WE PLAN TO RESUME CORPORATE WORSHIP ON MAY 31, 2020 – PENTECOST SUNDAY.
First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

May 3, 2020 At-Home Worship Plan

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction

May 3, 2020

PREPARATION

  • Paschal Candle – If we were worshipping in the sanctuary, we would keep the Paschal Candle lit on Sunday mornings until Pentecost, so I’ll encourage you to do the same throughout Eastertide during your at-home worship.  You can use any candle you like from around your house.  Place it in your worship space, have a lighter ready, and plan to light it at the beginning of your at-home worship through Pentecost Sunday or when we return for corporate worship, whichever comes first.
  • 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 – Starting this week, 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 (which is in two parts) and the hymns for the day.  The playlist of the video for the sermon is also accessible from our website.

ORDER OF WORSHIP

Songs of Praise

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

[NEW THIS WEEK: View videos with lyrics of all of this week’s songs at our First  Christian Church Grand Junction Colorado YouTube Channel.

Be sure to click on “Playlists” and then the “May 3, 2020 Hymns Playlist”.]

  • “Christ Arose”
  • “Spirit (Spirit of Gentleness)”

Invocation

God of Resurrection and New Life,

In a locked room long ago, you sent your risen Son to offer up the powers of your Holy Spirit to the disciples who were frightened and in great need of your power.  Just as you helped them receive and utilize this great power, help us to recognize the Spirit’s power in our midst and to receive and use that power, that we might become people of new life characterized by the SPirit’s great power.  We pray this in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray…

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed by 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 of life, in gratitude and great joy we thank and praise you for the gifts of Jesus’ resurrection.  Help us live into the power of resurrection.

As we continue our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, strengthen us to look always for the many ways you make joy in life possible…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, 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 in their efforts to follow Jesus;
  • 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 life, thank you for the mystery planted within us, the paradox of life from death and community from scattered disciples.

We praise you for the dying that saves us from death, and for the rising which brings us new life.

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 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

    1. Invitation – In our reading today, the risen Christ reiterated to the disciples that he would be sending them a great gift that had already been promised by his Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit, a gift that included powers for each of them and each of us.  I invite you to consider and remember the gifts of power God has given to you in accordance with this promise.  You are different in a very special way from the people who have not received this gift, have not received these powers.  I encourage you to remember God’s gift and to consider how you will respond.  Will you seek to recognize these powers?  Will you seek to develop them?  Will you spend your days using them for the common good, the betterment of the world, the transforming of the world into the kingdom of God?
    2. 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.
    3. 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

    1. Invitation to Communion:  Today’s second scripture reading continued the story of two disciples who didn’t realize Jesus was with them until they broke bread with the risen Christ, until they partook of the communion meal.  But then, after they returned to Jerusalem, Jesus foretold of the coming gift of God’s Holy Spirit, which should help us understand the scriptures and even recognize the risen Christ’s presence with us even before we break bread (even without the communion meal – which is perhaps helpful during this time of COVID-19 isolation from corporate worship and corporate communion.)  So I invite you to consider the importance, the significance, of this meal after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  It IS important.  It IS incredibly significant.  Seek God’s help in understanding how and why this is true for you. 
    2. Communion Hymn – “Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread” 
    3. Prayer – God of hope, grant by this bread, which is Jesus’ body broken, and this cup, which is Jesus’ blood shed for us, we followers of Jesus will recognize Jesus’ presence in our midst.  But grant ALSO that we will recognize Jesus’ presence by the Spirit’s power in our midst in between opportunities to gather around this table…so that we may be strengthened by Christ’s presence even when we cannot gather for this meal. I pray these things in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit, Amen.
    4.  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.”
    5. Partake of the bread and cup in your own time.

Closing Song of Celebration

“He Lives!”

Easter Blessing (Closing Prayer for the Season of Eastertide)

Through the resurrection of Jesus,
God has given us new life.

May God bless us with joy

And lead us continually into new life.

Amen.