One might presume that our corporate worship of God begins with the Call To Worship, but I would suggest that it begins prior, as we rise together and stand in silence … not for the choir, not for the Minister, but as the Order of Service notes, for The Entry of the Bible.
This has been a distinctive of the Presbyterian tradition since the Reformation. One of the hallmarks of the Reformed tradition is the extremely high view accorded to the Bible.
It is also a particular view of the Bible.
We do not worship the Bible … but God (Father Son and Holy Spirit) who always stands beyond the Bible, who has given us the Bible as a sure means by which approach God and God’s will for humanity.
We understand the Bible to be the Word of God … as the Holy Spirit takes the words on the page and speaks to us through them of the Living Christ and Great Creator
We take the Bible seriously … understanding that it contains God’s word to God’s people over many different contexts and generations, and we rely upon the Holy Spirit to assist us in understanding what is of a certain time, and what are the overarching themes of enduring relevance and imperative for us today.
We are not literalists, taking a phrase and demanding unthinking acceptance, but pour over the whole Bible, and allow historians, scientists and theologians to assist us in understanding original contexts for appropriate contemporary application.
This dynamic demands a great deal of personal responsibility and makes for a great deal of discussion and even debate, but we keep the Bible at the centre of our life together, praying that we remain open to God speaking to us through it.
This morning the sermon will celebrate one of the great overarching themes of the Bible, the theme of ‘covenant’, God’s promise to not just create but also to care and commit, and God’s call for us to be a covenant people.
If you are in the area, please join us. Have a look at the Order of Service to have an idea what to expect. There is nursery for infants and a programme for children during the service. There is free parking in the city surface lot off Queen Street just behind the church, and on neighbouring streets (time-of-day restrictions north of Queen are not applicable on Sunday).
Have a look at the announcements on subsequent pages and consider each one a personal invitation to grow in Christian worship, study and fellowship. You would be welcome!