Welcome and Prayer
Hymn: "Hours and Days and Years and Ages"
The Lord Is My Rock
Scripture Reading: Psalm 62
Family Choir: "God Is Like a Rock" (2)
Hymns (by congregation):
"Built on the Rock"
[PsH 503 TH 351]
"God Is My Rock"
"How I Love You, Lord, My God"
"If You But Trust in God to Guide You"
[PH 282, PsH 446, RL 151, TH 670]
Solo: "Rock of Ages"
[tune by James Waid, TH 500]
Stones That Speak
Testimony Time (4)
Buiding the Rock "Memorial" (Ebenezer) (5)
Hymn: "O God, Our Help in Ages Past"
Hymn: "Be Still, My Soul"
[RL 154, TH 689, UMH 534]
This service was held at Seymour Christian Reformed Church on December 31,1991, and was submitted by Henry Admiraal, pastor of Westend Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. â€¢ The hymns in this service were selected from the most recent editions of the following hymnals: The Presbyterian Hymnal (PH), Psalter Hymnal (PsH), Rejoice in the Lord (RL), the Trinity Hymnal (TH), and the United Methodist Hymnal (UMH).
Notes on the Service
- The service centered on the theme of the Rock. In the first meditation, I mentioned that 1991 was characterized by unrest, uncertainty, unsettled-ness. After illustrating this point (in relation to church, nation, world, and our personal lives), I asked rhetorically: "Is anything sure anymore?" That led me to emphasize that God is our Rock, the most often used metaphor of God in the book of Psalms. He is our Rock of support, of refuge, of provision, of salvation.
- The meditation was followed by a time of singing. Our music director invited any interested members of the church (young and old, parents and children—a "family choir") to meet about 40 minutes prior to the service to rehearse the anthem.
- In the second meditation, I made the point that in the Old Testament, rocks or stones (either one large rock or a pile of them) were often used to remind the people of some great act that God had done for them. I told two stories. The first, from Joshua 4, described how, after crossing the Jordan, twelve tribal leaders erected a memorial of twelve stones to convey to future generations God's might and faithfulness. The second story from 1 Samuel 7, told about Samuel erecting a stone (which he called "Ebenezer") to remind the people of how God had granted them deliverance in the day of battle.
- After the meditation, I invited members of the church to share briefly how they had experienced God as a rock during the past year. Many people testified to God's strength in their lives.
- Prior to the service a member of the church had placed about 35 large stones on the steps at the front of the sanctuary. (The Liturgical Art Committee had also designed banners of rocks for further visual effect.) After the members shared their experiences, I invited them to come forward. Each took one of the rocks and together we built a memorial to God's faithfulness and help—"Ebenezer: God has helped us."