Preparing for Worship // March 17, 2019

Preparing for Worship // March 17, 2019

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It is a highly contested debate, but I firmly believe that the hardest course offered at my university was Civil Engineering 455 – Design of Timber Structures. I might be biased because I studied Civil Engineering and barely survived this class, but I think 9 “all-nighters” and 2 mental breakdowns in one term support my argument. The central project of this class was to take nothing but an architect’s drawings, and produce detailed plans for a two-story, 4 bedroom house in the area around the school. The toughest part was learning that wood is extremely unpredictable. You have no idea what it’ll do when wind hits it, when it gets wet, or when the earth beneath it shakes (I went to school in California and that was our biggest concern). Trees grow in the wild, so you never know if your 2x4s will have gnarls, be warped, or split when you put a nail through them. The lab for this class required us to do a lot of math to predict how much force a cut of wood could take before failing, then testing to see if we were right. We were never right.

Jesus is the master builder who not only made the plans for his church, but he built it and he upholds it. I don’t mean that Jesus designed the Great Aunt Stella Center (although its structural design is interesting because of the hill it is built on, the unique shape, and the dome on top). As the Westminster Confession of Faith puts it, the visible church is “the house and family of God.” If the switch from engineering classes to seminary has taught me anything, it is that the only thing less predictable than timber is humans! Jesus perfectly designed the church to stand firm for all eternity. The church’s one foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows every detail about every member. He knows our flaws, our previous pains which make us appear less useful in building, and he still chose to use us in his design. He even takes the extra broken pieces and incorporates them to show that he really is the great engineer. Every time I drive past a pretty house in Charlotte, I think to myself, “Wow, someone put a lot of time, effort, and work into building that house.” Every time we gather for worship or think about the church, or response should be along the lines, “Wow, Jesus loves us enough to give up his life in order to build his church!”

THE WORD

Scripture: Hebrews 3:1-6
Sermon: Consider Jesus More Glorious

SONGS

Raise Up the Crown  (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Hail To the Lord’s Anointed (Sandra McCracken)
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What a Beautiful Name (Hillsong Worship)
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Song of Preparation: Fairest Lord Jesus (Traditional)
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Song for the Supper: Communion Hymn (Hiram Ring)
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Song of Response: Jesus Messiah (Chris Tomlin)
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