March 1, 2020

It’s week six for us in the book of Matthew, where we’ll look at Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness.

Why Matthew though? The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life. Here’s how you can prepare this week:

1. Read our text, Matthew 4:1–11.

When Jesus came up from the waters of baptism, the Spirit of God came upon Him and God’s Fatherly love and approval was declared over Him. Immediately after this, the very same Spirit of God led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The Bible affirms in many places the presence of rebellious spiritual beings who, through various schemes, tempt humanity to turn away from God. The first example of this is in the Garden of Eden, when the first humans were tempted by the devil to turn away from God and to follow a different path to abundant life. The consequences for humanity and for the world were devastating. Since that moment, the world has been waiting for someone to defeat the evil one, reconcile humanity to God, and restore the world. This scene in Matthew 4 is the story of Jesus’ showdown with the devil. In the face of temptation, Jesus was victorious where everyone else had failed, and His victory offers hope for all who follow Him.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 63:1–7, Greeting:

To those in plenty and those in need,
To those who know that the love of God that is better than life,
and to those who feel as though you’re in a dry and weary land,
May Jesus satisfy each one of us as we accept His gracious invitation together:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Better (Joseph Pat Barrett, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin)
Before The Throne Of God (Charitie Lees Bancroft arr. The Modern Post)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God,
whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan;
come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations;
and, as You know the weaknesses of each of us,
let each one find You mighty to save;
through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 Peter 2:21–25

I Am Loved (Jonathan Smith, Jason Ingram, Mack Brock)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

He Will Hold Me Fast (Ada R. Habershon)
Lord I Need You (Carson, Maher, Nockels, Reeves, Stanfill)

BENEDICTION

February 23, 2020

We’re in week five of Matthew, introducing John the Baptist and covering the baptism of Jesus—His journey “through the waters.”

Why are we in Matthew? The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life. Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Matthew 3:1–17.

“Prepare the road, clear out the obstacles, the King is coming back!” This was the cry of John the Baptist. Many in Israel had turned from the heart of God. The people were busy building religious systems and social structures that were distorting God’s instructions, harming God’s people, and tarnishing God’s name in the world. John’s mission was to prepare them for the return of the King. He called them to turn back to God and to experience washing and renewal through baptism in the Jordan River. Through this baptism, John was calling the people to remember the Exodus when God brought them out of slavery, through the waters, and into the promised land.

So when Jesus comes on the scene asking to be baptized by John, He’s not trying to obey some arbitrary law. He is leading a new people into a new Kingdom through a new work of liberation. It’s like a whole new Exodus. In the baptism of Jesus, God declares “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” This declaration of Fatherly love would encompass all who follow Jesus with repentance and faith.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Isaiah 40:3–5, Greeting:

To those who feel unprepared and scattered,
to those who feel on top of the world,
to those who don’t feel spiritual enough,
and to those who can’t see a way forward—
may you hear and respond to Jesus’ kind invitation today:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Prepare The Way ( Louie Giglio, Charlie Hall)
Great Is The Lord (Joseph Pat Barrett, Daniel Bashta, Ben Smith) / Build My Life (Barrett, Kable, Martin, Redman, Younker)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:

God of mercy, whose Son, Jesus Christ,
longs to gather us in the wide embrace of His love,
we confess that we have been wayward children.
We have disobeyed Your commands;
our ears have been deaf to Your call;
our hearts have been cold to Your love.
In thought, in word, and in deed,
we have hurt others and dishonored Your name.
In Your great mercy receive us yet again
as Your well-beloved children,
not because we are worthy but for the sake of Him
who loved us and gave Himself for us. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 Peter 3:18a

Way Maker (Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

I Am Loved (Jonathan Smith, Jason Ingram, Mack Brock) / Through and Through (Will Reagan)
Before The Throne Of God (Charitie Lees Bancroft arr. Citizens & Saints)

BENEDICTION

February 16, 2020

This week is our fourth in the book of Matthew, looking at the flight to Egypt and tragedy in Bethlehem.

The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life. Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Matthew 2:13–23.

Any loving parent would want their children to experience some semblance of peace and stability in their early years. For Mary and Joseph and their new baby, this was not a possibility. After the drama caused by an unusual pregnancy and the inconvenience of an untimely move to Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary were confronted with terrifying news. Herod, the king over Judea, was seeking to find and destroy their newborn baby, and they would need to flee the country as refugees. Matthew tells of their flight to Egypt and of the tragedy to follow in a way that honors the darkness of the event and the devastation it caused while also pointing to the providence of God and the hope that this Child would bring to the broken world.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 46:8–11, Greeting:

To those who are busy and scattered,
To those who sense the weight of the brokenness of our world and long for the peace of God,
To all who are oppressed,
and to those who are not quite at home in this world,
May we all together accept this kind invitation from Jesus:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Praise To The Lord The Almighty (Joachim Neander, Catherine Winkworth arr. Citizens; addl. verse Joel Limpic, JD Raab)
In Tenderness (Garvey, Gordon, Walton arr. Citizens)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Valley of Vision:

Thou blessed Spirit, Author of all grace and comfort,
Come, work repentance in my soul;
Represent sin to me in its odious colors that I may hate it;
Show me my ruined self and the help there is in Thee;
Teach me to behold my Creator,
His ability to save,
His arms outstretched,
His heart big for me.

May I confide in His power and love,
commit my soul to Him without reserve,
bear His image, observe His laws, pursue His service,
and be through time and eternity
a monument to the efficacy of His grace,
a trophy of His victory.

Make me willing to be saved in His way,
perceiving nothing in myself, but all in Jesus.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: Psalm 103:8, 13

Way Maker (Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

Refugee King (Away From The Manger) (Benedict, Reagan, Ruth, Scheer, Vice)
O Praise The Name (Anástasis) (Benjamin Hastings, Marty Sampson, Dean Ussher)

BENEDICTION

February 9, 2020

We’re in week three of Matthew, covering the visit of the Magi.

The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life. Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Matthew 2:1–12.

The story of the wise men from the East is familiar to many, but it’s possible that our understanding of the story is based more on nativity scenes and Christmas plays than on the actual story that Matthew tells. For one thing, there is no mention of the number of wise men that have come. Nor is it likely that Jesus and Mary were still in the manger in Bethlehem. In fact it’s likely that Jesus had been born for at least one month when the wise men arrived, and that Mary and Joseph had found some place to make their home in Bethlehem. Nevertheless, the story is remarkable, and its significance is profound. The wise men were likely eastern astrologers who had studied the skies and believed that the unusual things they were noticing above corresponded to something remarkable happening on earth. The foreign Magi show the appropriate response to the newborn King, while the people of Jerusalem are troubled by this potential threat to their own systems of power. The story highlights that the reign of Jesus will spread far beyond Israel and that worshippers of Jesus will not always be who you might expect.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 4:6–8, Greeting:

To those whose days feel bright and cloudless,
to those who feel like darkness is their only friend,
to those who walked in this morning with exceeding joy,
and those who walked in with unbearable grief,
may you all hear the kind voice of Jesus crying out to you today:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Joy (Pat Barrett, Tony Brown arr. VaShawn Mitchell) / Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee (Ludwig van Beethoven, Edward Hodges, and Henry Van Dyke)
God With Us (Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:

O God, our guide,
who once used a star to lead people to Christ,
we confess our poor sense of direction.
We let ourselves become confused, we are easily distracted,
and so we lose our way.
We fail to follow the signs You provide.
Forgive our waywardness, O God.
Lead us to the Christ so that we may follow His way to You. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: John 1:9, 12

King of Kings (Jason Ingram, Brooke Ligertwood, Scott Ligertwood)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

Jesus We Love You (Kalley Heiligenthal, Hannah McClure, Paul McClure)
Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa) / Venid Fieles Todos (John Francis Wade, Juan Bautista Cabrera Ivars)

BENEDICTION

February 2, 2020

This will be week two of Matthew, where we’ll discuss the birth of Jesus Christ. The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life.

Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Matthew 1:18–24.

The word for “birth” in the first line of this section is the same word used in the opening line of the gospel, “genesis”, which means “beginning” or “origin.” The first few stories that Matthew includes in his gospel are designed to help us understand Jesus’ origin story—who He is, where He came from, and why He is particularly suited for His mission. This origin story in particular is full of miraculous events, dramatic controversy, and astonishing promises.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Matthew 1:21–23, Greeting:

To those in darkness who need a shining light,
To those in fear who need a strong hand,
To those who sin who need a rescuing Savior,
To those in anxiety who need a comforting voice,
May you hear the voice of Jesus crying out to you today:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Before The Throne Of God (Charitie Lees Bancroft arr. The Modern Post)
Come Thou Fount (Advent) (Luke Brawner, Robert Robinson, John Wyeth)

CONFESSION OF SIN: Adapted from Every Season Prayers by Scotty Smith:

Dear heavenly Father, we rejoice in the gift of your Son, Jesus—
Immanuel, God with us and God for us.
Even as we trust in His finished work, we long for the fullness of Jesus’ kingdom.

Until that day, grant us power to grow in the love of Christ.
For we are weak, and foolishly prone to look to people,
places and things to fill us up. Grant us grace to mature in the likeness of Jesus.
For we are broken, and we cannot change our hearts, left to our own resources.
Grant us joy in living to the praise of Your glory.
For we are deceived, and we spend too much energy living for comfort and the approval of people.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on me.
In Jesus’ loving and trustworthy name we pray. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: Titus 3:4–6

Come Ye Sinners (Joseph Hart arr. Robbie Seay)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

God With Us (Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan)
Jesus Paid It All (Elvina Hall, Kristen Stanfill arr. James Lepine)

BENEDICTION

January 26, 2020

This week we begin a three-part series in the book of Matthew, taking us through much of the next year and a half.

The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus. What makes this kind of biography unique is that it isn’t presenting Jesus as a mere historical figure. Matthew’s biography is written as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of our lives.

Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Matthew 1:1–17.

Often, writers will take a little time before they get into the deep end of their subject matter. Not so for Matthew. The first line of the story (and of the New Testament!) gets right to the heart of the Gospel. It could be translated, “The book of the genesis of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David, the son of Abraham.” He’s saying that this story is about what God is doing to bring about the new creation, to restore the world, and it’s all happening through Jesus.

He says that Jesus is fulfilling the promises made to King David and to Abraham: that one of their descendants would establish God’s reign on earth and bring God’s presence and blessing to all nations. In other words, Jesus is the Promised One for whom Israel and all creation has been longing.

On the surface, the genealogy may feel mundane, but it’s loaded with powerful and surprising themes that will be present throughout the gospel: the brokenness of the nation of Israel, the dignity that Jesus shows to the socially marginalized, and the sovereign wisdom of God in bringing all of His promises to fulfillment through Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Hebrews 1:1–2, Greeting:

Father, so many voices are competing for our attention
and so many loves are seeking our allegiance.
Even now, by the power of Your Spirit, quiet our restless hearts.
Help us to hear the voice of Your Son inviting us today:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Here For You (Maher, Redman, Reeves, Wanstall)
Stand In Your Love (Baldwin, Harris, Hulse, Springer)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From Thou, Dear God… by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

O thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being. We humbly confess that we have not loved Thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive, we love our friends and hate our enemies, we go the first mile but dare not travel the second, we forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against Thee. But Thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know Thy will. Give us the courage to do Thy will. Give us the devotion to love Thy will. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 2 Corinthians 1:20–22

What A Beautiful Name (Ben Fielding, Brooke Ligertwood)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

Way Maker (Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu)
Yes And Amen (Anthony Brown, Chris McClarney, Nate Moore)

BENEDICTION

January 19, 2020

It’s our third and last week of Engaging the New Year: Steps to a Rule of Life, our mini-series on intentional rhythms of worship and discipline. If you haven’t already seen it, this liturgical audit as a great place to get started on the topic! Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Proverbs 16:1–3.

What we do with our moments and our days shows what we most love. A life built around a love for God will pay conscious attention to our habits and who they’re making us. How we plan our lives (or fail to), how we organize our priorities (or fall into them), and how we use our time (or get used by it) are not distinct from our discipleship—they are a necessary part of it.

As we wrap up our mini-series on steps toward a rule of life, we will consider the call to intentionally plan our lives under the good reign of Jesus. All for the sake of showing forth the beauty of knowing God through the details of our days.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 100

All Creatures Of Our God And King (Lent) (William Henry Draper, St. Francis of Assisi arr. The Christian Year; addl. verse Sovereign Grace Music)
Take A Moment (Will Reagan)

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Father,
You invite us to dwell with You
and to gaze on Your beauty.
Yet we often look for comfort and security in other places,
gazing distractedly at things that are neither beautiful nor life-giving.
Father, have mercy on us.

Jesus,
You invite us to come to You and learn from You,
taking Your yoke upon us and finding rest.
Yet we often look for rest elsewhere,
working for the success or approval that we already have obtained in You.
Jesus, have mercy on us.

Holy Spirit,
You invite us to walk in step with You,
sowing seeds to please You and reaping eternal life.
Yet we often choose the path that seems right in our own eyes,
sowing seeds to please ourselves.
Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 Peter 1:3–5

Living Hope (Brian Johnson, Phil Wickham)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

The Spirit And The Bride (Joel Limpic)
Establish The Work Of Our Hands (Cunningham, Keyes, McCracken, Palmer, Vice, Wardell, Zach)

BENEDICTION

January 12, 2020

In between Advent/Christmastide/Epiphany and beginning our series in Matthew, we’re taking a few weeks to engage with the new year by considering what’s called a “Rule of Life.” This will be week two of three in our mini-series, Engaging The New Year: Steps Toward a Rule of Life.

If you haven’t already seen it, here’s last week’s liturgical audit as a great way t get started. Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:

1. Read our text, Psalm 27:4.

King David’s prayer from Psalm 27:4 aids us as we seek to build an intentional foundation and trajectory for the coming year, calling us back to communion with God as the basis for all else we do.

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 108:1–4

Great Is The Lord (Joseph Pat Barrett, Daniel Bashta, Ben Smith)
Build My Life (Barrett, Kable, Martin, Redman, Younker)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:

Our lives are cluttered, Lord Jesus, by too many things
and too much to do.
We are driven by the need to succeed and distracted from our service.
We have often lost our way. Forgive us.
Let us, like Mary,
find the one thing that is needed and sit at your feet. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: John 15:15–16

God I Look To You (Ian McIntosh, Jenn Johnson) / I Love You Lord (Laurie Klien)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION

Rock of Ages (Augustus Montague Toplady arr. Page CXVI)
Jesus Is Better (Aaron Ivey, Brett Land)

BENEDICTION

January 5, 2020

This Sunday at Park Church we’ll celebrate Epiphany, a day that focuses on the appearance of Christ, the Light of the World.

Learn about Epiphany and explore our artistic accompaniment to the season over at The Christian Year. Here’s how you can prepare for Sunday:

1. Read through our text, John 4:1–30.

Those who observe Christmas as a standalone event may find it difficult to get past the sentimentality of seeing a mild-natured baby in the manger. But the incarnation involves much more than the drama of Christmas itself; it brings a vision of God’s glory to the nations of the world.

Epiphany is a day to focus on Jesus’ ministry so that, from Christmas onward, worshipers grow in awareness of the significance of Jesus’ entire life.

(Adapted from “The Worship Sourcebook.”)

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 36:7–9

Here For You (Maher, Redman, Reeves, Wanstall)
Walk Among Us (Joel Limpic)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:

God of grace,
we confess that we have elevated things of this world above You.
We have made idols of possessions and people
and used Your name for causes that are not consistent with You and Your purposes.
We have permitted our schedules to come first
and have not taken the time to worship You.
We have not always honored those who guided us in life.
We have participated in systems that take life instead of give it.
We have been unfaithful in our covenant relationships.
We have yearned for, and sometimes taken, that which is not ours,
and we have misrepresented others’ intentions.
Forgive us, O God,
for the many ways we fall short of Your glory.
Help us to learn to live together according to Your ways
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: Ezekiel 36:25–26

Who You Say I Am (Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan)
Amazing Grace (John Newton)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE, & COMMUNION

Christ Whose Glory Fills The Skies (John Petterson, Charles Wesley)
All Glory Be To Christ (Dustin Kensrue arr. Kings (MHM))

BENEDICTION

December 29, 2019

This Sunday at Park Church we’ll celebrate the season of Christmastide together.

Learn about Christmastide and explore our artistic accompaniment to the season over at The Christian Year. Here’s how you can prepare for Sunday:

1. Read through our text, Isaiah 9:1–7.

What is Christmastide? Here’s what The Worship Sourcebook says:

“Whereas during Advent we anticipate the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, at Christmas we identify with the angels who proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest”; with the shepherds, who were afraid but nevertheless offered worship; and with Mary, who pondered the meaning of these events in her heart (Luke 2:13–20). Celebrating Christmas as a season helps us both to enter into the meaning of the incarnation more fully than celebrating a single day and to focus on additional Scripture texts that explore the meaning of Christmas beyond the familiar words of Luke 2.”

2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:

CALL TO WORSHIP: Isaiah 9:2–3

Go Tell It On The Mountain (John W. Work Jr. arr. The Christian Year)
Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa)

CONFESSION OF SIN: From Every Season Prayers by Scotty Smith:

Dear heavenly Father, with the angels, we shout loud praises over the birth of Jesus;
with the shepherds, we respond with joy for the gift of a Savior;
with Mary, we treasure and ponder this good news in our hearts.
You have been faithful to fulfill ancient prophecies and Your covenant promises.
Because of Jesus’ finished work, we now live in Your perpetual favor;
and because of the Spirit’s ongoing work, we now humble ourselves before You.
We confess our sins to You: Forgive us for attitudes and actions that misrepresent You,
contradict Your grace, and sabotage love.
Forgive us for speaking words that brought harm and shame,
and for withholding words that bring healing and hope.
Forgive us for spending so much time and energy on ourselves and our trifles,
and so little time with You and on the things that matter the most.
We offer our prayer, humbly, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 John 1:5–9

Grace Alone (Dustin Kensrue) / You Keep On Getting Better (Dante Bowe, Jonathan Jay, Majesty Rose)

GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE, & COMMUNION

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) (Joel Houston, Jonas Myrin)
We Will Feast In The House Of Zion (Sandra McCracken, Joshua Moore)

BENEDICTION