29th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
October 18, 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.
ORDER OF WORSHIP
Song of Praise
(You can look up the lyrics/music in a hymnal or on hymnary.org)
- “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!” #4
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…even the way of our own desires. 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
(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 our own desires, our own way.
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.
Invitation. “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” Every week during this time, you receive an invitation to make a choice: a choice to seek to save your life by retaining as much of the material things God has entrusted for you to manage or a choice to seek to lose your life for Christ’s sake by giving abundantly of the materials stuff God has entrusted you to manage. The ways of the world – the way of self-focus – tell us to cling to our stuff with all we’ve got; the ways of the world – the way of self-focus – tell us that we can save our lives by clinging to as much stuff as possible. But Jesus, the One whom we say we follow, tells us differently. I encourage you to let this moment of each and every worship service be a model that sets the pattern of your daily life, a model that sets an example of you giving for Jesus’ sake instead of taking or holding onto, so that you may truly find life. 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:
- 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. 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: In the context of this communion meal, what does it mean to take up your cross and follow Jesus? Does it mean you’ve literally got to go out there and find someone who’s willing to crucify you? Does it mean you’ve got to undertake some grandiose act of sacrifice? If you happen to find yourself in such a situation where you can save the lives of others by doing so, I supposed it’s possible. But, for most of us, taking up our cross is going to look different. It’s not going to be one grand act that leads to the end of our earthly life, like a death on a cross. Rather, it’s going to be a hundred or a thousand or a million seemingly tiny acts of love, giving of the self in small ways on behalf of others. Much like we partake around this table, one little wafer and one tiny cup of juice, somewhere around 3,600 times over the course of 70 years. Not one grandiose act but thousands of tiny acts of remembrance, which lead not to one grandiose act of selflessness but rather to thousands upon thousands of acts of selflessness, all so that we may find life.
Communion Hymn: “Where He Leads Me” #346
Prayer: God who calls us to choose your ways over our ways, God who calls us to leave behind a kingdom of our own making 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 way of the cross, the way of selflessness, over the way of selfishness. 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.
“Softly and Tenderly” #340
Go now as the people of God,
Empowered by the Holy Spirit
And given peace by God’s risen Son,
That you may deny yourself and find life.