Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Emmaus City Liturgy | Sunday, July 6, 2014 – Facets of the Gospel I: Redemption

Emmaus City Facets of the Gospel Redemption Sermon Series 2014 Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 Network of Missional Communities Christian Reformed Church

Emmaus City Liturgy – Facets of the Gospel I: Redemption

Redemption Sermon Audio:


For previous sermon series notes, click on the links below:

The following post will feature the themes, verses, hymns and songs (audio and lyrics), and prayers we enjoyed together during the Sabbath gathering. Key notes from the sermons will also be included.

Curious to know more? Want to spend some time with us? Don't hesitate. Contact us and come join us. In the meantime, enjoy the readings and listening to the songs below.


 Welcome and Shared Moments of Celebration
  Prayer of Thanksgiving and The Lord’s Prayer
From Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need, and 
Forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from evil.
(For Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen.) 


Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Glory to Thee my God this night
For all the blessings of the light.
Keep me, O keep me King of kings
Under the shadow of Thy wings.

Lord, let my soul forever share
The bliss of Thy paternal care.
‘Tis heav’n on earth, ‘tis heav’n above
To see Thy face and sing Thy love. 
Amen, amen. (x4)

Prepare our hearts, O God.
Help us to receive.
Break the hard
And stony ground.
Help our unbelief.

Plant Your Word
Down deep in us.
Cause it to bear fruit.
Open up our ears to hear.
Lead us in Your truth. 

Show us Christ. (2x)
O God, reveal Your glory
Through the preaching
Of Your Word
Until every heart confesses
Christ is Lord. 

Your Word is living light
Upon our darkened eyes,
Guards us through temptations,
Makes the simple wise.
Your Word is food
For famished ones,
Freedom for the slave,
Riches for the needy soul,
Come speak to us today. 
(Repeat Chorus) 

Where else can we go, Lord?
Where else can we go?
You have the words
Of eternal life. (4x) 
(Repeat Chorus)


Facets of the Gospel I // Redemption

Scripture Reading 
1) What is God saying to us about His redemption for us? 

"Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” Exodus 6:6-8 

"The first eighteen chapters of Exodus describe the redemption of God’s people (Exodus 6:6, 15:13). For many people, “redemption” is merely one more word to describe salvation, but it has richer meaning. … (In Exodus, throughout Scripture, with Near Eastern people) A redeemer was a family member responsible for recovering for the family people or goods that had fallen into bondage. Redemption could involve the liberation of a relative from slavery and his or her restoration to the original family relationship. This is the primary meaning of God’s liberation work in Exodus: as the divine Redeemer, God acts to free his firstborn son from slavery to the pharaoh, restoring him to his rightful place in God’s family.

"Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve Me. ... ” Exodus 4:22-23a

"Redemption in Exodus has also been interpreted as an image of the spiritual deliverance or (in the tradition of liberation theology) as an image of political liberation. Yet both the spiritualizing and the politicizing interpretations miss the profoundly rich nature of what God is telling us. When people of the ancient Near East heard this story, they would have seen it exemplifying a religious story that also bound up the social, economic and political dimensions of their life. Pharaoh was the image and representative of the Egyptian sun god Re, a god-king who ruled on behalf of the gods to maintain justice, order, and harmony within the realm of people. The Israelites living under this authority impacted every sphere of their worship. They lived under his divine rule and his idolatrous system so that they could not serve and worship the Lord. Moses comes as a representative of the Lord – the true and living God-King – to demand that His be freed to worship Him (Exodus 4:23; 7:16). God ultimately frees His people from service and loyalty to the gods of Egypt so that they might serve the Lord in every area of their lives: social, economic, and political." – Michael Goheen

To be redeemed is to be set free to give every aspect of our lives to God. God releases us, His people, from an idolatrous way of life to live as a contrast community, to be able to rest in the blessings of His love and grace, and then be a kingdom of priests, a light to all the nations that there is one God who has not only created them, but has redeemed them and given them great value. For example, if Israel was to live in God’s blessing and invite others into it, it had to be set free from the service of other gods that had bound it. When other gods require something for us, they keep the attention on us and what we want to get from them. But if God is the Redeemer, it is His actions that give us great worth. Only we realize how much God loves and values us can we embody God’s original creational design for us to bless others in light of being blessed by God. We have to be set free from what we're enslaved to so we can experience who and what we've been created to live for. Redemption releases us to fulfill God's original intention for us: we receive freedom by Jesus and we are given His Spirit to become sons and daughters who are being conformed into the image of the Son of God, becoming a "so that" people who are blessed so that they can bless the world, declare and display that Jesus is King, and share this good news with others so that more will become like Him and fill the world with His glory.     

"Before God delivers His people through mighty signs and wonders (chs. 4-15), He returns to His covenant promises. God’s word is prior to His deeds and interprets His deeds; His promises proclaims His acts of salvation. The Lord reminds His people of His past faithfulness in establishing His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (6:2-4). He says He remembers the covenant (6:5). What He will bring as a result of remembering: (1) Redemption (6:6), Relationship, and Rest (6:8)." – Willem VanGemeren

  • Are their things in your life you feel enslaved to? What gives you the most value? Is it your family? Is it your work? Is it where you find relief?
  • When you have had a bad day, what do you turn to to give you freedom? Is it entertainment? Is it drink? Is it sex? Where do you escape to?
  • Why would we only want a God that deals with our "spiritual" life rather than an all-encompassing God who deals with the physical, social, political, ecological, and economic areas of our life as well?
  • If God is not only our Creator, but also our Redeemer, how does He best know how to release us from what enslaves us? And why is it important that He not only redeems us, but also provides us with a Fatherly relationship and rest for our exhaustion to the things we're enslaved to?

from Crimson Cord album
By Propaganda ft. Lee Green
Verse 2

"… Broaden you all’s lenses a little wider,
You'll see that perfect symmetry.

Redeemed, it's all on purpose.

I'm still off on purpose,
My Papi takes the worthless

And brandishes a stamp of
One of a kind and priceless.

A cosmic thrift shop
A Macklemore can only imagine,
Buying stuff He made Himself
From dust and words.
In other words – us.

And this is all my confidence,
For the 626 and the Exodus.
If you’re certain you were blood purchased,
Come and stand with us.

 ... "

2) What are we called to do for others in light of God's redemption for us? 

A) Be good news for others who don't know Jesus in memory of who you were without Jesus: 

“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn … " Exodus 22:21-24a 

"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. … 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God. … 33 'When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.'" Leviticus 19:1, 10, 33-34

God continually grounds His commands in Leviticus 19 with the phrase ‘I am the Lord (your God)” (vs. 2-4, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 25, 30-32, 34, 36-37). I am Yahweh, Your redeeming King. This was a way to remind them again and again of how He had redeemed them (Exodus 20:2; Leviticus 11:45) and set them apart to be His to be a kingdom of priests for the world (Exodus 19:4-6: Leviticus 11:45; 20:24; 22:32b-33). He would dwell among them and be their God (Exodus 29:46). God's people's obedience was to be a response of loving and reverential worship to their redeeming King, a response that would enable them to embody His holy kingdom to others and serve them just as God served them when they were sojourners in Egypt. In fact, this would prepare them to be able to welcome a sojourner into God's covenant family once the sojourner received the sign of the covenant promise for himself and his family (i.e. circumcision) to partake in the Passover meal. 

"If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it ... And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native." Exodus 12:48, Numbers 9:14

B) Speak the good news to others who don't know Jesus in memory of what it's like not to know His redemption:

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
 whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands,
 from the east and from the west,
 from the north and from the south." Psalm 107:1-3

"Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve Him and hold fast to Him, and by His name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven." Deuteronomy 10:16-22 

"Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name;
 make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
 tell of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and His strength;
 seek His presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done,
 His miracles, and the judgments He uttered, O offspring of Abraham, His servant,
 children of Jacob, His chosen ones!" Psalm 105:1-6 

"Jesus was clear when it came to the way to be reconciled back to who we belong to and who we are: ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (John 14:6). While Jesus granted people the dignity to believe whatever they wanted, he knew that it was faith in Him, alone, that could give them the dignity they needed. He insisted on His unique way to the Father all the way to the death. … In all major world religions, a way is devised to work our way to the God. The problem, however, is that we can’t keep all the rules and adhere to all the ways, even if our religion is not to disappoint ourselves. With Jesus, however, the God works His way down to us. This is called grace. It is the fundamental difference between Jesus and other gods we could strive to please. Even sincere self-sacrifice for our selves, while noble, does not make one acceptable to a holy God we need to be reconciled to. Rather, we need someone to redeem our failures to honor God and free us to worship Him. This is precisely what Jesus did. No other religion offers this, where the God gets hurt on behalf of His people, dies, rises from the dead and then makes us acceptable, forgiven, and righteous. Christianity is utterly unique, not because Christians are better but because Christ is better. In Christianity, God dies so men and women can live. In other religions, generally speaking, men and women live in the uncertain hope that they won’t really die. The self-sacrifice of God in Christ to reconcile estranged, indifferent, distrusting, and even hostile sinners like you and me is called redemption. … Redemption shows us not only the need for someone to pay the penalty for our sinful crimes, but also tells us that Christ crushed the sin and forces of evil for us to deliver us. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." Jonathan Dodson

  • How are you welcoming sojourners into your life and your home?
  • Are you regularly remembering how you were redeemed from slavery to freedom so that you are able to see where others are enslaved and then are willing to serve and speak to them so they can see and experience the freedom Jesus has given you?
  • How are you growing in your ability to show and share about the unique redemption given to us in Jesus? 

If we have been united to Jesus, His redemption for us is promised and completed. When we are united with Jesus and His work for us on our behalf, our relationship with God is secure and full of love. We can rest in His work now, so that we can walk with Him in the work He has for us until He returns or takes us home. – Willem VanGemeren

All Creatures of Our God and King 
Early 1200s A.D. 

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Thou, burning sun with golden beam,
Thou, silver moon with softer gleam.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness.
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
And praise the Spirit, Three-in-One.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah! 

All the redeemed washed by His blood
Come and rejoice in His great love.
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Christ has defeated every sin.
Cast all your burdens now on Him.
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah! 

He shall return in pow’r to reign
Heaven and earth will join to say
O praise Him! Allelujah!
Then who shall fall on bended knee?
All creatures of our God and King
O praise Him! O praise Him! 
Allelujah! Allelujah! Allelujah!


Psalm 130 

Out of the depths we cry to You, O Lord!
O Lord, hear our voices! 
Let Your ears be attentive
 to the voices of our pleas for mercy!
If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
 O Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness,
 that You may be feared.
We wait for the Lord, our souls wait,
 and in His word we hope;
our souls wait for the Lord
 more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
 For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with Him is plentiful redemption.
And He will redeem Israel
 from all his iniquities. 


"May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you 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." – Colossians 1:11-14 


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