The Chapter of an Enthroned Lord - Psalm 2

A service plan focused on the tragedy in the world and our security in God, based on Psalm 2. This is part of a series called "Great Chapters of the Bible."

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

Since the Sunday for which this service is planned will be the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., we can be sure these attacks will be prominent in the consciousness of worshipers. The media will raise our attention level, and recent similar events in London, Egypt and elsewhere, will contribute to our awareness of the constant threat of terrorism.

The spirit of this service will focus on two concurrent but competitive forces in our society-the nations and people who conspire and plot (see Psalm 2:1ff.) and the One enthroned in heaven who laughs (see Psalm 2:2 ff.). As these two are set side-by-side, the theme of the service emerges as the security and assurance that God provides through his Son Jesus Christ as King enthroned in heaven and our refuge in him.

* * *
In worship we break through the tragedies of our world
and find our security in Jesus Christ,
the enthroned Lord.

WE GATHER IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Prelude: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" [see music notes]

The Call to Worship

An Opening Litany (see attachment with liturgy notes)

*Our Declaration of Trust and God's Greeting:
Congregation of Jesus Christ, who do you trust?
Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Grace, mercy and peace to you
in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

*Song of Approach: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" PH 259/260, PsH 469, RL 179, TH 92, TWC 43, UMH 110 [see music notes]

The Children's Moment

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD

The Prayer for Illumination

The Nations Plot

The Reading of Psalm 2:1-3
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Message

Song: "O God, Your Justice Towers" SNC 272 [see music notes]


WE CONFESS OUR SINS AND RECEIVE GOD'S PARDON

*Song: "Amazing Grace--How Sweet the Sound" PH 280, PsH 462, RL 456, RN 189, SFL 209, TH 460 TWC 502, UMH 378 [seemusic notes]

The Offertory:
Our Offering of Music: "Amazing Grace--How Sweet the Sound" [see music notes]

We bring our gifts for..

The Lord Laughs

The Reading of Psalm 2:4-9
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Message

Song: "There Where the Judges Gather" PsH 82

The Reading of Colossians 1:15-20
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

*Song: "Jesus Shall Reign" PH 423, PsH 412, RN 296, RL 233, TH 441, TWC 745, UMH 157 [see music notes]

The Prayers of the People

Kiss the Son

The Reading of Psalm 2:10,12a
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Message

*Song: "At the Name of Jesus" PH 148:1,4, PsH 467:1,5,6, RL 336:1,4,5, RN 279:1,5,6, TH 163:1,4,5, TWC 266:1,4,5, UMH 168:1,4[see music notes]

*Our Affirmation of Faith:

As followers of Jesus Christ,
living in this world-
which some seek to control,
but which others view with despair-
we declare with joy and trust:
Our world belongs to God!
From the beginning,
through all the crises of our times,
until his kingdom fully comes,
God keeps covenant forever.
Our world belongs to him!
God is King! Let the earth be glad!
Christ is Victor; his rule has begun. Hallelujah!
The Spirit is at work, renewing creation. Praise the Lord!

We rejoice in the goodness of God,
renounce the works of darkness,
and dedicate ourselves to holy living.
As covenant partners,
called to faithful obedience,
and set free for joyful praise,
we offer our hearts and lives
to do God's work in his world.
With tempered impatience, eager to see injustice ended,
we expect the Day of the Lord.
And we are confident
that the light which shines in the present darkness
will fill the earth when Christ appears.

Come, Lord Jesus!
Our world belongs to you.
(From "Our World Belongs to God", art. 1, 2, 6 )

WE GO OUT WITH THE BLESSING OF GOD

*The Reading of Psalm 2:12b (see liturgy notes)

*The Benediction with Congregational Amen!

*Song: "Our God Reigns" PsH 195

Postlude: "Jesus Shall Reign" [see music notes]

* You are invited to stand.

Sermon Notes:

The themes of this Psalm form the structure of this service. We detect three themes in the Psalm represented by the three headings: The Nations Plot, The Lord Laughs, and Kiss the Son. Because the service is structured with these three themes, we are suggesting that the sermon for this service take the form of three separate shorter messages.

The first message explains "The Nations Plot." While it is difficult to identify the circumstances in which this Psalm was written, Peter and John (Acts 4) ascribe it to David. It was probably originally written for the coronation of a king. Coronations noted threatening plots by both neighboring kings and groups within the kingdom. The Old Testament is filled with evidence of this activity. Our world is too. God's covenant people live in the context of plotting nations.

The second message says that "The Lord Laughs." Two key components of this thought need attention. First, this is the laughter of derision, of a sovereign power feeling unthreatened by an earthly ruler who plans to capture the world. This laughter gives security and safety in the face of plotting nations. Second, the one laughing is the Lord. A careful study of verses 4-9 will reveal that the king in view is clearly the Lord's anointed one. When New Testament revelation is added, we see this as a reference to Jesus Christ during his exaltation. Indeed, this Psalm is frequently quoted in the New Testament with reference to Jesus Christ as the great Son of David and the anointed of God. (Note the inclusion of the reading of Colossians 1 in this section of the service.)

The third message calls us to "Kiss the Son." Subjects in ancient culture would express their submission to and honor of their king by kissing his feet. All earthly kings and subjects are called to be submissive to the Anointed One of God lest judgment come on them. There is, therefore, a call to bow before God and an expression of security and safety for those who trust him.

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)

1. The suggestions for prelude are based on the hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God":

EIN' FESTE BURG ["A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"]

Organ:
Bender, Jan. Festival Preludes on Six Chorales. Concordia 97-4608 [1963] (M-D)
Bish, Diane. The Diane Bish Organ Book. vol. 1 Fred Bock B-G0548 [1980] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations. bk. 1 AMSI OR1 [1980] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Hymn Preludes for the Autumn Festivals. Concordia 97-5360 [1976] (E-M)
Helman, Michael. Five for Autumn. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7671-8 [2004] (E-M)
Hobby, Robert A. For All the Saints. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7537-1 [2002] (E-M)
Johnson, David N. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. Augsburg 11-822 [1965] (E-D)
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice. vol. 2 SMP KK235 [1982] (E-M, adaptable to piano)
Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (M)
Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm. Twenty-one Chorale Preludes. Augsburg 11-9506 [1967] (E-M)
Walcha, H. Chorale Preludes. bk. 1 Peters 4850 (M)

Piano:
Gerig, Reginald. Piano Preludes on Hymns and Chorales. Hope 251 [1959] (M-D)
Wilhelmi, Teresa. Hymns.Light Jazz Style. Word 3010136315 [1997] (M)

Handbells:
Tucker, Margaret. Variations on "A Mighty Fortress." Morningstar MSM-30-800 [1987] (3-5 octaves, M-D)
Wagner, Douglas E. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. Agape 1256 [1986] (3-4 octaves, E-M)

2. We encourage you to use your choir as an encourager of congregational song if they are participating in this service. Resources for the opening hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" can be found in the following sources:

Alternative Harmonizations for Organ:
Busarow, Donald. Thirty More Accompaniments for Hymns in Canon. Augsburg 11-10163 [1992]
Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ. vol. 2 CPH 97-6851 [2000]
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ. bk. 2 Ludwig O-07 [1983]
Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

Choral Resource:
Rutter, John. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. Hinshaw HMC 1798 (SATB and organ with congregation)

3. The response song "O God, Your Justice Towers" is a contemporary hymn text set to an Appalachian folk tune. If the melody is unfamiliar to your congregation, your choir or ensemble could introduce them to it in the first two stanzas with the congregation joining in the last two. You may substitute a more familiar melody if you believe that would be more helpful for your congregation. We recommend as alternates AURELIA, LANCASHIRE, or ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVOGELEIN, all of which maintain the sturdy character of the printed tune. Resources for these melodies follow:

COMPLAINER ["O God, Your Justice Towers"]
Alternative Harmonizations for Organ:
Busarow, Donald. All Praise to You, Eternal God. Augsburg 11-9076 [1980]

AURELIA
Alternative Harmonizations for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations. bk. 5 Ludwig O-14 [1992]
Thiman, Eric. Varied Accompaniments to Thirty-Four Well-Known Hymn Tunes.
Oxford ISBN 0193232103 [1937]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Cherwien, David. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

LANCASHIRE
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Krapf, Gerhard. Sing and Rejoice. vol. 2 SMP KK235 [1982]

4. Alternative harmonizations for "Amazing Grace" can be found in:

AMAZING GRACE/NEW BRITAIN ["Amazing Grace--How Sweet the Sound"]
Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Busarow, Donald. All Praise to You, Eternal God. Augsburg 11-9076 [1980]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Cherwien, David. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

5. Resources for the offertory music, also based on "Amazing Grace" are as follows:

AMAZING GRACE/NEW BRITAIN ["Amazing Grace--How Sweet the Sound"]

Organ:
Bish, Diane. The Diane Bish Organ Book. vol. 1 Fred Bock B-G0548 [1980] (E-M)
Haan, Raymond H. The King of Love. SMP KK277 [1983] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Preludes and Postludes. vol. 1 Augsburg 11-9318 [1972] (E)
Hobby, Robert A. For All the Saints. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7537-1 [2002] (E-M)
Martin, Gilbert. Two Preludes on American Hymn Tunes. H.W. Grey GSTC 962 [1972] (E-M)

Piano:
Albrecht, Mark. Timeless Hymns of Faith. Augsburg 11-10863 [1998] (E-M)
Carter, John. Folk Hymns for Piano. Hope 240 [1987] (E-M)
Leavitt, John. How Sweet the Sound. CPH 97-6891 [2000] (M; gospel style)
Sanborn, Jan. Piano Music for the Care of the Soul. Ron Harris RHP 0403 [1997] (M)
Schubert, Myra. Give Him Praise. Lillenas MB-511 [1983] (M-D)

Handbells:
Dobrinski, Cynthia. Amazing Grace. Lake State HB 00067 [2000] (2-3 octaves, E-M)
Kauffmann, Ronald. Amazing Grace. Flammer HP-5207 [1986] (3 octaves, E-M)

Choral Resource:

Coates, John Jr. Amazing Grace. Shawnee A-1130 [1971] (SATB with piano; hymn based
black gospel style; M)
Kallman, Daniel. Amazing Grace. Morningstar MSM-50-9073 [1995] (SATB with piano; hymn
based black gospel style; M)

6. Alternative Accompaniments for "Jesus Shall Reign" and "At the Name of Jesus" are as follows:

DUKE STREET ["Jesus Shall Reign"]

Alternative Harmonizations for Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ. bk. 3 Ludwig O-10 [1986]
Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 [1964]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

KING'S WESTON ["At the Name of Jesus"]

Alternative Harmonizations for Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ. vol. 2 CPH 97-6851 [2000]

7. The postlude suggestions on "Jesus Shall Reign" can be found in the following resources:

DUKE STREET ["Jesus Shall Reign"]

Organ:
Bish, Diane. The Diane Bish Organ Book. vol. 4 Fred Bock B-G0776 [1985] (E-M)
Burkhardt, Michael. Five Easter Season Hymn Improvisations. Morningstar MSM-10-403 [1990] (E-M)
Callahan, Charles. Two Festive Organ Pieces. Morningstar MSM-10-761 [1999] (M)
Cherwien, David. Interpretations. bk. 3 AMSI OR-6 [1983] (E-M)
Haan, Raymond H. Festival Hymn Preludes. SMP KK329 [1985] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Augsburg Organ Library-Easter. Augsburg 11-11075 [2000] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Preludes and Postludes. vol. 1 Augsburg 11-9318 [1972] (E-M)
Hobby, Robert A. For All the Saints. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7537-1 [2002] (E-M)

Piano:
David, Anne Marie. Here I Am, Lord. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7566-5 [2002] (E-M)

Handbells:
Sherman, Arnold B. Jesus Shall Reign. Agape 1708 [1994] (2-3 octaves, E-M)

Liturgy Notes:

1. The Opening Litany for this service sets the spirit of the entire service. The words of Psalm 2 are read with contemporary headlines injected between the readings. Two readers should be positioned at different locations in front. One begins reading the words of Psalm 2 firmly and clearly; the second reader interrupts with dramatically presenting current headlines and bad news. The first reader continues, only to be interrupted again. This pattern continues throughout the litany. The litany below was written mid-summer 2005 with headlines that were current; you will want to revise it with headlines from the week in which you are planning this service.

2. We've placed a Children's Moment near the beginning of this service to provide the opportunity to explain to children that the anniversary of the Sept. 11 is being observed. Some of them may not be aware of it. An explanation will help them understand the impact of this service. However, it should be done in a way that does not overdramatize the terror of it. Some children may be very sensitive to that.

3. Since there are three readings, you may want to include three separate persons as readers. In the second part of the message, the reading from Psalm 2 is paired with the reading from Colossians 1:15-20 so that the New Testament revelation interprets the "Son" in post-Easter terms.

4. By the end of the service worshipers should be eager to affirm their own faith publicly. The words selected from the Contemporary Testimony, "Our World Belongs to God," serve this purpose well (fromPsalter Hymnal, pp. 1019-1021, published by CRC Publications of Grand Rapids, MI). CRC Publications grants permission for personal use, a ministry setting, or classroom use provided that the material is distributed for free and the copies include this credit line:
© 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids MI. www.crcna.org. Reprinted with permission.
For other uses, please contact CRC Publications at (616) 224-0819, 1-800-333-8300 orinfo@crcpublications.org.

5. When the service reaches its end, the words of Psalm 2:12b can be used to capture the full impact of the Psalm and the service of worship. Our aim is that worshipers leave with this assurance. We suggest that it be read multiple times by multiple voices. One powerful option is to position four readers in front. Each reads the same words after the other, and the congregation joins as indicated below. We would suggest a sequence something like this, though you may wish to modify the procedure to fit your circumstances:
Reader 1
Reader 2
The right half of the congregation
Reader 3
Reader 4
The left half of the congregation
All four readers in unison
The full congregation
With such a reinforcement of this promise, they will receive the Benediction very eagerly!

An Opening Litany of Psalm 2.Today.
(The second reader regularly interrupts the first reader with headlines, bad news, etc. The second reader
should read with the drama of a newscasters voice.)

1. Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
2. London bleeds. Four bombings disturb and disrupt city! More in Egypt also!
1. The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against...
2. Major fight looms over Supreme Court nominations!
1. The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them..
2. Iran wants to be a major player. Nukes are a part of it.
1. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession..
2. Leaders declare that ugly regimes must be isolated, slapped with sanctions.
1. Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.
2. Jihadist Web sites teach followers how to use car bombings to influence public opinion.
1. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way..
2. Supreme Court confuses nation in seemingly contradictory rulings on the Ten Commandments.
1. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
2. (with a pause) Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

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