Sunday Worship: March 22
Worship & Liturgy:
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God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
He utters His voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
(Psalm 46:1-7 ESV)
To those who feel scared and afraid,
and to those who feel bold and brave;
to those who feel a gnawing anxiety in this season of unrest,
and to those who feel a growing faith in this time of opportunity.
May we all hear the voice of the God who is our very present help today:
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Let us go to the Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit!
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Matt Boswell, Charles Wesley) / Psalm 32:7 (Mark Wilkins)
Cornerstone (Bradbury, Liljero, Morgan, Mote, Myrin)
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Almighty God, we confess how hard it is to be Your people.
You have called us to be the church,
to continue the mission of Jesus Christ to our lonely and confused world.
Yet we acknowledge we are more apathetic than active,
isolated than involved, callous than compassionate,
obstinate than obedient, legalistic than loving.
Gracious Lord, have mercy upon us and forgive our sins.
Remove the obstacles preventing us
from being Your representatives to a broken world.
Awaken our hearts to the promised gift of Your indwelling Spirit.
This we pray in Jesus’ powerful name. Amen.
(From “The Worship Sourcebook”)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1 Peter 1:3–5 ESV)
Thanks be to God!
Living Hope (Brian Johnson, Phil Wickham)
PASSING THE PEACE:
When we’ve met as a large group on Sundays, we’ve always had a time of greeting one another after singing. Many churches call this time “passing the peace.” In some church traditions, one person will say to another, “The peace of Christ be with you” to which the other person responds, “And also with you.”
While potentially unfamiliar for some, we felt that “passing the peace” during greeting times at home could be a powerful act in this age marked by very little external peace. In Isaiah 9, Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace. He wants His kingdom to be marked by this very peace! We want to “pass” to one another this peace that only Jesus can give, especially at a time like this.
It might feel a bit cheesy, but we encourage you to actually pray the peace of God over each other during our times. We encourage you to look into each other’s eyes as you say, “The peace of Christ be with you!” and have others respond with, “And also with you.” Be open-hearted to Jesus, asking Him to fill you with His peace.
This week’s text to be read: Isaiah 9:1–7.
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But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time He brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time He has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
You have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of His burden,
and the staff for His shoulder,
the rod of His oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
God calls His church to be a “house of prayer.” Each week we want to pray together as households. Today, we are going to pray for each other and those who’ve been impacted by COVID-19. Ask everyone who’s gathering how they’re doing and what each would like prayer for. Consider those in your immediate spheres who’ve been impacted.
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Taking communion together is a major reason we love to gather on Sundays. It’s a powerful physical and tangible reminder of the work of Jesus and continued reliance on Him until He returns. As you consider taking communion at home, here are some items you’ll need:
- Bread or crackers
- Juice or wine
- A glass for the juice or wine
Here is a simple communion liturgy to walk through on Sunday:
- Read through 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
- Have someone designated to hold the bread and say, “This is the body of Christ broken for you.” Tear the bread off.
- Have someone designated to hold the glass with juice or wine in it and say, “This is the blood of Christ shed for you.” Dip the bread in the wine.
- Have someone pray.
- Take the bread & wine together.
For those with kids, we encourage parents to handle this the same way they do when they are at church taking communion. If your children haven’t been taking communion, consider taking communion in front of them and use this as an opportunity to explain and share the Gospel. If kids show an interest or new profession of faith as a result, reach out to a pastor or elder and we’d love to celebrate with you and help you think through next steps of faith and communion, etc. If they have been taking communion, guide them through the liturgy.
Doxology (A Cappella) (Louis Bourgeois, Thomas Ken)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
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Today’s benediction comes from 2 Corinthians 13:14:
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” And may the God of peace be with you!
And also with you!