A NOTE FROM PASTOR MARK:
We recognize that family worship has its unique challenges depending on your family’s size and stage of life. Therefore, we have prepared a complete worship service (below) for our entire church family because we are convinced that Sunday is so much more than a sermon. And this is one way for us to be worshiping the same way even though we are apart.
We suggest that you test the worship and sermon links before you gather your family. After you have done this, we encourage the leader of the house to read the prayers and appoint other readers as necessary to encourage greatest participation.
After the sermon is over, we encourage you to discuss the sermon and ways to live out its application.
From protest to praise
TEXT: HABAKKUK 3:1-19
ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICE (12.6.2020)
CALL TO WORSHIP:
This morning we gather to worship during the advent season. Let’s begin by celebrating our Lord from Psalm 66….
“Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!” Psalms 66:1–2
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
Last week we celebrated the fact that Christ established his ministry in a very dark area. We also saw that his coming marked the beginning of his reign on the earth. Today we celebrate that Christ as king brought light into the world and established a kingdom of light!
700 years before Jesus arrived, Isaiah declared, “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you…..For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 59:20; 60:1–3)
This light that Isaiah foretold is clearly identified as Jesus by the apostle John. In John chapter 1, verse 4 we read, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4–5)
Notice that John says that Jesus’ light will not be overcome by the darkness! Jesus’ light came into the world and conquered darkness! In other words, Jesus’ kingdom is full of light that chases out the darkness!
Paul confirms this in Colossians 1, verse 12….he writes: “[The Father] has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:11–14)
Christ’s kingdom is not a place where the darkness of evil is covered up or dismissed. Rather Christ’s light shines into the darkest places of our hearts, exposing sin and pointing us to the place where Christ defeated sin and death…the cross and the empty tomb! Now Christ offers the welcome mat of forgiveness to all who leave their paths of darkness and come into his marvelous light!
The Psalmist here, in the midst of affliction, in the midst of pain, in the midst of wondering where God is at and what he doing, turn
“Light Of The World”
Even as we celebrate the light’s entrance into our world, we are not wrong to acknowledge and lament the continued presence of darkness and affliction.
God hasn’t delivered us yet from every form of evil. Satan still attacks. Sins still hurts us and others. Sickness and disease still ravage.
For those reasons it is right to call out to God in lament, especially when the darkness makes us feel like God has abandoned us. Let’s read together the despairing words of Jeremiah followed his declaration of confidence in the Lord…..
Lamentations 3:16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is;
18 so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the LORD.”
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
“Before The Throne of God Above”
Lord again we praise you that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ” (Romans 8:1). You, Christ, are our intercessor, standing between us and God. Your sacrificial death for our sin and your perfect life of obedience have opened up the way for us to be right with you. Therefore “by grace we have been saved through faith. And this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
We remind ourselves that being made right with God through Christ is the most important reality in our life, not our health, not our bank accounts, not our relationships, not our political agendas. You Christ are our treasure!
As your word comes, would you now set us free from reliance on anything but you? Cause our hearts to let go of false hopes powered by deceitful desires. Bind us to yourself and cause us to treasure Christ more!
READ SERMON TEXT:
Pastor Mark Kernan
Title: From Protest to Praise
Main Idea: God’s promises of preserving grace and future deliverance are firmly anchored in his record of faithfulness past.