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

November 8, 2020 At-Home Worship Plan

32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
November 8, 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)

  • “Lead on, O Cloud of Presence” #633

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 listen to and focus on your will and desires, that we will seek you especially when we feel burned out, when we feel done…instead of choosing to depart from you and go some other way  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.

Anthem – “Like Eagles” by Don Moen

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do8-DZik_7c)

Morning Prayer

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

CONCERN:  Please prayer for the Tami Sheets and her family (including the Bryants.)  Tami is Carolyn Bryant’s daughter; Tami’s husband passed away this week.

God whose Kingdom is better than anything and everything else, God whose kingdom – and whose way – is better than any other way, 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 giving us the sense of purpose that comes with your offer to participate in your work of transformation…as well as for giving us the gift of a lightened burden when we feel weighed down by our participation in your work of transformation.

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, especially when we feel weighed down, when we feel overly burdened, to turn to you that we might celebrate and be transformed by the way of life, the way of loving purpose, you offer through Jesus.  Help us to accept and enjoy all that you offer.

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 said, Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

I would imagine this time of offering can feel like a heavy burden at times.  Perhaps you desire to give more, but your means are limited.  Perhaps you desire to give more, but you worry about your ability to provide for food and healthcare – for living – into the future.  Perhaps you desire to give more, but you’re not certain your giving is making enough difference to give to God through FCCGJ rather than using your material resources for something else.  Perhaps you’re burned out and you’re not sure you want to give anymore toward this thing that seems to be burning you out.

If you’re feeling at all like this, it’s time to take your feelings to God.  It’s time to seek God’s comfort and rest to replace your anxiety during this time of decision.  Even if you’re not feeling this way, it might be a good idea to seek whatever rest God offers before you get burned out.

I encourage you in this moment to seek God and ask how your giving can, should, and will impact your feelings of being burned out and your feelings of being rested. The answer might surprise you.  When you take your decision to give – and how much – to God, God’s answer will direct you toward the rest you need.

 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:  “Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’”

Immediately prior to our scripture reading from Numbers for today, the people cried out and complained against Moses and against God.  The people cried out because they didn’t feel like they were receiving adequate food, adequate sustenance, for their journey.  They longed for the days in Egypt when they had meat, melons, cucumbers, leeks, onions, and garlic; they longed for the days when they had MORE than the manna God provided for them.  Their complaints might sound like complaints about a physical problem, but their complaints sound more to me like the complaints of a spiritual problem – too little trust in God.

When we gather around this table, we remember one of the ways God worked to ensure God’s people would never feel compelled to make such complaints to God again.  When Jesus instituted this meal, he instituted a meal to provide his people throughout the generations with the kind of spiritual food they – we – would need to know they can always trust in the God who loves us enough to send his own son to walk among us and die for us.  Let’s prepare to partake of this amazing meal of spiritual nourishment.

Communion Hymn – “Be Know to Us in Breaking Bread” #398  ***You will need a source of lyrics….the video does not have lyrics****

Prayer:  God who calls us to choose you over all the things that distract us, God who calls us to turn to you – to trust in you – when we become exhausted, even exhausted by the works stemming from our living in faith, thank you for this meal that affords us time to return our focus to you.  Through this meal, grant us the strength to go to you in our weariness and to open ourselves to receive the rest you offer.  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

“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” #560

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 turn to God when you feel done
And receive the strength to be renewed.
Amen.