Category Archives: Uncategorized

Order of Service 04/11/21

Call to Worship    Revelation 20:7-10

After this, whoever is leading worship (regularly the father or grandfather of the family) should pray for himself and his family as they join together to worship the Lord, that their attention would be captivated by the glory of God, and that they would rejoice together in the Lord.

The Apostle’s Creed     recite together the essential tenets of our faith

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn     “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSqlaMYexcQ

Confession of Sin

As is our custom, begin with a few moments of silent, personal confession, and then join together in our corporate confession:

Almighty, everlasting God and Father, we acknowledge and confess that we indeed were conceived and born in sin and, therefore, inclined to all evil and slow to all good; that we unceasingly transgress Your holy commandments, and corrupt ourselves more and more. But we are sorry for this and desire Your grace and help. Therefore, have mercy upon us, most gracious and merciful God and Father, through Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant to us and increase in us Your Holy Spirit, so that we may recognize our sin and unrighteousness from the depth of our heart, feel true contrition and grief for them, die to them completely, and please You wholly in a new, godly life. Amen.

At the end of this confession it is appropriate for the person leading to read 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The Gloria Patri     either spoken or sung

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Family or Personal Prayer

Please spend this time in prayer for one another, for the church; for our community, our county, our state, our nation, our world; pray for our leaders; pray for all those who are being impacted by this crisis, and for all those who have contracted the virus or have lost someone who has; pray through the prayer requests that are shared via our OneCall system; pray freely in the Spirit and lay your anxieties and concerns at the feet of our gracious Lord in full confidence that you are heard through Jesus Christ our Mediator.

The Lord’s Prayer     to be prayed together

Scripture    1 Samuel 17:1-11

Sermon    https://soundcloud.com/user-374933433/1-samuel-171-11

Hymn    “Hallelujah, What a Savior!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glXd2LBKY7o

Closing Prayer

It is appropriate at this point for the father to bless his family, the husband to bless his wife, and all to bless each other. Afterward, as it is the Lord’s Day, I recommend that you spend the rest of the day in the Word, in prayer, worship, and rest. God bless you all!

Upcoming Project: Ad Fontes! (To the Sources!)

I have recently decided that I would like to start a project that will likely take me several years. In fact, I’ve been purchasing what I’ll need for said project for the past few months. I’m now very close to being ready to start, and I would like to share my mad idea with you, as you’ll be seeing quite a bit of it on my website in the future.

I’ve been a reader ever since I was a wee Lucas. My reading has been omnivorous; I love novels, savor poetry, delight over Shakespeare’s works (as you’ve likely noticed), learn from history, salivate over syllogisms, wonder at science and mathematics… I even read shaving cream labels and toothpaste tubes. But, of all the reading I do, nothing takes up more of my time – indeed, it is my life’s work – than studying the Scriptures and the works of the great commentators and theologians throughout Christian history.

Of course, as a Pastor and Teaching Elder in God’s church, much of my work is precisely that – pastoring and teaching, pastoring by teaching, and teaching by pastoring, as though the two could ever really be separate. My writing work is predominantly taken up in sermons and lessons; but, I’ve also been posting a lot of meditations, poetry, and the like on here.

The project, which would be additional to my regular sermons, studies, and writings on Scripture, is to study in more detail the great theological works of Christianity, beginning with the Apostolic Fathers (if you don’t know who they are, stay tuned!) and ending somewhere around Kuyper and Bavinck. My hope is to begin regularly sharing with you the insights I find there in short posts that will be accessible to a modern reader. That being said, these posts won’t be summaries, or merely sharing quotes from the works I’m reading. They’ll be more like my own personal meditations – gleanings, if you will – from portions of what I’m studying, along with applications.

Obviously, you can see why this project will take years. I see it not only as a way to introduce modern Christians to some of the major influential personages in our history, but also as a means of continuing my own development as a Pastor-Theologian. I’ve read a great deal of the Church Fathers, Medieval theologians, Reformers, Puritans, etc.; but the only library greater than the one I have read is the one I haven’t.

It’s important also to state that while I will be also reading some connected material, especially in helping me understand historical contexts, etc., my main focus will be on the works themselves. The reason for this is something akin to what C.S. Lewis stated so well in his introduction to On the Incarnation by Athanasius:

“There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Thus I have found as a tutor in English Literature that if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of doing is to take a translation of Plato off the library shelf and read the Symposium. He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about ‘isms’ and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said.

The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility. The student is half afraid to meet one of the great philosophers face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if he only knew, the great man, just because of his greatness, is much more intelligible than his modern commentator.

The simplest student will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what Plato said; but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.

In other words, I won’t just be reading books about Basil of Caesarea, etc.; no, I’ll be reading the works written by Basil of Caesarea, Tertullian, Augustine, Origen, Calvin, etc. And I hope that my posts about these great theologians will also inspire you to read works by them.

Clearly, I won’t be able to read every theologian, nor will I be able to read everything written by the theologians I do read. But, my hope is to read at least their major works (along with some of the minor ones). Also, many of the works I’ll be reading, I’ll actually be re-reading. But that’s a good thing, as I’ve learned recently in my re-reading of Augustine’s Confessions; I think I can comprehend that work better now than when I first read it many moons ago – and what a rich feast it has been to my soul!

I’m excited about beginning; like I said, I’m almost there. I have a few books to finish before I begin my project. I’m excited about studying these works, yes; but I’m also very excited about opening up the treasure box of our Christian heritage and sharing it with others.

As always, I desire your prayers that the LORD will give me strength and wisdom and a deeper love for Him and for His people. Pray also that this project would truly be helpful – for me, for you, and for anyone else who reads my future posts!

Lions of Your Blood

Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth

Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,

As did the former lions of your blood.

Shakespeare, Henry V, Act I, Scene II

All my fathers dwell within me,

Waiting, waiting to be woken.

They are not dead, will never die,

But, with their waking, strength renew,

Finding that, by time unbroken,

Their words once spoke still speak afresh.

All their faithful watches keeping,

A cloud of witnesses who see,

Should never find their scions sleeping,

But walking in the ancient paths,

The Way to New Jerusalem,

And warring in the cosmic fray,

As they once did, our fathers bold.

Shall I not now contend as they

Whose journey’s end was fought through fire?

And does my Captain’s call grow hushed?

It yet resounds and sounds my soul,

Impassions me to take the field!

And as the lions of my blood –

My brothers past, my fathers still –

I will the battle gladly join!