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"Behold, the Dwelling Place of God" - Preparing for Worship, Oct 1 2017

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Morning Worship – “Behold, the Dwelling Place of God”

From a wedding celebration to a strong rebuke and the cleansing of the temple—it’s an abrupt transition. And yet both are important components of Jesus’ ministry. He brings the kingdom, and in the Kingdom of God there is life and joy and feasting forevermore, but the kingdom also comes with wrath and judgement. How should we respond?

Passages for Meditation

  • Jeremiah 17:9-10. God knows the heart, and is therefore able to judge our deeds with accuracy. Should this instill fear in us, or comfort? What should our response be? (Don’t neglect the context of these verses in Jeremiah 17).
  • John 2:13-25. How does Jesus fulfill his promise to raise the temple in three days? How does that purify the temple? How does it perfect worship?
  • Psalm 69:1-13. Matthew references this psalm as an interpretation of Jesus’ actions in John 2. In what ways does the psalmists description fit what Jesus is doing in the sermon passage?

Questions for Consideration

  • We will be celebrating the sacrament this Sunday. We come, as John 2 reminds us, to a sacred time of worship; we can never fully purify our lives, but we ought to come with prepared and repentant hearts. What sins need to be confessed before God and neighbor this week?
  • Jesus has a zeal for God’s house and for worship. How can we purify our worship? What hinders us from zeal? Think about your Sunday habits and tendencies. Where do you see selfishness and apathy?

Hymns for Proclamation

  • 376 – “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty”
  • 246 – “Man of Sorrows! What a Name” Over what does Jesus lament in this hymn?
  • 424 – “Shepherd of Souls, Refresh and Bless”

Evening Worship

And so it ends. We close up our time in Hebrews with an incredible benediction. Actually, all the major themes are here in this short passage. It is worthy of our extended reflection!

  • Psalm 139. This is the perfect psalm for both the morning and the evening! How is God’s intimate knowledge of us a warning to us? How is it a blessing for us?
  • Hymn of the Month: By Grace Alone
  • Sermon Text: Hebrews 13:20-21
  • Final Hymn: 599 – “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead us”

"He first, I following; till my straining sense
Glimpsed the bright burden of the heavenly cars
Through a round hole; by this we climbed, and thence
Came forth, to look once more upon the stars" (Dante)

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