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Jesus Enthroned on High - Sunday Worship

The second Sunday service plan in a series on Hebrews, concentrating on the passages from Hebrews which present Christ as the one who is ascended to heaven and is enthroned at the right hand of God.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

This is the second service in this series of four from the Epistle to the Hebrews. The overall theme is "Christ as the Mediator of God's Grace." The first service focused on Jesus Christ as the Great High Priest who is the mediator of the New Covenant.

This second service concentrates on the passages from Hebrews which present Christ as the one who is ascended to heaven and is enthroned at the right hand of God. These three passages are the most helpful for this theme:

Hebrews 1
Hebrews 8:1-2
Hebrews 12:2

Liturgy Notes

Often in a series of services it is helpful for certain parts of the service to remain the same throughout the series. In this series the greeting, the service of confession, and the benediction could remain the same.

* * * *

As a way to create a sense of expectancy and awe, begin the service with the sound of a didgeridoo (ideally a D), have the organ join in with "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence," and then have a choir or soloist join and sing verse 1 only, as an introit.

Introit: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" (PH 5, PsH 341, RL 188, RN 229, TH 193, TWC 167, UMH 626 verse 1 sung by choir or soloist)

Greeting from Revelation 1:4-5
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead,
and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Hymn: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" (PH 5, PsH 341, RL 188, RN 229, TH 193, TWC 167, UMH 626, sung by congregation)

Call to Confession - Hebrews 10:19-22
"Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."

Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Pardon: Romans 5:1-2
"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God."

Sung Response of Gratitude: "And Can It Be" PsH 267, RL 451, RN 193, TH 455, TWC 473, UMH 363

God's Will for Our Lives: Hebrews 10:23-25
"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Our Statement of Faith: Belgic Confession Article 21 (at least the first paragraph "high priest forever") and/or Article 26 ("Mediator and Intercessor" --note how many footnotes refer to Hebrews)

Hymn: "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" PH 403, PsH 579, RL 507, SFL 52, TH 629, TWC 622

The Pastoral Prayer

The Prayer for Illumination

The Scripture Reading - Hebrews 1:3; 8:1-2; 12:2

The Sermon

Hymn: "Crown Him with Many Crowns" PH 151, PsH 410, RL 600, RN 56, SFL 181, TH 295, TWC 92, UMH 327

Celebration of Lord's Supper (optional; fits well with opening hymn)

The Offering

Hymn: "Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven" PH 478, PsH 475, RL 144, RN 53, TH 76/77, TWC 25/26, UMH 66

The Blessing

Sermon Notes:

For the sermon in this service, we suggest that you focus on the three passages from Hebrews that identify Jesus' present position of enthronement on High. Hebrews 1:3; 8:1-2 and 12:2 each speak this reference.

As you develop the sermon, consider that Jesus is currently enthroned in heaven because he has successfully completed the redemptive work assigned him. Chapter 1:3 says this happened "after he had provided purification for sins." Chapter 12:2 says he first "endured the cross, scorning its shame." So the enthronement of Jesus occurs only after his redemptive suffering. Exaltation follows humiliation. His enthronement speaks of his current sovereignty, but it also contains the challenge to keep our eyes fixed on him so that we will not grow weary and lose heart (see 12:2-3).

Music Notes:

Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America;
Great Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

Additional songs that fit the theme well:
"All Hail King Jesus" RN 35
"All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" PH 142, PsH 471, RL 595, RN 45, TH 296, TWC 95, UMH 154
"Alleluia! Sing to Jesus " PsH 406
"By the Sea of Crystal " PsH 620, TH 549
"God Has Gone Up with Shouts of Joy!" SNC 154
"Hail the Day" PsH 409, RL 331, TH 290, TWC 258, UMH 312
"He Is Exalted" RN 238, SNC 41
"In Christ Alone" copyright 2002 Thankyou Music, available through CCLI
"Jesus Shall Reign" PH 423, PsH 412, RN 296, RL 233, TH 441, TWC 745, UMH 157
"Lord Most High/From the Ends of the Earth" SNC 47
"Prince of Peace" copyright 1994 by Marc Imboden, available through CCLI
"Rejoice, the Lord Is King" PH 155, PsH 408, RL 596, SFL 180, TH 310, TWC 262, UMH 715
"We Exalt Thee" originally "I Exalt Thee", copyright 1977 Pete Sanchez, Jr.: admin. by Gabriel Music, Inc.
PO Box 840999, Houston TX 77284-0999
"We Will Glorify" RN 33, SFL 18, SNC 21, TWC 118
"You Are My King" copyright 1996 songs, available through CCLI