WE HAVE PAUSED CORPORATE WORSHIP DUE TO COVID-19. RETURN DATE TBD.
First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

At-Home Worship Plan for October 25, 2020

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
October 25, 2020

PREPARATION

  • Communion Elements
  • A computer/tablet/phone for looking up the worshipful songs.  You could also use a hymnal and an instrument.
  • YOUTUBE Sermon and Hymns – A video of Pastor Brad preaching will be on the First Christian Church Youtube site.  Visit the First Christian Church Grand Junction Colorado YouTube Channel to find the playlists for the sermon and the hymns for the day.  The playlists of the videos for each are also accessible from our website.

ORDER OF WORSHIP

Song of Praise

(You can look up the lyrics/music in a hymnal or on hymnary.org)

  • “Great is Thy Faithfulness” #86

Invocation

God of life,

Out of your great love for people, you sent us your Son, a Messiah, a Savior, to offer a better way than the ways we have chosen, the ways we choose.   You sent your Son to show us the way into your amazing kingdom, the way of life.  As we worship you this day, as we celebrate and revel in your goodness and grace, grant that we will become strengthened by our encounter with you to choose your way of life over any other way, that we will choose to focus more on you and less on worldly busy-ness.  We pray this in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Lead us, not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power, and the glory
Forever.  Amen.

Morning Prayer

(Share joys and concerns, then have someone pray the following prayer or one of your own.)

God whose Kingdom is better than anything and everything else, God whose kingdom is better than the things with which we too often busy ourselves while on this earth, in gratitude and great joy we thank and praise you for your continued work to transform this world into your kingdom here on earth.  We thank you for offering us the opportunity to choose and experience life over death.  We thank and praise you for making it possible for us to know something better than busy-ness, better than the things that distract us.

As we celebrate the life you offer, the life you offer eternally and the life you offer here and now, help us to remember the joys made possible by your decision to offer us the way of life, the way of Spirit.  And help us, each time we experience joy to seek and discover how our joy is the result of your offer.  Help us each time we experience joys like those mentioned in this service of worship.

Even as we give thanks for the joys you make possible, we know there are people who struggle to find joy, people who struggle to know your work and your love for us, and so we ask also for your strength to entrust the needs of this world and its inhabitants to you.  We entrust to your care this day:

  • All who are on our congregation’s prayer list, and all who have been mentioned by name in our worship;
  • All who suffer from abuse or oppression;
  • All who struggle with anxiety or distress;
  • All who suffer from lack of food, water, shelter, or loving relationships;
  • All who suffer from injury or illness;
  • All who mourn or grieve;
  • All who struggle with quarantines and lockdowns, as well as those whose bodies are being ravaged by COVID-19;
  • All who struggle in their efforts to follow Jesus;
  • All who fear the power of your outpoured Spirit;
  • All who refuse to seek you;
  • For all who have need but who go unnamed;

For all who have need of your intervention, O God, grant them what you know they need; respond to these prayers in the way you see as being best, the way that will turn shouts of pain and suffering into shouts of joy, the way that will bring glory to your name.

God of grace, help us now, in this moment, help us always, to celebrate and be transformed by the way of life, the way of loving purpose, you offer through Jesus.

We pray, as we live, through Jesus the risen one, and in the power of the Holy Spirit…Amen.

Scripture and Message (Sermon)

Read the scripture passages from pastor Brad’s sermon and then read, listen to, or watch (on YouTube) the sermon.  The text and audio of the sermon – as well as a video – can be found on our congregation’s website at gjdisciples.org under the “Sermons” tab.

Offering

Invitation –  Jesus answered Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.”

This weekly opportunity to give is also our weekly opportunity to remember the many things that distract us:

  • For some, I suppose it’s the money, itself, that can be a distraction.  We can get so focused on whether or not we have enough – watching the balance of our investment accounts or bank accounts – that we get distracted from LIVING;
  • For some, I suppose it’s some of the material things we so badly want to buy with the money – bigger house, new car, some kind of recreational vehicle, a new television or computer or tech gizmo – we can get so focused on some of the material things we want to buy with that money that get distracted from living;
  • For some, I suppose it’s the experiences that can be purchased with the money – a cruise, a vacation to someplace new or even to a familiar and favorite place, a visit to spend time with family, a visit to an amusement park or sporting event or other entertainment venue.

We are reminded with our opportunity to give that there is but one thing of which we truly have need.  The more of our material resources we devote to that one thing, the less we will be distracted by other things and the more we will focus on that which truly matters.  Let’s be in the spirit of Christian giving. 

Response.  If you feel called to respond by making a monetary gift to continue God’s work through FCCGJ, you can do so right now in one of three ways:

    1. Write a check to First Christian Church and mail it to FCCGJ, 1326 N. 1st Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501.
    2. On your cellphone, text GIVE2FCCGJ (plus the dollar amount you want to give) to 73256.  For example, if you want to offer $50, text GIVE2FCCGJ $50 to 73256.
    3. Via the internet on your computer, go to our congregation’s website at gjdisciples.org, click “online giving” on the top menu bar, and then click on the link under the second bullet point to make an online contribution.

Offering Prayer.  Say a prayer asking for God’s blessing upon whatever gift/commitment you made to God, as well as all the other commitments Jesus’ followers are making this morning.

Communion

Invitation to Communion:  In our scripture story for today, Mary chose the “better part”, the part of focusing on Jesus, of sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening.

We don’t have the physical, earthly Jesus with us any longer; we can’t literally sit at his feet.  But we do have this meal; we do have this time prepared each week for us to do nothing but be present with Jesus and listen to what Jesus is telling us through our remembrance of his giving his life for us.

I don’t want to say too much; I don’t want to distract you; rather, as we prepare for this communion meal, I encourage you to imagine yourself sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening.

Communion Hymn – “The Church’s One Foundation” #272

Prayer:  God who calls us to choose you over all the things that distract us, God who calls us to leave behind a kingdom of busyness and enter into your kingdom, thank you for this meal that affords us time and space to focus on what really matters.  Through this meal, grant us the strength and focus to choose you over all else.  I pray these things in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit, Amen.

Words of Institution:  We remember that on the night Jesus was to be betrayed, he sat around a table with his disciples and shared a meal.  While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and, after giving thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, “Take, eat.  This is my body, broken for you.”  In the same way, Jesus took a cup, and after blessing it, said, “This is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

Partake of the bread and cup in your own time.

Closing Song

“Jesus is Tenderly Calling Thee Home” #343

Closing Prayer/Benediction

Go now as the people of God,
Empowered by the Holy Spirit
And given peace by God’s risen Son,
That you may escape the busyness that distracts
And focus on the one thing that matters.
Amen.