Sunday Previews

Sunday Preview (December 11th edition)

As the Lord's Day draws near, we are again drawn together to the worship of our Holy God as an ecclesia or gathering of believers. We do so with adoration of our Holy God and with wonder at His saving ways! 

Tomorrow we will focus in our third advent sermon on the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the Righteous Branch of David who serves as the Good Shepherd of the people of God. To that end, I wanted to share a rich quote to meditate on from John Calvin's lectures on our text in Jeremiah 23:1-8, where he writes: 

The difference between the righteousness of Christ and the righteousness of kings ought to be here noticed. They who rule well can in no other way administer righteousness and judgment than by being careful to render to every one his own, and that by checking the audacity of the wicked, and by defending the good and the innocent; this only is what can be expected from earthly kings.
But Christ is far different: for he is not only wise so as to know what is right and best, but he also endues his own people with wisdom and knowledge; he executes judgment and righteousness, not only because he defends the innocent, aids them who are oppressed, gives help to the miserable, and restrains the wicked; but He doeth righteousness, because he regenerates us by His Spirit, and He also doeth judgment, because he bridles, as it were, the devil. 
We now then understand the design of what I said, that we ought to mark the transcendency of Christ over earthly kings, and also the analogy [similarity]; for there is some likeness and some difference: the difference between Christ and other kings is very great and yet there is a likeness in some things; and earthly kings are set forth to us as figures and types of him.

In our second service, we will be fed again in God's Word with our sermon being taken from Matthew 15:1-20 and then we will be fed through the ministry of the Lord's Supper. May the Lord richly bless us with fellowship, unity, and joy in Christ tomorrow and always!

Sunday Preview (December 4th edition)

Our Advent series continues tomorrow and we'll consider how the incarnation of our LORD Jesus Christ was anticipated by the prophecy of Isaiah in chapters 7, 9 and 59 (with particular focus on the Warrior King anticipated in chapter 59).

If you have a moment, consider watching this astounding performance of Handel's Messiah and particularly if you follow this link it'll begin with a setting of Psalm 69 and the phrase "He saw there was no man" to music: https://youtu.be/iTMJVvld9ok?t=1h15m46s

In our second service, Dr. Ted Van Raalte from the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary will be proclaiming God's Word from Romans 4 as we see that it is "Not by Performance but by Grace". 

Please join us!

Advent Series at Adoration

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With our traditional celebration of Christmas quickly approaching, we will be devoting time to a special series of Advent sermons. While we are not obliged to follow a set pattern of Advent preparations, there are many blessings to be found in meditating on God's Word in connection with the wondrous news of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the Word of God, we meet Him "who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8 ESV)

If you would like to read the passages for our sermon series in advance (and read surrounding texts to learn something of their context) we will be hearing from:

KING: November 27th: 1 Chronicles 17
WARRIOR KING: December 4th: Isaiah 7 & 9 & 59:16-17
SHEPHERD KING: Jeremiah 23 (esp. vs 5-6); Psalm 110
KING OF PEACE: Micah 5 (esp. vs 4-5)
KING OF ZION: Psalm 2 & Matthew 1:1-25

Sunday Preview (July 10th edition)

Good afternoon!

As we get ready for the start of a new week, we do so knowing that God has made us alive and raised us up with Christ "so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:7) Already now we enjoy the grace and kindness of our God and in the coming ages we will enjoy it even more! 

There are many reasons why we need this encouragement with each passing day. I'm not sure about you, but I've felt that there has been a shocking stream of horrible news stories coming to us from all parts of the globe, both near and far, with reports of devastation, crime, brutality, and unchecked violence. Some of this is due, certainly, to the reality that our news streams are constantly focused in on violent acts in society while ignoring the widespread practices of ordinary people who are going about their days without violence or gross injustice. Still, though, we can be very discouraged by the things that are happening. It's in these times that we grieve at the injustices we witness around us, we plead for healing and restoration for those affected by the violence, and we commit to loving the neighbours that we know and see on a daily basis as servants of Jesus Christ. We aren't able to change the streets of Damascus or Istanbul but we can touch our neighbourhoods while praying for all who are suffering in other parts of our world. 

In Ephesians 2, Paul speaks of "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2) and we will be examining the conduct of one of those sons of disobedience in our morning sermon, as Pharaoh declares to Moses, "I am Pharaoh, and I will not". In turn, we'll examine God's response in our afternoon sermon as God declares to Moses and the people, "I AM and I will". There is an awesome parallellism on display in our texts and I would encourage you to read through Exodus 5 & 6 in preparation along with Hebrews 11:23-29. 

May the Lord bless us with His Word and Spirit!

Sunday Preview (June 26th)

As Sunday rapidly approaches and a new week begins, we have the joy and privilege of gathering for worship together. 

Sermons
We continue in our series in Exodus as we come to Exodus 4:18-23 which immediately precedes a curious sequence of events involving the anger of God, the near-death of Moses, and the naming of Moses as the 'bridegroom of blood'. That will be our text for next week as the story of redemption continues to unfold. 

In the afternoon service, we'll have the privilege of witnessing the baptism of Kade Chaytor and we'll also hear from the Word of God from Philippians 2. 

Backyard Bible Study for Young Adults:
All of our young adults (single and married) are welcome to participate in a summer Bible study in Pastor Norm's backyard. We'll be reading and studying the book of Romans together. We'll meet on Sunday evenings at 7:30pm beginning tomorrow (June 26th). Please read Romans 1 for the first night. Bring your Bible, friends, refreshments, and lawnchairs and we'll explore God's Holy Word together. Come once, twice, or to all six evenings! If you have questions, contact Pastor Norm. We will meet June 26, July 10 & 31, Aug 14 & 21, and Sep 4. 

Amens
Arising from our congregational singing workshop a few months ago, we're going to start singing amens again in the hymns that have them printed there... under the following conditions:

If it's after the sermon, we'll sing the amens that are printed in the book. 

If it's before the sermon, we won't sing them. 

So if you see an amen and it's after the sermon, you can expect that the pianist will play it. 

May the Lord be with you and tend to you in your need through His Word and Spirit, 
Pastor Norm

Pentecost Sunday Preview (May 15th edition)

Hi there! We hope and pray that you might be interested in joining us for worship this coming Sunday as we gather in Vineland at 8:30am and 4:30pm. Tomorrow is also the day that is recognized in our tradition as Pentecost Sunday and we'll be exploring the location, action, and significance of this great event in the history of the Christian Church! To bring the events of Acts 2 into their broader biblical perspective, we'll be reflecting on Ezekiel's vision recorded in Ezekiel 43:1-9 and Ezekiel 47:1-12. If time permits, you might take some time to read through these texts and prepare for the preaching of God's Word.

Our 4:30pm service will commence with God's summons for us to worship Him and raise our voices in song to the praise of His glorious Name! The Ministry of the Word will be from Exodus 3:1-4:17 in what will be a three-part sermon on this amazing revelation of God to His servant Moses. God, the Great I AM, commissions Moses for a spectacular responsibility and there are so many important themes being unpacked in these verses that we'll take our time working through them over the course of three Sundays. Our focus tomorrow afternoon will particularly be on vs 1-10 and the section we normally call 'Moses and the Burning Bush'. But perhaps we need to shift our focus from the burning bush, as stunning a sight as it must have been, to the greater One on display in this scene who is within the bush in fiery splendour.

Two worship services with two sermons on two fiery demonstrations of God's presence! May the Lord richly bless us as we worship Him and are fed from His Holy Word tomorrow!

Sunday Preview (April 10th edition)

Welcome! Do Join Us!

On this beautiful day, we heed the word of the LORD in Romans 12 as we prepare for worshipping together on Sunday: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Rom 12:12-13 ESV)

Sermons
Our morning sermon will involve the study of wisdom in Proverbs 22 and Rev Wynia will be back again in the afternoon to lead us in worship and to preach from Mark 4. 

New Songs
We will be singing the hymn "All Authority and Power" during the morning worship service. All are also invited to the hymn sing at 4 pm tomorrow in which we'll work through several more songs for use in our corporate worship services. They include "All Praise to Christ", "All Things Bright and Beautiful", "All for Jesus" and Psalms 7 & 8A. 

Looking for a new Book?
The Inter-League Publication Board (ILPB) is pleased to announce another newly published Study Guide - Living The Faith - a Study of the Beatitudes by Rev. R.J. Sikkema. Each of the beatitudes of Matthew 5 are examined in turn. In a conversational tone, and using practical examples, Rev. Sikkema explains who is being blessed and what Jesus really means with each blessing. That we are covenant children of the Great King plays a key role in these explanations. 9 outlines, each with questions, 96 pages, $8. Order online at www.ilpb.ca or contact the ILPB at Box 445 Fergus, Ontario, Canada N1M 3E2

Sunday Preview (January 24th)

After a long hiatus, the Sunday Preview Posts are Back!

In anticipation of our weekly gathering for worship and fellowship together, it's good to be reminded of the tremendous freedoms that we enjoy in our country and community to worship openly and confess our faith publicly. This is not a privilege enjoyed by all who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. We'll be reminded of this in our afternoon sermon as we consider the rich comfort we find in Psalm 46. God is our refuge and our strength - whether in times of liberty or in times of oppression. He is bringing about His will and He has pledged to preserve the people of God in all circumstances! 

We will also be wrapping up 1 Thessalonians with a sermon on the final verses (1 Thess 5: 16-28) and the concluding remarks that the Apostle Paul makes to the church of Thessalonika. 

Sunday Preview (December 6th)

The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 

With this reminder set before us in God's Word, we again gather for worship on the Lord's Day with the expectation that the Lord will feed us in His Word and be glorified through our worship of His holy Name. And in this time of waiting, the Lord has also given us a visible testimony of His promises and sufficient grace in the Lord's Supper which we will receive in faith in the afternoon service. 

- Sermons -

The morning sermon will continue our series through the Thessalonian Letters as we come to 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12. The afternoon sermon will focus on our confession of Christ as we continue to utter the faith-filled declaration of Peter in Matthew 16:13-20. 

"Just as musicians practice privately in order to be ready for public performance, Christians need to learn to live harmoniously with one another in love and then demonstrate that love to the public outside the church community. If the church is not a truly loving entity acting out God's love in Christ for humanity, then those outside the church will never glimpse that love and be attracted to it” (G.K. Beale, Thessalonians)

Join us for worship!

Sunday Preview (September 20th edition)

The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is gathering in cities, villages, fields and even underground around the world to worship our Triune God. We join this incredible movement of men, women, and children who set aside specific times for worship and fellowship in the name of the Risen Christ. Setting out from our homes, we assemble for instruction from the Word of God and a dialogue with our Heavenly Father who blesses us and guards us each day. 

Tomorrow our hearts will be fed through the Word of God and we will especially focus on the Apostle's instructions to us in Colossians 1:24-2:15. As Paul explains, "I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments". Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 1 he explains, 

"Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

Come and worship!