
Q. 36. What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?
A. That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son, and that God grants him irrevocably to all who believe.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.