Elder's Prayer - Resurrection Sunday
Please find below Rob Stouffer's notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
I look forward to our corporate gatherings week in and week. If you are visiting with us today, we are thrilled that you are here with us today. We know you have lots of options as to how you might spend your Sunday morning, we are thankful you are here today.
If you are a visitor, you should know something - what you see today, is what you what you get just about every other week of the year. No t-shirt cannons are shooting Summit Woods gear at you. No mesmerizing light show. No interpretive dance routines. I hope what is evident to you today is that God’s word is central to all that we do. That God’s word faithfully proclaimed through song, prayer, and preaching.
Our service today looks very similar to our service last week, and if you come back next week, you will not be surprised by something radically different. Our pattern of worship is consistent from Lord’s day to Lord’s day. I don’t say that with regret, I say that with thankfulness. There is no bait and switch here. The gospel message of scripture is the core of this ministry.
Each week, the time of preaching is the pinnacle of our gathering. Nonetheless, I enjoy very much the opportunity to sing together before we get to hear the sermon. I enjoy singing. But what I love most about singing congregationally is WHAT we are singing. We are singing theological truth to each other. We are teaching and encouraging each other with God’s word as we sing together. This is so helpful because Truth put to music remains with us. It stays with us. It is powerful and valuable much beyond our time together on Sunday mornings. We take it with us, wherever we go during the week.
Consider the song we just sang. In Christ Alone. It’s a modern day hymn, about 15 years old and probably very familiar to anyone who attends a gospel-centered church. The lyrics of the song succinctly express theological truths about the life, death, and saving power of Christ through his sacrificial death on the cross. That is what we are celebrating here today on Resurrection Sunday. Frankly, that’s what we celebrate every Lord’s Day. It’s a perfect song for us to sing today and every Lord’s Day as we rehearse the gospel together.
In addition to preaching the gospel, the song clearly teaches the sufficiency of Christ. It screams the book of Colossians to us.
Consider some of the biblical truth we just sang together.
In verse 1 – we see the sufficiency of Christ
I find my hope in Christ alone – nowhere else. He alone is sufficient.
He is the cornerstone that remains immovable throughout the trials of our lives.
He is our comforter. He is our strength. He is everything to us. He is completely sufficient.
In verses 2 and 3
We see the gospel unfolded before us – in only the second verse! From God coming as a helpless baby to Christ dying on the cross for our sins. His death satisfied the rightful wrath of God. His body then burst forth on the first Resurrection Sunday demonstrating God’s satisfaction in this final and perfect sacrifice of His Son on the cross at Calvary. And then we see what Pastor Bret taught us on Friday night; we are no longer slaves to sin. We are Christ’s possessions – He is our master – We bow our knee to King Jesus, Not to sin. What glorious truth!
The song concludes with Verse 4
It Squarely places our hope, our assurance, our eternal destiny in the right place—on the solid foundation of Christ. He commands our destiny. What a great reminder for us that regardless of our feelings or our circumstances, gospel truth is unchanging truth. The power Christ holds us until He returns or calls us home. What encouragement.
We should be mindful of what we are singing. It’s good stuff. It is truth. We are singing Scripture. We should be encouraged by what we sing. It’s helpful truth. We should be thankful for this gathering on this day. We should be thankful week in and week out.
Father God, I thank you for the gospel-centered and biblically saturated nature of our weekly gatherings. They may not be spectacular or noteworthy by cultural standards, but I pray they are pleasing and honoring to you, week in and week out.
As we regularly gather together, I pray a fruit of our time together is an increasing understanding of who You are. Help us to understand and appreciate your attributes better as a result of our weekly gathering. I pray that we would better understand your sufficiency, your sovereign power, your grace, your love, your justice and your wrath and see how these attributes are all so beautifully intertwined. As we gain a greater understanding of You through our singing, praying and preaching, I pray we gain a better understanding of ourselves and appreciate the amazing grace You extend to those who respond in faith and repentance to the gospel message contained in scripture.
For those here today who don't yet understand the gravity of what we have been singing, thank you for kindly exposing them to this truth on this particular day. It's not happenstance they are here today. You have ordained their presence here today. I pray they will leave here thinking more seriously about Christ the Lord and Christ the Savior. Also, they will understand their sin better and their need for a Savior.
Maybe there are some who are here today that struggle with the notion that anything in this world is sufficient. They have chased after worldly pursuits of wealth, career or relationships only to find those aims perpetually lacking and insufficient. Yet, we are singing about the complete sufficiency of Christ in all matters every day. Help them to see how responding to the gospel message in faith and repentance will radically change their view of this world.
I pray for gospel fruit this day and that you would call some in this room to Yourself today. And that next Resurrection Sunday, these new believers will joyfully sing of the sufficiency of Christ from a very personal perspective. This is Your work to do. We trust You to do it.