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worship for Sunday, March 22, 2020

Introduction

This coming Sunday we will worship together apart. Below is an order of service that will guide us through our time together in the Word of God; confession and forgiveness; prayer; and song. It will look different. It will be different. But, by the grace of God, we still gather. Perhaps now more than ever, we are confronted with the truth that the Church of Christ is not a building–it is the people of God who gather under His name.

A quick update: The original plan has changed. Due to the continuing spread of the Coronavirus and growing restrictions for social distancing and beyond, my initial plan for drive thru communion at the church is going to change. The Council is working on ways that we can worship together during this time. However, those plans are not yet in place and we are waiting for some needed elements. More information on this soon.

Instead, I encourage you to worship in place. Below is an order of service for you to follow with your family. If you are by yourself, I encourage you to call a friend–or if you can, FaceTime a friend. If your family is able–do a video conference with a friend and go through this together. It is easy to share this page with people. Copy the website address above and text it to someone. Then, follow along together. Interact together. You can even listen to my sermon together. The power of this worship service is that it takes the work out of my hands–or Dr. Pat’s fingers, or the hands of our praise band. You get to take the reins of our worship and lead and guide it together as a family. Don’t let that freak you out. I’m here to guide you along the way!

So, gather around. Settle in. Breath Deep. And let’s worship together. I’m not with you to lead–so I invite you to select someone to read the leadership parts (it can be a different person each time). If you are alone, I encourage you to read it aloud.

Order of Worship

We call on the Name of the Triune God: An adult can say: We gather in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

A Song to get us started

Here are the Lyrics if you’d like to sing along

When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough

Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
‘Cause fear he is a liar

When he told you were troubled
You’ll forever be alone
When he told you you should run away
You’ll never find a home
When he told you you were dirty
And you should be ashamed
When he told you you could be the one
That grace could never change

CHORUS

Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

CHORUS

CONFESSION

The assigned 2nd lesson for today is Ephesians 5:8-14. It will be the words we focus on as we confess. But first, As we enter into this time of confession, and as we reflect on the song we just sung, think about a time when you bought into fear. A time you thought you were not good enough. A time you believed you were not worth God’s love. A time you were (are) afraid by the things going on around you. Take a moment quietly and confess how you have believed the lies of fear.

Sharing Option: With your family, go around the room and give everyone an opportunity to share one of their fears that they have lived in this past week.

Read aloud: Ephesians 5:8-14

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Words of Confession

(read together or on behalf of your family) We confess that we let darkness cover us. We confess that we are afraid. We confess that we have failed to live our faith. We confess our sin and our need for the Light of Jesus Christ.

Sharing Option: Share about a time when you were scared and things worked out better than you thought it would. How was Jesus with you in that time of fear and how did He bring you out of it?

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you shine your light in the midst of darkness. You opened the eyes of the blind man so that he could see. We pray, by your Holy Spirit, that you would open our eyes to see you this day. And that you would give us faith to walk on your Way to the glory of your Holy Name. Amen.

Reading God’s Word

Psalm 142

With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
    with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him;
    I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit faints within me,
    you know my way!
In the path where I walk
    they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see:
    there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
    no one cares for my soul.

I cry to you, O Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry,
    for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
    for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison,
    that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
    for you will deal bountifully with me.

Sharing Option: What portion of the psalm speaks most to you right now? Why?

Another Song for Worship

This one is likely new to many of you, or at least, you probably have not heard it in a long time. Listen and read the words. What does it mean to boil everything down to a confident knowing of Jesus. All I Know…

Today’s Gospel’s is John 9:1-41. Feel free to read it together aloud. If you have kids, you can read it and have the kids act out the story. If you’d rather, here is a video of me reading the Gospel for you.

Today’s Sermon

Prayer

For prayer today, I invite you to participate in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas. (You DON’T need to do all or any of these, but invest some time in prayer together).

  • Draw out your prayers with paper an pen
  • Go back up and read the psalm again as your prayer
  • Rewrite the psalm above as your prayer
  • Verbally pray through the fears that were shared above and give thanks for the ways that God has seen you through tough times.
  • People and professions for inclusion: government leaders; medical professionals; school teachers and administrators; business owners; those who have already been laid off; those separated from loved ones because of isolation; for those that suffer with mental disabilities that limit understanding of our current reality.

You are invited to join in prayer through this video. Pray together. Images and prompts will come across the video. May they stir your spiritual curiosity as you join in prayer.

A Closing Song

Pray together the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name

Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil, for they is the kingdom and the power and the glory

Forever and ever. Amen.

A Closing Benediction for your family

May the Peace of Christ uplift you in these days.

May the Hope of Christ Surround you.

May the Light of Christ shine brightly as you See him this day

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