In Luke 21:20-24, Jesus continued his description of the global events that would come to pass because Israel rejected him. This text uses language that could apply to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. However, a closer look reveals that Jesus looked beyond the first century to the years immediately preceding his Second Coming. His description of those days tells a heart-wrenching story of human cruelty and divine judgment. But the paragraph concludes with a glimmer of hope. The trouble of those days signals the immanent return of Jesus the King.
The hymns chosen for this worship service take us through the sorrow, conflict, and travail caused by the world’s hostility to Christ and his people. They show us the light of the approaching day of Christ’s glory.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 30:4-5
Hymn 643 For All the Saints
Notes: Christians stand in the lineage of faithful generations who “by faith before the world confessed” Jesus as their Lord. We resolve to fight nobly as they did and anticipate the day when praise to the Triune God will come from “earth’s wide bounds.”
Note: The Scriptures say that the creation “groans,” longing for the day of Christ’s return to set things right. This hymn begins with a prayer that creation’s “groans and travail” will cease. Let earth’s sorrow be replaced by hope because Christ is coming.
Scripture Reading 2 Thessalonians 2:1-16
Note: This Scripture passage describes the events that take place during the time following Christ’s return for his church and his return to rule. This time period is called the Tribulation—a 7-year span of intensified judgment on the earth.
Hymn Insert Day of Judgment! Day of Wonders!
Note: When Christ appears, those who have confessed, love, and served him here will joyfully welcome him and receive the blessings of his kingdom. But those who refused him will find it terrifying to see Christ, their Judge.
Message: “The Distant Triumph Song”
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn 126 Hark! The Glad Sound
Note: Jesus came to his own, but his own did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:11-12). Together, we express the welcome Israel should have given him at the beginning of his Passion Week. Hosannah, Prince of Peace. We welcome him to live within us and we long for the day when we welcome him face-to-face.
Prayer Response: David Dossette
Benediction: John Miles