Preparing for Worship // October 15, 2017

Preparing for Worship // October 15, 2017

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When I was in high school I felt about Shakespeare the way that most high school boys feel about Shakespeare: I thought it was boring, confusing, and had no relevance to my life. But over time my feelings about Shakespeare have changed. I have since gone back and read many of his works, and while I still find his plays difficult to read (he likes his big words and complicated phrases), I am constantly amazed at his ability to portray the depth of human experience. One instance of this is the play Macbeth. Macbeth and his wife conspire to kill the king of Scotland so that Macbeth will be placed on the throne. But this is only the beginning of the play’s suspense. Throughout the rest of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wrestle with the consequences and, especially, the guilt of their actions. Immediately after the murder, Macbeth laments, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?” He knows immediately that he is dirty in more ways than one.

Does your sin ever leave you feeling dirty? Perhaps, you have cried with Lady Macbeth, “Out damned spot! out, I say… What, will these hands ne’er be clean?” Do you have sins in your past that you think can never be washed away? Are there patterns in your present that leave you feeling filthy? We all have experiences (both what we do to others and what others have done to us) that leave us feeling ashamed, dirty, gross. And the reason we feel dirty is that our sin makes us dirty. When we sin, it leaves a stain of dirt and shame that makes us filthy. This leads us to wonder if we will ever feel clean. We wonder if God could ever love someone as dirty as us.

But the reality is that if you are a Christian then you already are clean (I Corinthians 6:9-11). You have been washed in the Savior’s blood. And if you have not come to Christ for salvation, there is a fountain waiting for you at the cross to wash away all your guilt and your shame. One of the things that we do as we come to worship on Sundays is return to this fountain to have our guilt washed away. We come to be washed once again in the fountain of Christ’s blood. As we are reminded of Christ’s cleansing work, we experience existentially what has already been accomplished objectively once for all: the washing away of our sin. So this Sunday, come to the fountain. And if you are trusting in Christ, come as one who has already been washed, who is already clean.

THE WORD

Scripture: Zechariah 3:1-10
Sermon: Prepared for Priestly Service

SONGS

Draw Me Nearer (Caedmon’s Call)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Freed to Serve (J.D. Goodwyne)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Jesus Calls Us  (Shane Martin)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Song of Preparation: Hearts of Servants (Shane & Shane)
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Song for the Supper: I Thirst Thou Wounded Lamb of God (Bethany Brooks)
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Song of Response: Take My Life (Chris Tomlin)
listen chords info | purchase

 

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