The sermon text for this Lord’s Day contains an unusual story from the life of Jesus. On his way toward Jerusalem, Jesus was rejected by the people in the city of Samaria. James and John instinctively wanted them punished, but Jesus showed them mercy. Even so, the story develops with the idea of judgment lingering in the background. The prospect of righteous judgment gives mercy its full meaning.
The hymns selected for this service focus on the mercy found only in Jesus. Those who trust him escape the just judgment that will come at the appointed time.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Prelude: Holy, Holy, Holy
Call to Worship:
Hymn 3 Holy, Holy, Holy
Note: This famous trinitarian hymn affirms that there is no other God but the He who eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The holiness of the Triune God requires judgment, a terrifying prospect. But he is also “merciful and mighty.”
Hymn Insert Depth of Mercy
Notes: This moving hymn confesses sin in vivid language. Jesus, through his death, “disarms the wrath of God” so that now the Father “receives me with his love.” Praise God that his mercy is deeper than our sin.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 51
Note: David cried to God for mercy following his egregious sins. He found God ready to forgive.
Note: God calls us to himself requiring only repentant faith as we trust the mercy and grace extended to us through his Son, Jesus. So, we sing words that reflect the repentant prayer of David (Psalm 51).
Message: Rejection, Mercy, and Judgment
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn HBC 16 Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending
Notes: The sermon text puts on display the mercy of Jesus but does so with an eye toward just judgment yet to come. One day he will return as judge. This majestic hymn taps our imagination to “see” Christ, who was “once for favored sinners slain,” now coming to reign and to judge. And so we sing, “O come quickly; alleluia! Come, Lord, come.”
Prayer Response: Mark Buhr
Benediction: John Miles