Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, October 6

Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, October 6

A common trope in modern cinema is one in which a socially inept high-schooler is taken under the wing of a benevolent “cool kid” who transforms the other into the prom queen/star quarterback/class president/etc. This formula also usually involves some sort of existential crisis in which the newly-minted cool kid has to choose between his or her old nerdy friends and his or her new popular friends. 

The reason this cliched trope continues to turn up in movies is because the root of its plot is ubiquitous – we all struggle to know who we “really are” and, as a result, are constantly defining and redefining ourselves in search of an identity that seems to stick.  Added to this existential angst are intrusive forces that seek to tell us who we should be.  Friends, family, and popular culture are usually all ready to offer their suggestions, solicited or not.  As much as we like to think that we can be an independent minded person capable of blazing our own path to self-realization, the reality is that it is impossible to not escape the expectations and desires of others.  In many senses, our “true identities” are enslaved to the influence of those outside of ourself, which can have detrimental results.

Within the previously mentioned movies, the resolution of the protagonist’s existential angst (“Am I the old me or the new me?”) is usually solved through the character learning how to “be true to themself.”  This may work within the created worlds of cinema, but this is not the resolution that the Bible presents.  In stark contradiction, it says “Change! You are not who you were created to be!”  This change, however, is not found in a new diet or new career. The change of the Bible is found in the man Jesus Christ, our “master who bought us.”  Only in subjection to Him, our creator, and the commandments of His word do we find who we truly are.  And the good news of the Scripture is that he is so committed to changing us, a rebellious and fickle people, that he died so that we may truly live. 

THE WORD

Scripture: 2 Peter 2:1-3
Sermon: “Cling to the Master Who Bought Us”

SONGS

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Beneath the Cross of Jesus  (arr. Indelible Grace)
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Psalm 62 (arr. Aaron Keyes)
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Thou Art The way (arr. J.D. Goodwyne and G.W. Doane)
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Offering: Cling to the Crucfied (arr. Indelible Grace)

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 Song of Response: Christ is Risen (arr. Matt Maher)
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THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

“In the Scriptures baptism and the Lord’s Supper are considered to be signs and seals of the covenant of grace between God and his people. As signs, the covenant signs are visible reminders of the great act of redemption which God has accomplished. As seals, they are God’s way of separating his people from those in the world, and they give to us God’s promise that, in example, as surely as we are washed by the water we are by faith washed by the blood of Christ. Just as in the preaching of the Word, the Holy Spirit strengthens our faith by the use of these covenant signs and seals.

Baptism is not an end in itself. Rather, it is only the beginning of a life of faith and faithful discipleship in Jesus. As Peter reminds, it is not baptism which saves. It is

…not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand-with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. (1 Peter 3:21-22)

Because sacraments are signs and seals, they do not, in themselves, save. They testify to God’s grace, they point us to Christ, and seal to us his salvation. Just as circumcision did not save, neither does baptism.”

R. Scott Clark

 

 

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