In the sermon text for this Lord’s Day (Luke 22:54-62), Luke shifts the focus of the story from Jesus to Peter. The one disciple who declared his undying allegiance to Jesus and who was ready to defend Jesus with his life now cowers in fear while Jesus is interrogated and sorely abused. As Jesus foretold, Peter denied his Master three times before the night was over. But Jesus was not through with Peter; he had work for the apostle to do after he repented.
The hymns in this service recognize that we are prone to failure of courage. They call us to repentance and express wonder at the gracious mercy Jesus extends to us even after failure.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 61:1-5
Hymn 243 Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Note: Our opening hymn calls upon the Lord, the source of every blessing, to enable us to sing of his grace. This grace is given to those who are “prone to wander.” We declare that we will persevere only with the aid of the crucified Jesus.
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response Psalm 117b
Scripture Reading Acts 2:22-36
Note: Jesus foretold Peter’s failure, that he would deny his Lord. He also told him predicted Peter’s repentance and told him that he has work for him to do. Fifty days after Jesus’ prophetic word and Peter’s shameful denial, Peter stood and proclaimed this bold message.
Hymn Insert Depth of Mercy
Notes: This moving hymn confesses sin in vivid language and communicates a sense of shame. It humbly expresses amazement at the ongoing availability of God’s mercy. 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 never depleted by our sin.
Hymn 247 Amazing Grace
Note: Jesus’ willingness to forgive and restore us after failure—even failure as egregious as Peter’s denial—is grace beyond imagination. John Newton never got over such grace and expressed it in this best-known of all hymns.
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat
Note: John Newton’s heartfelt hymn is a prayer of confession set to a tune by our friend, pastor Paul Hamilton. The lyrics describe the victory that we have over Satan, “the accuser,” because of the death of Jesus that secured our forgiveness.
Prayer Response Dr. Robert Teachout
Benediction John Miles