WE HAVE PAUSED CORPORATE WORSHIP DUE TO COVID-19 AND WILL RESUME NOVEMBER 29, 2020.
First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

October 11, 2020 At-Home Worship Plan

28th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
October 11, 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)

  • “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” #65

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.  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, 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 the ways of people, the ways of this world, the ways of the flesh.

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 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.  “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  It amazes me sometimes to think about how absolutely, positively OPPOSITE Jesus’ way, God’s way, is from the way of people.  If asked, most people would likely say that the path to happiness, contentment, life, and peace is the way of focusing on materials stuff: making sure we have enough money to feel secure now and into retirement, making sure we have enough money to purchase the things that make us happy, making sure we have enough stuff to…something.  Even when we get to this point in the worship service on Sunday mornings, we likely make our decision on whether or not to give to God and how much to give to God as a secondary concern to all these other concerns: give back after we make sure we’ve secured enough material stuff for ourselves.  And yet, look what God’s Apostle to the Gentiles, to us, said: “To set the mind on the flesh” – meaning worldly, tangible stuff – “is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  If i’m not mistaken, God is telling us through Paul that the way to life and peace is to focus on the Spirit FIRST – even with our materials stuff, meaning, give to God first.  I wonder, if you focus on the flesh first and wonder why you haven’t found the life and peace God promises, might it be time to try what God was telling us through Paul? 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 reading from 1 Corinthians, Paul told the members of the church in Corinth that they weren’t ready for “solid food.”  Every time I read that passage, I ponder how it is that we get ready…which leads my mind back to the Communion table.  Sure, one way to get ready is to receive increasingly deep instruction, as that congregation received from Paul, to be fed with what Paul called “milk”.  But this table offers another way.  Jesus provided this table as a means of spiritually feeding all believers, as a means of helping us dive deeper into the truth of the gospel, as a means of becoming more and more “of the Spirit” and less and less “of the flesh”.  At this table, we are reminded what it is to be Godly, what it is to be of the Spirit instead of of the flesh.  Let us prepare to partake that we might become “of the Spirit”. 

Communion Hymn – “Fill My Cup, Lord” #351

Prayer.  God who calls us to choose your ways over the ways of the world, God who calls us to leave behind the world’s kingdom and enter into your kingdom, thank you for this meal that shows us both your way and an example of the actions by which we might enter into your kingdom.  Through this meal, grant us the strength to choose the ways of the Spirit over the ways of the flesh.  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

“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” #344

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 in the ways of the Spirit
Rather than the ways of the flesh..
Amen.