One of the jokes that people make about the Dutch Reformed tradition is that every time the church gets together there is an offering. This is exaggerated, but it is a perception that people have regarding reformed churches. There are other traditions who do not take an offering in the context of worship, but they put a box in the back of church. So, why would we take an offering in the context of worship?
The reality is that the people of God are called to enter the rest that Israel looked to enter. You would think that they arrived in the rest having the land, but yet there is still a day that is marked as a day of rest. How can this exhortation for us to strive to enter that rest be encouraging for us?
Our Lord gathers together with his disciples to celebrate passover. It is during this passover feast that Christ and the disciples have the first communion or Lord’s Supper. It would seem that if the Lord’s Supper is instituted at passover that the Lord’s Supper and passover would be the same thing. However, reformed people have not seen them being the exact same thing. How can we make a distinction between the Lord’s Supper and the Passover? What has Christ stated that helps us understand this disinction?
The Apostle Paul speaks Abraham first having faith and then receiving he sign. This would seem that the sacraments are a sign of our faith rather than a sign of the covenant. This has profound implications because this would mean that first we would profess our faith and then receive the sacrament. So, why would we as reformed people baptize infants if this contradicts the Apostle Paul? Why would infants potentially receive the sign if they have not first professed faith like Abraham did?
If we already know the gospel then why do we need to hear about our sins being forgiven? Why would we want to talk about the forgiveness of our sins week after week?
The Lord calls His people to worship Him. This is something that we understand and assume in Christian worship, but why would we invoke or call upon the name of our God? If we know that we are worshipping Him anyway it seems that we are going to do the right thing no matter what. So, what is the significance of this invocation?
The Lord commands people to worship him. Why does God need his creatures to worship him? He is a God who is complete in himself so why does he give such a command? What do we know about God that makes it a joy to worship Him? Why will His people want to worship Him?
The Lord calls us to worship and to make the Lord our focal place. When we are called to worship as a people what is the basis of the Lord calling us to worship? How are we called out of the world to Worship our God and our King?
We know that the ministering priesthood of Israel has come to completion because of Christ’s priestly work. Malachi rebukes the priests in Israel, and so what value can Malachi’s warning for the priests have for us today?
The Lord has established for Israel that the Lord really does love Israel. The Lord is also one who has been faithful to the promises of the covenant of grace. The Lord has delivered, defended, and deposited Israel right where they need to be. Now the Lord turns to cross examine Israel. Have they loved the Lord as they should? How has Israel failed to love the Lord?