Getting Ready for Sunday :: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, January 27

holy-innocents-rachel-weeping This past Tuesday marked 40 years since the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in this country. While some would celebrate this day, we grieve it tremendously as the single greatest example of present injustice in our land. It has been estimated that between 55 and 60 million unborn children have been robbed of their lives with the full support of U.S. law. The painting posted here is a Lament of Rachel, prophesied in Jeremiah 31:15, and fulfilled in Matthew 2. This important scene in the Nativity story gets little attention, presumably because it is heartbreaking, and thus not very festive. But when Christ was born and the Magi from the East did not return to King Herod with his location, he was furious. In a violent rage, he sent soldiers throughout Bethlehem to execute every male child 2 years of age and under, hoping to kill the Messiah. These children who were robbed of their lives for Christ’s sake have been historically considered the first martyrs. Particularly around this time of year, I find this story giving words to my grief. May our hearts be filled with compassion for mothers who are persuaded that this path is the only way, and may we pray unceasingly for the day when this path is no longer a legal option, and the lives of infants are valued and protected.

As Providence would have it, our text this week finds a people telling and believing lies about the Lord, specifically that he is impotent to deal with evil. This may be familiar ground for anyone who sees the atrocities committed in this land and cries out, “How long, O Lord?” As we are tempted to despair, the prophet Jeremiah exhorts us to know and believe with utter resolve that the Lord can and will deal with evil finally. This is not the end, and there is no one more indignant than the Author of Life, He who knit us together in the womb.

While worship is always a celebration of the gospel to the Praise of God, an often-time neglected element of our liturgy is Lament. This week, in addition to our other elements, we will sing a responsive Kyrie Eleison (Lord Have Mercy) with the text of Psalm 12. And now, use these elements to help you prepare to meet with God and his people this Lord’s Day. 

THE WORD

Scripture: Jeremiah 5:1-31

Sermon: “Tell the Truth About God”

SONGS

Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise
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Lion of Judah (Robin Mark)
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Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

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Lament: Psalm 12 with Kyrie
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Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah

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Offering: O Lord Thou Judge of All the Earth
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Song of Response: O Lord Most High, With All My Heart (The Water is Wide)
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