Each year four churches in Woodstock, Ontario, gather for a combined service to celebrate Reformation Day. Those four churches are Knox Presbyterian, Emmanuel Reformed, Maranatha Christian Reformed, and Covenant Christian Reformed. In this service the focus was on remembering that God is present in all facets of our lives.
Welcome and Announcements
Silent Prayer (Concluded with singing “I Love You, Lord”)
Call to Worship
Let us worship God.
He is our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.
Let us confess with our mouths, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Let us call upon our true God, believing him in our hearts, confessing him with our mouths, worshiping him in spirit and in truth. May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
“How Great Is Our God” CSW 3
“Purify My Heart (Refiner’s Fire)”
With the threat of punishment, torture, and death, the Reformation Church took to its lips the confession of a God who created, redeemed, and called people to receive by faith alone the promises revealed through God’s Word. Today in freedom we confess the same words that were uttered under the threat of punishment. Congregation, what is the chief end of humanity?
Our chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
(Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 1)
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own, but belong—
body and soul, in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
(Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 1)
Song: “The Church’s One Foundation”
Coram Deo—Home and Family
We are the family of God, serving Christ together in Christian community.
Single for a time or a life, devoted to the work of God, we offer our love and service to the building of the kingdom. Married, in relationships of lifelong loyalty, we offer our lives to the same work: building the kingdom, teaching and modeling the ways of the Lord so our children may know Jesus as Lord and learn to use their gifts in lives of joyful service.
(Our World Belongs to God, 46)
In our world . . . Satan and his evil forces seek whom they may scatter and isolate; but . . . Christ gathers a new community. . . . In the new community all are welcome . . . the Spirit guides and grace abounds.
(Our World, 34)
Our new life in Christ is celebrated and nourished in the fellowship of congregations where we praise God’s name, hear the Word proclaimed, learn God’s ways, confess our sins, offer our prayers and gifts, and celebrate the sacraments.
(Our World, 36)
Let us now turn to our God in prayer, bringing to him our thanks, our joys, and our needs.
Prayers of God’s People
Service of God’s Word
Prayer for the Spirit’s Illumination
Our Lord and our God, now as we hear your Word, fill us with your Spirit. Soften our hearts that we may delight in your presence. Sharpen our minds that we may discern your truth. Shape our wills that we may desire your ways. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Scripture: Colossians 1:1-23
Sermon: Living in the Presence of God
Song of Response: “Jesus, All for Jesus” CSW 33
As God’s creatures we are made in his image to represent him on earth and to live in communion with him. By sovereign appointment we are earth keepers and caretakers: loving our neighbor, tending the creation, and meeting our needs. God uses our skills in the unfolding and wellbeing of the world.
Our work is a calling from God. We work for more than wages and manage for more than profit, so that mutual respect and the just use of goods and skills may shape the workplace. While we earn or profit, we love our neighbors by providing useful products and services.
(Our World, 48)
Song: “As Stewards of a Vineyard”
Offertory: “Heritage of Faith,” J. Paige
Coram Deo—Leisure and Volunteer Time
Jesus Christ rules over all. To follow this Lord is to serve him wherever we are without fitting in, light in darkness, salt in a spoiling world.
(Our World, 43)
Rest and leisure are gifts from God that relax us and set us free to discover and explore. . . . Reminding each other that our Maker rested and gave us rest, we seek to rest more trustingly and entertain ourselves more simply.
(Our World, 49)
Anthem: “God of Wonders” arr. L. Shakley
We Are Sent Out to Serve
Song: “Worthy Is Christ”
God’s Parting Blessing
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Doxology: “To God Be the Glory”
Postlude: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”