Father, Long Before Creation [Song]
Prayer of Confession [Song]
See The Conqueror Mount In Triumph [Song]
Begone Unbelief [Song]
Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me [Song]
New City Catechism Q. 37
Christ or Else I Die [Song]
We Will Feast In The House Of Zion [Song]
 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!
 He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
 He remembers his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as your portion for an inheritance.”
 When they were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
 wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”
 When he summoned a famine on the land
and broke all supply of bread,
 he had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
 His feet were hurt with fetters;
his neck was put in a collar of iron;
 until what he had said came to pass,
the word of the LORD tested him.
 The king sent and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free;
 he made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions,
 to bind his princes at his pleasure
and to teach his elders wisdom.
 Then Israel came to Egypt;
Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
 And the LORD made his people very fruitful
and made them stronger than their foes.
 He turned their hearts to hate his people,
to deal craftily with his servants.
 He sent Moses, his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
 They performed his signs among them
and miracles in the land of Ham.
 He sent darkness, and made the land dark;
they did not rebel against his words.
 He turned their waters into blood
and caused their fish to die.
 Their land swarmed with frogs,
even in the chambers of their kings.
 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
and gnats throughout their country.
 He gave them hail for rain,
and fiery lightning bolts through their land.
 He struck down their vines and fig trees,
and shattered the trees of their country.
 He spoke, and the locusts came,
young locusts without number,
 which devoured all the vegetation in their land
and ate up the fruit of their ground.
 He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
the firstfruits of all their strength.
 Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold,
and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.
 Egypt was glad when they departed,
for dread of them had fallen upon it.
 He spread a cloud for a covering,
and fire to give light by night.
 They asked, and he brought quail,
and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.
 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed through the desert like a river.
 For he remembered his holy promise,
and Abraham, his servant.
 So he brought his people out with joy,
his chosen ones with singing.
 And he gave them the lands of the nations,
and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil,
 that they might keep his statutes
and observe his laws.
Praise the LORD! (ESV)
New City Catechism Q. 37. http://newcitycatechism.com/new-city-catechism/#37
1 Samuel 12
 And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you.  And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day.  Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you.”  They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand.”  And he said to them, “The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”
 And Samuel said to the people, “The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.  Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous deeds of the LORD that he performed for you and for your fathers.  When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your fathers cried out to the LORD and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.  But they forgot the LORD their God. And he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them.  And they cried out to the LORD and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.’  And the LORD sent Jerubbaal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety.  And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the LORD your God was your king.  And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.  If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.  But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.  Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.  Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king.”  So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.”  And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.  And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.  For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.  Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.  Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.  But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.” (ESV)
Our sermon text for this morning was about a covenant renewal ceremony of the Old Testament people of God. Though we may think that it is something of the past, the reality is that every time the church gathers together in the name of Christ and in particular when the church takes together the Supper of Christ, covenant renewal is happening. Just as Israel did, we gather and confess our sins. Just as Israel did we look to our mediator to intercede for us. And just as Samuel did, Christ assures us of our pardon and calls us to new obedience. It is this last part that is distinctly played out before us in the Lord’s Supper. When we approach the table, we do so as the people of God approaching their mediator, whose body was broken and blood poured out on our behalf. And as we take in the symbols of Christ himself, he assures us once again of our pardon, reminds us of the great things he has done for us, and calls us to serve him faithfully with all our hearts. In this way the Table of Christ is a means of God’s grace in the lives of all who belong to him.
The Table belongs to those with sincere faith in Christ who have entered into the new covenant spiritually by faith and visibly by baptism. And our participation in the new covenant is renewed every time we partake of this meal together. So, as we come, we approach our mediator in faith. In symbol, he is laid before us, and in faith we receive his pardon and his exhortation to serve him with our lives.
John 6:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Heavenly Father, we come in thankfulness and faith. You have laid before us a reminder of your grace, of the great things you have done for us. Assure us then of your mercy given to us in Christ as we partake of this meal and equip us with hearts that long to know and follow you. We ask in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.