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Jan 2011

Sunday Rhythm | January 23, 2011

Welcome to Redemption Hill’s weekly Sunday Rhythm review. This review is from yesterday’s worship service held at Linwood Holton Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia. Below is not only a list of the songs we led, but also the readings and text from our liturgy, as well as a list of the pre-service music played in the auditorium before the service.

Pre-service Music

Every week we prayerfully and purposefully compile a Sunday pre-service iTunes playlist to enhance our Sunday gathering. These are artists that you should definitely consider listening too, and if you feel so inclined, purchasing their music through the link provided. We hope that this becomes an avenue for discovering new gospel-centered art and music. This week’s pre-service music featured selections from the Sovereign Grace album Psalms.

Sunday Rhythm

Call to Worship

    Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
    Psalm 103:1-12 ESV

Song Service

1. Great Is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Chiholm and William Runyan. Our call to worship hymn reminds us that God’s promises are true, that he never changes, that his compassions never fail, and that his faithfulness to us in Christ Jesus is more than good, it’s great. Based on Lamentations 3:22-23, this familiar song causes us to reflect and respond to God’s faithfulness as revealed in his Word (James 1:17), in creation, and in our lives. Through Jesus, God pardons all our sins, fills us with his peace, assures of his presence, and gives us strength, hope, and blessings to numerous to count.

2. How Great Thou Art by Carl Boberg, with English translation by Stuart K. Hine. Our hymn of adoration yesterday is one that forces us to think upon the atonement, and what Christ accomplished on the cross. The Christ who “gladly bearing” bleeds and dies to remove our sin. The God who earlier in the song speaks through the stars and seas, is the same one who dies on the cross for us. And, in the final stanza, He is the one whose return we look forward to. The hymn ends with this longing. A longing grounded in the wonder we have at the resurrection of our savior, a resurrection which carries with it the promise of his return.

Responsive Reading

    Let us give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
    He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
    For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
    And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    And he is the head of the body, the church.
    He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
    For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
    Adapted from Colossians 1:12-20 ESV

Community Commissioning

The church is not a service. Nor is it an institution. The church is a people

    But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9

We’ve been chosen by God out of darkness through the gospel into his marvelous light. To do what? To proclaim his excellencies. But not as individuals. Look at the community language within this passage: race, priesthood, nation. It is together and through a committed and shared life together that we best display his excellencies. Jesus himself says: ”By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” It is the depth of our relationships and a shared life around the gospel that displays him. So community is not an end in itself. Together we are a royal priesthood. And what did priests do? They intimately knew and cared for those who were hurting and needed to be reconciled to God. In the same way, we hope to live among our neighbors in a unique way that shows them the gospel and attracts them to it. So for the next few months, we are going to commission each Community, by recognizing them publicly and praying for them, asking God to empower them to live out the mission of making disciples in their part of greater Richmond.

So if you are thinking this sounds kind of vague, or maybe just like a small group you are used to, but on caffeine and steroids, here is a statement we’ve developed to best describe what we hope our Communities to be. We will be explaining this more over the coming weeks:

    A Redemption Hill Community is a committed core of believers that strive to live out the mission of God together in specific areas and to particular people by demonstrating the gospel in tangible forms and declaring the gospel to each other and to those who are being exposed to it.

So, in the Fan area of Richmond, we have 3 communities, and yesterday we took time in our service to recognize and commission Brandon and Ashly Lewis, and the rest of the Fan Community that gathers in their home. Brandon shared where they feel God has called them and what folks they feel sent to, and how they hope to involve them in their Community and serve them. If you would like to get involved in a community close to you, or would simply like some more information on the communities out of Redemption Hill, please go here, or email Pastor Chris DeRoco.

Sermon

Pastor Robert continued with our journey through The Book of Acts: Enjoying God and Engaging His Mission. Yesterday’s text was Acts 8:1-40. You can hear the sermon audio by clicking here. Some of the reflection questions included:

    What stood out to you this morning? How could you respond?
    Are you willing to be uncomfortable if it meant that would be glorified through it and the Gospel would take root where it was absent before?
    How could you live everyday life with Gospel intentionality?
    Who are the Samaritans and Ethiopian eunuch’s in your life?

To download the entire Reflection guide, click here.

Song Service Continued

3. Before the Throne of God Above by Charitie Lees Smith. Originally entitled “The Advocate,” this hymn serves as a reminder of our Savior’s current work on our behalf as our Risen Savior. It is His name that we plead before the Father. He is our Great High Priest, who endured God’s wrath as our substitute and now intercedes for us. This song reminds us that when we struggle under a load of condemnation and guilt, we can look to our Savior’s full and final sacrifice for the basis of a right relationship with God. If you would like to find a recording of this hymn, we would recommend a wonderful setting of this song by Sojourn Music.

4. Revelation Song by Jennie Lee Riddle. This Redemption Hill favorite is a simple song that moves us past our own needs, and focuses our hearts on something far more greater, namely the fact that one day all my needs will be satisfied with one glimpse of Jesus. Our congregational voice joins in with all the angels and the rest of creation proclaiming:

    Holy, holy, holy
    Is the Lord God Almighty
    Who was and is and is to come

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