Startle us, O God, with your truth
and open our hearts and our minds to your wondrous love.
Speak your word to us;silence in us any voice but your ownand be with us now as we turn our attention,our minds and our hearts, to you,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is the weekly Prayer for Illumination by the Rev. John Buchanan at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. In a sermon, he explained:
For many years I have begun my sermons with a little prayer: “Startle us, O God.” Some of you like that prayer and tell me you miss it when I change it. Some have told me that they’ve been startled quite enough all week long, thank you very much, and the last thing they need on Sunday morning is to be startled again. I use that prayer for myself, if truth were told, because it is my experience that the capacity to be startled, surprised, astonished, can and does become diminished in us. We are so preoccupied, so focused on our goals, on our list of things to accomplish, people to see, calls to make, that we shut down whatever capacity we have for wonder and astonishment because it is a distraction from what we think is important.
In any event, “Startle us, O God” seems like a good way to begin, because God, in the Bible at least, is astonishing, and when God acts, people are startled. … “They were astonished,” the Fourth Gospel says about Jesus’ friends one day. … John wants to make sure we understand that Jesus’ disciples are astonished at his behaviour, and the implication is that if you read this story correctly and understand what is transpiring, you will be astonished, too.
(source: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship)
Our desire is to worship our Triune God as he has prescribed in his word: with reverence and awe (Heb 12:28), in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23). Scripture teaches that worship is a dialogue that we have with our covenant God. He speaks to us through his Word and Sacraments and we respond in prayer and praise. The order of our service (liturgy) is modeled after the liturgies used in the Protestant churches of the Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries, which liturgies were modeled after those of the Fathers of the Early Church.
This is what you will discover in our Sunday morning worship services
- Call to Worship
- God’s Greeting
- Song of Praise
- Reading of the Law
- Confession of Sin
- Declaration of Pardon
- Psalm of the Month
- Confession of Faith
- Pastoral Prayer, followed by the Lord’s Prayer
- Reading of Scripture
- Prayer of Illumination
- Song of Application
- Lord’s Supper
What You Can Expect
We at Trinity Presbyterian Church eagerly invite all to come and experience together the richness of God’s grace for us in Christ. To this end, every Sunday, we give the principle place to the expository preaching of God’s Word. Letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16), we also sing Psalms and Scriptural hymns that bring praise to our Triune God. As the one people of God, we are also spiritually fed the Bread of Life (John 6:35) as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. Immediately following the Lord’s benediction, the children are briefly instructed by the pastor as he reinforces the points of the sermon to them on a level that they can understand. After a time of further fellowship with snacks and refreshments, we have our time of Sunday School for all ages.
For more about our denomination, see here.