LORD’S DAY WORSHIP 3-22-2020

Posted by on Mar 22, 2020 in Sermons | No Comments

We may not be able to gather together in the building but can still worship Christ together!!

PROVIDENCE CHURCH      LORD’S DAY WORSHIP      March 22, 2020

 

Welcome: Dear family of Providence, we are living in unprecedented times. The threat of plague and pandemic evokes a range of emotions. Let us live our faith with boldness during this season of uncertainty.

 

Passing of the Peace: Though we are separated by distance our hearts are one in Christ.

The peace of Christ be with you!

(Now: text a fellow parishioner these words—The Peace of Christ be with you!)

Doxology: The words of this well-known hymn speak volumes of our Triune God. Our faith looks up to Thee!

 

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

 

Call to worship:  In times of fear we are reminded that Christ is the Good Shepherd.  Psalm 23

 

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,

He leadeth me beside still waters, He restoreth my soul,

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me

Thou prepareest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies,

My cup overfloweth. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and afterward I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Song of Praise: God invites us to sing praise with songs and hymns, and spiritual songs.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus (629, Trinity Hymnal)

 

What a Friend We Have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear

What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.

 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged: take it to the Lord in prayer!

Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our ev’ry weakness—take it to the Lord in prayer.

 

Confession:

Lord we confess that we have not thought and acted as You would have us in this week. Forgive us for thinking more of ourselves than others, when we, in fear, raced to the store to get stocked up on items, bordering on hoarding, or when we judged those that did so.  We have fretted and worried and feared this past week over this pandemic. Forgive us Lord we pray.

 

Hear the Gospel Assurance:

We are worse (on our best day!) than we think, but more loved in Christ than we could ever hope or imagine. From Isaiah 41:10: we no longer fear, we no longer anxiously look about us, for You are our God, You will save us, surely You will uphold us with your righteous right hand.

 

Respond in Praise:   My Hope is Built on Nothing Less (521, Trinity Hymn)

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name

On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

 

When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

 

His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood;

When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

 

Scripture Reading:       Matthew 6:25-34

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Reflection: Jesus promised us that we would have trials in this life, and in this crazy season of Covid-19, in which we don’t know how long social isolation, economic hardship and fear of overwhelming the health care system will last, we are reminded of the words of Jesus to trust in Him. Trust is counterintuitive. We are wired to self protect, and many of our behaviors are based on looking out for number One.  In these days of uncertainty let us look up and pray. Our faith is built on the foundation of the truth that God is sovereign and He directs our steps. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, the writer of Proverbs tells us. Set your heart on the Lord; keep your eyes on Jesus. “Lean not on your own understanding” is an invitation to see the world from God’s perspective and not just our own. This does not mean we park our common sense or our rational and intellectual faculties. It just means that they are not ultimate. So yeah, wash your hands often, practice social distancing, avoid crowds, do what you can to practice proper hygiene. But ultimately know that God is in control. And yeah, it’s okay to have the larder full of food, but know also that Jesus cares for you, you will not lack for any good thing, and that ultimately He provides for us—not we ourselves.

 

Prayers of the people: Pray for yourself, family and community, nation and the world. Recite this prayer of John Baillie (A Diary of Private Prayer) Day 1 Morning:

Father, into your hands I commit my family and friends, asking you to keep them safe in soul and body, and to be present in their hearts today as the Spirit of power, joy, and rest. Be my guide through all the uncertainty and darkness. Be my guard against all that threatens my well being. Be my strength in times of testing. Cheer my heart with your peace, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen

 

Hymn of Thanksgiving:   Blessed Assurance (Trinity Hymnal 693)

 

Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine, O what a foretaste of glory divine,

Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood,

CHORUS

This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.

This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long!

 

Perfect submission, perfect delight, visions of rapture now burst on my sight;

Angels descending, bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love. CHORUS

 

Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest;

Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with his goodness, lost in his love.  CHORUS 2x

 

Benediction: (The Lord speaks this blessing over you)

 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you

The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you,

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

As He has in Christ Jesus,

And may you live and abide in His peace!