Simone announces that her family are on the move from Clayfield to Cairns as Andrew Richardson has been called to pastor there.
In Bendigo, Russ Grinter has been ordained and inducted as an elder with a view to planting a second congregation in that city next year.
I hope these new ministries will be blessed and be means by which the kingdom grows.
As part of our Sunday worship this Reformation Day we sang the paraphrase of Psalm 100, All People That On Earth Do Dwell.
Of course we sing it to the tune Old One Hundreth by Louis Bourgeois
This links us with the church of the Reformation, back in the 1500’s.
A conceit of mine is that we sing it without instrumental accompaniment.
I love it, and our congregational singing is equal to the challenge.
Our hymnbook makes use of an adaption of these lyrics that chokes a fair bit of poetry out in the name of contemporary understanding.
This is what I grew up with.
All people that on earth do dwell,
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;
him serve with fear, his praise forth tell,
come ye before Him and rejoice.
The Lord you know is God indeed;
without our aid he did us make;
we are His folk, he doth us feed,
and for His sheep He doth us take.
O enter then his gates with praise,
approach with joy His courts unto;
praise, laud, and bless his name always,
for it is seemly so to do.
For why? The Lord our God is good,
his mercy is for ever sure;
his truth at all times firmly stood,
and shall from age to age endure.
Here’s an a capella congregational setting. There are a few wonderful instrumentally accompanied or vocally gymnastic versions on YouTube, but I think this best sums up the Reformation principle of all God’s people praising God through song as they gather for worship.
Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 44
Q & A 178
Q What is prayer?
A Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, in the name of Christ, by the help of his Spirit; with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.
Q & A 179
Q Are we to pray unto God only?
A God only being able to search the hearts, hear the requests, pardon the sins, and fulfil the desires of all; and only to be believed in, and worshiped with religious worship; prayer, which is a special part thereof, is to be made by all to him alone, and to none other.
Q & A 180
Q What is it to pray in the name of Christ?
A To pray in the name of Christ is, in obedience to his command, and in confidence on his promises, to ask mercy for his sake; not by bare mentioning of his name, but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength, and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation.
Q & A 181
Q Why are we to pray in the name of Christ?
A The sinfulness of man, and his distance from God by reason thereof, being so great, as that we can have no access into his presence without a mediator; and there being none in heaven or earth appointed to, or fit for, that glorious work but Christ alone, we are to pray in no other name but his only.
Q & A 182
Q How does the Spirit help us to pray?
A We not knowing: What to pray for as we ought, the Spirit helps our infirmities, by enabling us to understand both for whom, and: What, and: How prayer is to be made; and by working and quickening in our hearts (although not in all persons, nor at all times, in the same measure) those apprehensions, affections, and graces which are requisite for the right performance of that duty.
Q & A 183
Q For whom are we to pray?
A We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth; for magistrates, and ministers; for ourselves, our brethren, yea, our enemies; and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; but not for the dead, nor for those that are known to have sinned the sin unto death.
Q & A 184
Q For what things are we to pray?
A We are to pray for all things tending to the glory of God, the welfare of the church, our own or others good; but not for anything that is unlawful.
Q & A 185
Q How are we to pray.?
A We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God, and deep sense of our own unworthiness, necessities, and sins; with penitent, thankful, and enlarged hearts; with understanding, faith, sincerity, fervency, love, and perseverance, waiting upon him, with humble submission to his will.
Reformation Day 2012 is recognised tomorrow at mgpc. We don’t follow much of a church calendar, but we like to give a nod of recognition to what’s going on. How apt that as we consider 1 Samuel 19 we’ll be reminded again of the danger of ignoring God.
Our preparation for worship will begin with Psalm 34, I Will At All Times Bless The Lord, lead into The Mystery Of The Cross (Jesus, Thank You) and then we’ll commence by singing All People That On Earth Do Dwell (Psalm 100). That one’ll probably be a capella. (Singing Psalms unaccompanied, who’d have thought that would happen in a Presbyterian church).
Our prayer of approach and confession will acknowledge our failure to trust God’s saves by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in His Word alone, and for His glory alone. Too often we fall back to thinking that we earn God’s love, look for our own blessings and fail to trust the Bible.
The song of testimony which we’ll sing will be Jesus Is Lord, followed by the Apostles’ Creed and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.
The reading of Jeremiah 4:19-31 will lead us to think about the desolation of being bereft of God, who we’ll then praise with the singing of Yours Is The Kingdom.
1 Samuel 19 unfolds the tragedy of those who ignore God. Saul’s hatred of David grows, and in this chapter we’ll see how he ignores the testimony of his believing son Jonathan, his unbelieving daughter Michal and the power of the Holy Spirit. Ignoring God is an act of will, God continues to appeal to Saul and Saul just won’t turn.
After our prayer of thanksgiving and requests we’ll give our offerings and then our worship will close with singing A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.
From this month’s copy of Connexions.
It’s good to be home!
Just a few weeks after returning from Zimbabwe, it was wonderful to part of our church visit to Para Hills Presbyterian Church.
One of the wonderful aspects of this is that the visit was not my idea, and I played next to no part in organizing it.
I can hardly tell you how encouraging I found it simply to be part of the crowd, observing as the twenty-six other members of the team mixed and mingled at the dinner on Saturday night and at Para Hills Church on Sunday morning.
So, what have we achieved?
Well, Para Hills have been greatly encouraged. Just last week I returned briefly to Adelaide to a funeral and met some folk who told me again how much they appreciated the visit.
Our other churches in Adelaide have also heard about the trip and have also been encouraged about the possibilities for the future.
And a significant portion of MGPC members now have something of an understanding of the challenges which confront Para Hills as they seek to carry out their ministry and mission in Adelaide.
As we think and plan our future support for the work of the Gospel in Adelaide our prayers are informed by that knowledge.
Our recent visits to Zimbabwe and Adelaide, along with our involvement in East Timor challenge and inform our mission and ministry here in Mount Gambier as well.
We find ourselves challenged to work for the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ here in our own town, nurtured by our partnerships with others in far places.