Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, January 17

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, January 17

The term “semantic satiation” refers to the process in which a word or phrase temporarily loses its meaning after numerous repetition.  There is an unfortunate tendency for this to happen within the Christian life. Because of sin, our hearts can harden to the beauty of often used phrases and words such as the “love of God” or “sinfulness of man.”

This Sunday, we continue our series in the Gospel of Luke as we look together at book’s third chapter.  Through this passage, we will hear about repentance, a crucial element of our faith that can, unfortunately, become the victim of semantic satiation.  We see in this chapter that Jesus comes to judge the sin that is present in all of humanity and that salvation only comes through repentance and faith. How do we repent? What does that look like?  We will see that repentance is not easy and can be very painful as it cuts to the core of our being.  However, we will also see that repentance brings closer communion with Christ, who is faithful to conform us to his likeness.  

In “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the third book in C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” series, there is a character named Eustace Scrubb.  He is a manipulative and selfish child that is turned into a dragon after he hoards treasure that he finds on an island where the characters are shipwrecked. Eustace tries to change himself back into a boy but cannot. It is only Aslan the Lion that is able to turn Eustace back into a boy.  Forgive the long passage, but Lewis writes beautifully as he has Eustace describe this process: 

“I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty near desperate now.  So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart.  And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt.  The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.  You know–if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place, it hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.  …

Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off–just as I thought I’d done it myself the previous three times, only they hadn’t hurt–and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobby-looking than the others had been.  And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch, and smaller than I had been.  Then he caught hold of me–I didn’t like that very much, for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on–and threw me into the water.  It smarted like anything but only for a minute.  After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm.  And then I saw why.  I’d turned into a boy again.”

This Sunday, we have the privilege of sharing in the Lord’s Supper, one of the greatest representations of repentance and forgiveness within Christianity. Let us ask God to show us our sin so that we may repent and know the love, faithfulness, and mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Let us also ask that Christ soften our hearts to the beauty of his Gospel and not let it become a rote element of our life!

THE WORD

Scripture: Luke 3:1-3:37
Sermon: Come Repenting

SONGS

Come Ye Sinners (arr. Indelible Grace)
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Depth of Mercy (arr. Red Mountain Music)
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Kindness (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Song of Preparation: Every Ditch, Every Valley (arr. Ordinary Time)
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Song for the Supper: Communion Hymn (arr. Hiram Ring)
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Song of Response: God Be Merciful to Me  (arr. Indelible Grace)
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THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

“Now, at this time I want you to think of Jesus, not as a Prince, but as an apple tree; and when this is done, I pray you to sit down under His shadow. It is not much to do. Any child, when it is hot, can sit down in a shadow. I want you next to feed on Jesus: any simpleton can eat apples when they are ripe upon the tree. Come and take Christ, then. You who never came before, come now. Come and welcome. You who have come often, and have entered into the palace, and are reclining at the banqueting table, you lords and peers of Christianity, come to the common wood and to the common apple tree where poor saints are shaded and fed. You had better come under the apple tree, like poor sinners such as I am, and be once more shaded with boughs and comforted with apples, for else you may faint beneath the palace glories. The best of saints are never better than when they eat their first fare, and are comforted with the apples which were their first gospel feast. The Lord Himself bring forth His own sweet fruit to you! Amen. ”

Charles Spurgeon

 

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