First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

August 30, 2020 At-Home Worship Plan

22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
August 30, 2020


  • 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.


Song of Praise

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

  • “Come, Christians Join to Sing” #90


God of Transformation, God of New Life,

Out of your love for people, you call us to change, to transform into something better, into something wonderful.  Strengthen us as we worship you to attune our hearts, minds, and wills to your own, that we might open ourselves in this encounter to all you offer us, to all you call us to become.   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.)

O God of vision, in gratitude and great joy we thank and praise you for your good desires for all people, for your desire the world to transform into a place of love, a place that can be described as your very kingdom here on earth.  Help us to live each day out of a sense of your love for us, in response to your desires for us, and pursuing the kinds of changes Jesus pursued during his earthly ministry; help us to live each day as transformed beings who share your love with all people.

As we celebrate your love that is the source of our love, help us each time we experience joy in life, to seek and discover how our joy is the result of your love and your ongoing transformation of this world into your kingdom.  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 who constantly calls to us to become something better, to participate in something better, to pursue something better, strengthen us daily to share your transforming love with all the world.

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 passage 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.


Invitation –  “Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful both to you and to me. ”  One of God’s appeals to Philemon through  the Apostle Paul was the appeal of utility, the appeal of taking actions that would lead to an increase in the common good.  Isn’t that what God calls us to do with the time, talents, gifts, and material things God entrusts to us?  Just like the master in Jesus’ parable entrusted things to his workers and expected them to MULTIPLY those blessings, so God does the same with us.  When we give but some of what God has entrusted to us to be used for God’s purposes, we participate in that kind of multiplying, that kind of making things useful to the common good that might otherwise be useful only to us.  Let’s be in the spirit of Christian sharing, of Christian usefulness.

  1. 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.

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.


Invitation to Communion:  “If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.”  With these words, Paul took the burden of another, the burden of Onesimus, onto himself…just like Jesus took the burden of ALL our sins onto Himself.  Each time we gather around this table, we are reminded of Jesus’ selflessness, reminded of Jesus’ sacrificial love.  But, sometimes I wonder and I worry, is Jesus’ example of giving His life too extreme for us to be able to emulate?  How many of us would actually give our lives for others, especially others who sin against us?  Fortunately, the Apostle Paul shows us a more practical application.  Paul took on a burden of Onesius that required much less sacrifice than Paul’s life.  It was still quite a sacrifice…but, in comparison to Jesus’ sacrifice, it was small.  As you prepare to partake at Jesus’ table today, I encourage you to examine the burdens of others that you CAN bear, that you are CAPABLE of bearing, as a way of following Jesus.  Seek Jesus’ strength to do what you can.  If we would all do THAT – take on a burden more akin to Paul’s than Jesus’ – this world would change, would transform, rather quickly and dramatically.

Communion Hymn – “Here at Thy Table, Lord” #384 

Prayer – God who calls us to follow Paul’s example of bearing the burden of others as we pursue the changes you desire for this world, I ask you to remind us each time we partake of this bread and cup to remember Jesus’ example of selflessly loving all, of  selflessly giving His life for all.  And strengthen us by this bread and cup to make the sacrifices we can make, to take the burdens of others we can carry, that will help usher in your kingdom here on earth.   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

“Servant Song” #490

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 live out of gracious love
To pursue the transformation God
Seeks for this world.