Order of Service, January 1, 2023

Introduction

The Gospel of Luke comes to a climax in chapter 24. The dominant theme in this chapter is that the Scriptures (Old Testament) predicted both the suffering and resurrection of the Christ as the necessary prelude to the promised kingdom. At the conclusion, Luke briefly summarizes the mission Jesus gave to his followers to proclaim this truth throughout the world (Luke 24:46-48) and his promise to empower them for the task by sending the Holy Spirit (24:49). In the final verses, Jesus blesses his followers and ascends to heaven, after which they return to Jerusalem to wait for the Promised One.

The hymns selected for this worship service tell the story of the work of Christ: his saving work, his current session, representing us before the Father, and our desire to fulfill the mission he entrusted to us.

PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

Prelude

Call to Worship:     Philippians 3:20-4:1

Invocation

PROCLAMATION

Hymn 335      And Can It Be?

Note: This powerful hymn presents a full-orbed description of Christ’s saving work. It proceeds through his incarnation, humble death, and ongoing intercession. It rejoices in his gift of regeneration and security. The opening verse introduces such great salvation with an expression of amazed wonder: “And can it be . . . Amazing love!”

Worship through Giving

Hymn 174       Arise, My Soul, Arise

Note: In this hymn, we revel in the security that Christ’s continuing work accomplishes for all who trust him. Because he represents us before the Father, the barrier that separated us from the presence of God has been removed. Thus, we approach God with confidence grounded in Christ.

Scripture Reading     Acts 1:1-11

Note: Luke’s account of the final days of Jesus’ first advent are brief. In his sequel, Luke expands Jesus’ commission to proclaim the gospel, the story of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power, and the details of Jesus’ ascension. Combined, these serve as the introduction of the church’s worldwide mission as described in Acts.

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn 1     O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing!

Note: This hymn has at its heart the believer’s commitment to the mission. Our all-encompassing desire is to proclaim “thro’ all the earth abroad the honors of [His] name.” We call all people to the cross because “His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.” (Please note that this version is sung to the tune LYNGHAM)

Message: The Blessing the Brings Worship, Joy, and Praise
Luke 24:50-53
Pastor Steven Thomas

RESPONSE

Hymn Insert (1-4)      A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

Note: This hymn, sung to a very familiar tune, rehearses the details of the ascension of Christ. It records the promise made by angels that one day Christ will return in great majesty. This is our confident hope.

Choir      I Watched My Savior
WORDS: Bryan Chapell
MUSIC: Traditional English Melody
arr. by Craig Courtney

Prayer Response:      John Miles

Benediction:      John Miles

Lyrics to A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing
1 A hymn of glory let us sing!
New songs throughout the world shall ring:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,
ascends unto the throne of God.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

2 The holy apostolic band
upon the Mount of Olives stand,
Alleluia, alleluia!
and with his followers they see
their Lord ascend in majesty.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

3 To them the shining angels cry,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?”
Alleluia, alleluia!
“This is the Savior,” thus they say.
“This is his glorious triumph day.”
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

4 “You see him now, ascending high
up to the portals of the sky.”
Alleluia, alleluia!
“Hereafter Jesus you shall see
returning in great majesty.”
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!