What follows is a self-guided, home liturgy. This liturgy can be read alone by a single individual, or it can be followed by a coupe or family. In any case, we recommend reading it aloud. There is power in spoken worship. We recommend designating leaders for certain sections. We also recommend reading all scripture aloud. Appropriate songs from YouTube have been included. We highly recommend playing all of them as they are part of the liturgy of this worship service.
(Please stand as you gather from your busy life to worship Almighty God.)
Hymn: We Praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer
Call to Worship (Leader reads normal text, others present respond with bold text.) Blessed by God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
About the most important commandment, Jesus said:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord you God with all you heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.
The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.
May we hear from and respond to God’s word today. Amen.
Song: Graves to Gardens
Collect of Purity (together)
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your Holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect of the Day (leader)
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that bringing forth in abundance the fruit of good works, they may be abundantly rewarded when our Savior Jesus Christ comes to restore all things; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(You may be seated for the reading of scripture.)
The Word of God
(Please select someone to read the following scripture passages.) First Reading Judges 4:1-7
Second Reading Matthew 25:14-30
(A note from Pastor Chris: Several things about this sermon. First, it was written and delivered for a seminary class. This means that the material is tailored to that audience. Certain illustrations and applications would be different if I preached this sermon to our congregation. Second, I've been hesitant to share this sermon because of my choice to use Ebony Fawcett's story. When I listen back to it, I don't always feel that I do her story justice. When I was writing this sermon, I felt that her story captured so well the truth of this text, but there are certain details I wish I could have learned more about before delivering this sermon. I've decided to share it, with Ebony's story and all. Please forgive any mistakes in her story that I might have made. Ebony's story lives on, you can learn more by following this link.)
Response to the Word of God
(Please select someone to lead the following Psalm. Pray responsively as a group.) Psalm 123
I lift up my eyes to you,
to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,
for we have endured no end of contempt.
We have endured no end
of ridicule from the arrogant,
of contempt from the proud. Glory to the Father, the the Son, and the Holy Spirit; as it was in the begging, is now, and ever more shall be. Amen.
Song: Come Thou Fount (I Will Sing)
Confession of Faith (together) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Prayers of God's People (Please selected someone to lead prayer. The following categories may be covered. Each category could be given to a different individual if so desired.) Prayer for:
The church around the world: members and leaders. That they might stand strong in faith and lead boldly during this time.
The leaders of nations around the world. That they might seek wise council and lead with integrity during this time.
Individuals as they live life on the way of Jesus. That we might live with love and compassion.
Individuals who suffer from any grief or trouble.
Rest for those whom have died and comfort for their families.
Pray for peace and empathy among the different factions in our country.
Prayer for people you know who might be sick or affected by COVID-19.
Conclude with the Lord's Prayer together. (Position your body into a posture of reverence, either kneeling or bowing down in a seated position. Please select someone to lead the following confession.) Confession of Sin
Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God.
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole hearts;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all our goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
(Please stand for the closing song and benediction.)
Closing Hymn: Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
(Please select someone to lead the following benediction.) Benediction The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
Thanks be to God! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
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