At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
March 14, 2021
4th Sunday of Lent
- 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
(You can look up the lyrics/music in a hymnal or on hymnary.org…or watch the playlist on our YouTube channel or website.)
- “Come and Find the Quiet Center” #575
God of Lent, God who calls us to return from the wilderness of sin to your kingdom. Attune us to your heart and your desires as we worship, that this time in your presence will set the pattern for our living throughout the rest of the week. We pray these things in the name of Jesus, our Lord, 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
Anthem – “How Deep the Father’s Love” by by Stuart Townend
(Share joys and concerns, then have someone pray the following prayer or one of your own.)
God Who Calls us Into a Closer Walk with You,
We learn from the scriptures of your great and steadfast love for us. We learn from the scriptures how much you desire the absolute best for us, in this lifetime and always. We remember during the season of Lent how you call us to turn away from all that separates us from you so that we might live into what you know is best.
So grant us an awareness of your love and your great desires. Grant us a renewed remembrance of the goodness that has resulted from each time we – and our spiritual ancestors – have lived into your desires instead of the desires of people. Grant each time we experience a joy in life – joys like those mentioned in this service of worship – that we might consider how you made each joy possible…so that we might choose in our joy to continue to turn away from the ways of the world and toward your ways.
Even as we give thanks for the joys you make possible, we know there are people who struggle to find joys you make possible 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 struggle or refuse to turn to you this Lenten season;
- 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 calls us to return to you and to turn away from greedy, selfish living, grant us the strength we need to resist temptation and return from the wilderness of sin into your loving arms and loving ways this season of Lent and always.
We pray, as we live, through Jesus, who calls us out of the wilderness and back toward you, and by the power of your 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.
Invitation to Discipleship
“You are the man!”
These words Nathan spoke to David are some of the most convicting words in all of scripture. David wasn’t able to see his own greed until it was revealed to him in a story about someone else.
Of all the sins, I wonder if greed is the most difficult one for us to see about ourselves. And yet, God calls to us to discern the ways we are being greedy and to stop. Perhaps, like God sent Nathan to David, God is sending a messenger to you via this sermon. Can you hear and see how God is calling you to turn away from greedy living? I hope so!
Hymn of Invitation – “Take Time to be Holy” #572
Invitation. “Such is the end of all who are greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.”
I suppose this could be the message for every single offering invitation, and yet…YIKES! We don’t like to be called “greedy”. We don’t like to imagine ourselves as “greedy”. We don’t even want to think about it.
And yet, every Sunday, we are confronted with the question: will I keep for myself so that I might have more, or will I choose to have less so that I can participate more in God’s purposes!
The way of life is the way of offering. The way of death is the way of greed. These aren’t my words; they are God’s words.
Please join me in choosing life!
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:
- Write a check to First Christian Church and mail it to FCCGJ, 1326 N. 1st Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501.
- 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.
- 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. God of Lent, help us to return to you, to turn away greedy living and toward selfless living, this Lenten season. Bless these gifts we offer, and help us to experience the goodness that results from turning toward you with the material possessions we think of as “ours”. We pray this in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Communion: “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me’” (Luke 12:13.)
While these words from Luke were not placed in the context of the Communion meal, they take on new meaning – or perhaps enhanced meaning – when placed in the context of the communion meal.
Can you imagine approaching Jesus at the table, approaching the Jesus who gave his life for you, and demanding THAT Jesus tell someone else to give some stuff to YOU????
Y’all, this table should change us. Every single time we approach this table, we should be transformed by this encounter with Jesus to be a little less greedy, a little less selfish, so that we might increasingly live into the way of life Jesus desires for us.
Communion Hymn – “We Call Ourselves Disciples” #352
God of saving activity, as you bless these elements and as we partake of them, strengthen us by this bread and cup to remove selfish greed from our lives and to live into the kind of selfless love you modeled at the cross so long ago. 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.
“All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly” #419
Go now as the people of God,
Shedding the selfish, death-dealing way of greed,
And seeking to live into the selfless love of Jesus that gives life.
Go in the name of Jesus
And by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.