Saturday, September 05, 2020

How to Rightly Do Whatever You Like on the Lord's Day (2020.09.05 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)

Hopewell Herald – September 5, 2020

Dear Congregation,

In the Prayer Meeting Lesson this week, we were reminded that “receiving whatever we ask” is dependent upon our asking for the very best things (cp. Psa 37:4–6). If we aren’t, then prayer that follows after Scripture is actually one way that the Lord changes the desires of our heart. 

It occurred to me that this is closely related to God’s great goodness that was proclaimed to us in the 4th commandment last Lord’s Day. 

We can do “whatever we find most restful” on the Lord’s Day, so long as what we find most restful is Him Himself, in those activities in which He gives Himself to us most directly and immediately—particularly in the holy assembly of His holy day in which we enter the Holy of Holies in glory to commune with Him at the throne of grace. 

And, if this is not currently what we find most restful/delightful, we rejoice to know that He has appointed for us to grow in this delight precisely by our keeping of His day (cf. Isa 58:13–14). 

The Lord is so good to us, and this command of His is so good to us, that we ought to grieve if we find our spirits either resisting it or finding pride in keeping it as if it were some kind of burden that superchristians meritoriously carry. 

It reminds me of Dr. Currid, my Old Testament professor who was taking us through the commandments. After opening up what a great gift the Sabbath was to Israel in their context, and even better to us in the context of Christ having gone through the veil, he called on a student who began to ask, “Would it be breaking the fourth commandment if I…” 

Dr. Currid folded his arms and interrupted, “You just broke the fourth commandment, and it’s not even the Lord’s Day. He has consecrated the day as holy for what He wants us to do, which is infinitely better than anything else you could want to do, but you still want to see what other things you can do instead.” 

Now, I hope that I would take the blame in retelling the story, if I were the student who had asked. But, I think that the reason it has stuck with me through all these years is because of how often my own heart has begun to say, “I wonder if it would be ok to…” 

May the Lord grant to us an increasing delight in Him, where our hearts more and more naturally celebrate that God has been so good as to set apart a day entirely for worship! 

Looking forward to that day and that worship together with you, 


Please see the following note from Karen regarding conference meals. Also, we will need someone who does not have indoor pets to host Dr. Willborn and his wife. Thank you! 

Dear Hopewell Family, 

In a little over 3 weeks we will be celebrating Hopewell's 200th Anniversary!!  We are in the process of planning the celebration and want to invite everyone to join in this endeavor!  As far as food we are planning a Friday night snack & fellowship time, Saturday morning light snack/breakfast, Saturday break w/ snacks, and Saturday lunch. 

Here is a link to the sign-up sheet.  Obviously, we want to have enough of each item; so as one item fills up,  we will close that item and ask others to take the other items.  You will see that we are planning on 100 people (our best guess).  Most items have spaces for 4 people to bring enough for 25 people.  If you want to bring all or several of one item, please note by putting your name- x__ (whatever number you want to bring of that item [1,2,3 or4]).  So if 1 person wants to bring green beans for 75 people, then they would put their name- x3.  I hope this is not confusing.  Please contact Karen @ 628-2256 with questions. 

<link redacted—email if interested>

Thanks all! 

By His grace,



LORD'S DAY – September 6, 2020 

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens

10 a.m. Sabbath School
This week, we continue a series on topics related to important issues that people around us are talking much about right now, continuing this week to study what Holy Scripture teaches us about “Racial Reconciliation.” (This week, we hope by God’s help to finish up “A Providential Perspective on Privilege”)


11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for Sep 6
Q45. What did Christ undertake in the covenant of grace? A. To keep the whole law for his people, and to suffer the punishment due to their sins. 

Shorter Catechism for Sep 6
Q53. Which is the third commandment? A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.

Psalms and Hymns
TPH400 “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me”   
TPH27A “The Lord’s My Light” 
TPH434 “A Debtor to Mercy Alone” 

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service
Ephesians 4:17–5:2 

Scripture Readings
1Samuel 16:1–13
Ephesians 4:15
Luke 8:1–3 

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Genesis 32:1–12 about the Faithful Savior of the Unworthy to Be Saved 

12:45 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class 

1 p.m. Fellowship Lunch & Open Mic Time
Members are encouraged to bring way more than enough, so that there will be plenty for everyone, including any members or guests who are deciding last-minute whether or not to stay. 

At open mic time, we’ll begin with birthdays and anniversaries and recitations of the memory verse:
(Genesis 32:10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.

2:30 p.m Psalm/hymn Sing
Carryover song requests from last week:
Red(h): 243, *277, 463, 255 |
(if you wish to make this week’s requests in advance, please feel free to reply to this email, and let me know!) 

3:30 p.m. Evening Sermon from Ephesians 4:15, Love Truths 

 Hopewell this Month 

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for September
Bethel ARP in Los Angeles, CA 

September Psalm of the Month
TPH27A The Lord’s My Light

Upcoming Events

•September 9, Prayer Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
•September 13, Lord’s Day series begins in the Sabbath School
•September 14, Monthly Session Meeting, 6 p.m.
•September 19, Men’s Breakfast, 6:30 a.m.
•October 2-4, HARPC 200th Anniversary Celebration, with guest speaker Dr. Nick Willborn

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