Getting Ready for Sunday Aug. 2nd at The Crossing

Prepare

Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. That’s true not just for the band and the pastor and tech crew but for all of us. When you prepare ahead of time, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind and heart. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get yourself ready. You can see some of the rationale here.

Charles Anderson continues our sermon series, “Life According to the Psalms,” with a sermon entitled “Hello Darkness, My Old . . .” from Psalm 88. The Scripture reads,

1 Lord, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.

3 I am overwhelmed with troubles
and my life draws near to death.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
5 I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.

6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily on me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
8 You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
9 my eyes are dim with grief.

I call to you, Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

13 But I cry to you for help, Lord;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, Lord, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.

This chapter is one of the bleakest in the Bible. Unlike other lament psalms (e.g., Ps 13 which John Tinnin preached on a few weeks ago), Ps 88 offers no hope at the end. There is no consolation or affirmation of God’s kindness and deliverance. What is a chapter like this doing in the Bible? Can we pray this? Should we pray this? Join us this Sunday to see how this psalm too speaks to our lives and tells us something about important about how we’re to relate to God and live.

We will take communion together this Sunday. God gives us communion to feed our faith, to help us trust in Christ’s death on our behalf. That means we have to reflect on why Christ died for us. We have to look again at ourselves and recognize our sin and ask God for forgiveness. A great way to get ready for communion, therefore, is to take some time this weekend to ask God to show you if there’s any sin in your life that you’re not seeing. Ask him for forgiveness. And if there are things you need to put right, in keeping with repentance, take the time this weekend to do it before Sunday morning (e.g., Matt 5:23–24).

Here’s our song list for this Sunday (with links to lyrics and music)

The Christ, our Light [lyrics; listen] – Martin Reardon

Holy, Holy, Holy (Lord God, Almighty) [lyrics; listen] – words by Reginald Heber; music by John Dykes

He Holds All Things [lyrics and listen] – David A. Cover, Patrick Miller, Christine Cover, Andrew Camp, Andrew Luley, and Scott Johnson

All Must be Well [lyrics; listen] – words by Mary Bowley-Peters; music by Matthew S. Smith

The Morning Star [lyrics and listen] – words by Isaac Watts; additional lyrics David A. Cover; music by Christine Cover, Greg Wiele, and Latifah Phillips

Grace Alone [lyrics; listen] – Dustin Kensrue

See you on Sunday!

Leave a Reply