Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 


In the opening sentences of A TALE OF TWO CITIES, the reader is immediately thrust into the turmoil. For Madame Elizabeth of France, that turmoil meant death by guillotine. She was faithful to the end, and went magnificently.


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All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

Dickens described the the period leading up to the French Revolution this way. You know it well.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Madame Elizabeth was the youngest sister of King Louis XVI. When the revolution broke out, she was place under house arrest, and her neice, who was living with her, describes in detail the night of her aunt's arrest and "trial."

"What is your name?"
"Elizabeth, of France."
"Where were you on the 10th of August?"
"In the palace of the Thuilleries, with my brother."
"What have you done with your jewels?"
" I know nothing about them; besides, these questions are wholly useless. You are determined on my death. I have offered to Heaven the sacrifice of my life; and I am ready to die — happy at the prospect of rejoining in a better world those whom I loved upon earth."

They condemned her to death. She asked to be placed in the same room with the other persons who were to die with her. She exhorted them, with a presence of mind, an elevation of soul, and religious enthusiasm, which fortified all their minds.

Sometime while awaiting her pending death, Madame Elizabeth prayed this prayer.

I do not know, my God, what may happen to me today. I only know nothing will happen to me that you haven't foreseen from all eternity, and that is sufficient, my God, to keep me in peace.

I adore your eternal designs. I submit to them with all my heart. I desire them all and accept them all. I make a sacrifice of everything. I unite this sacrifice to that of your dear Son, my Savior, begging you by his infinite merits, for the patience in troubles, and the perfect submission which is due to you in all that you will and design for me.


The memoirs of her niece continue....

In the cart she preserved the same firmness, and encouraged and supported the women who accompanied her. At the scaffold they had the barbarity to reserve her for the last. All the women, in leaving the cart, begged to embrace her.

She kissed them, and, with her usual benignity, said some words of comfort to each. Her strength never abandoned her, and she died with all the resignation of the purest piety. Her soul was separated from her body, and ascended to receive its reward from the merciful Being, whose worthy servant she had been.

The worst of times? Yes. The best of times. Absolutely, for she went to be with her Savior. And we know by faith that it is better by far  to be with the Lord. May the Lord give us similar grace in our hour of trial.









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