Preparing for Worship - February 25, 2018

By Pastor Mark Tanious

This Sunday, we will gather together as a church family to remember and celebrate our risen Savior. We worship every week because our God is worthy of our worship and because our hearts will always worship something. Do you prioritize being present in the corporate gathering of believers at Grace? The command to gather is not just to be obeyed but to be embraced as being for our ultimate good (Hebrews 10:25).

New Songs

This Sunday, we will be singing a new song to our congregation, Lift Every Voice and Sing. I am excited to introduce this song to our church because of its rich history. The song was originally written in 1900 and was set to song to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. It is a song that recounts the struggles of African Americans in American history. It incorporates elements of lament and hope. It is ultimately a prayer to God for: courage to resist temptations, strength to endure hardships, and the grace to remain faithful.

As a congregation, it is valuable for us to learn from and appreciate the richness of our cultural diversity. By singing a song like this, we are also showing solidarity as a church that, in our diversity, we share a deeper and more enduring unity in Jesus Christ.

I encourage you to listen to the song here.

Another song that we will be singing on Sunday is called Jesus Shall Reign. Jesus Shall Reign has been a famous missionary hymn for generations and was sung by the great missionary and Olympic sprinter Eric Liddell (Chariots of Fire) at the train station in Edinburgh as he embarked on a missionary journey to China.

While interned during World War 2, Eric served alongside China Inland Mission (now OMF) workers. He even gave his running shoes to a CIM mission kid named Steve Metcalfe, who he challenged to become a missionary to the Japanese, which he did! What is exciting about this hymn is that thousands of churches (over 1.5 million people) around the world have agreed to sing this song on Sunday to inspire thought, prayer, and action toward through global evangelism.

You can listen to a recording of the song here.


Finally, the text for the sermon will be Mark 14:43-65. The sermon title is: The Injustice and Justice of the Death of Jesus. This is an intense passage of Scripture where Jesus is arrested and put on trial by the religious authorities. Consider reading and reflecting on the passage in preparation for Sunday.

We look forward to seeing every one of you this Sunday to rejoice in the humble obedience and victorious resurrection of Jesus.