25th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
September 20, 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)
- “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” #75
God of Love,
Out of your great love for people, you sent us your Son, a Messiah, a Savior. Out of your great love for us, you call us – constantly – to be your people and to live into the best ways imaginable, the ways of your kingdom. You gather us together to worship you, to encounter you, to learn from you, to be changed by you. Grant that we might become transformed by this encounter to better live into your great desires for us. 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.)
O God of Transformation, 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 and praise you for working through us, for calling us to pursue change in the world the way you pursue change with us: by and through the transforming power of love. Help us, O God, to receive your love, to live by your love, to pursue change through love…just as you continue to pursue change in us through love.
As we celebrate your love for us, love that makes so many joys in life possible, help us each time we experience joy to seek and discover how our joy is the result of your love. 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 who seeks to change the world by love instead of anger or hate or anything else, grant us the power of your love to pursue change as you do…by the power of love.
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 passage 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 – “If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” Through the Apostle Paul, God calls us to consider why we give whatever we give in this moment. If you make your decision to give without love, if you make your decision to give out of shame or guilt or keeping up with the Joneses or even just because it’s what Christians do, according to what God tells us through Paul, YOU GAIN NOTHING. As the leader of this congregation, a congregation whose ministries rely on your giving, you likely don’t expect me to say these things to you. But…I don’t want you to give for the wrong reasons. I don’t want you to gain nothing by your giving. I don’t want God’s kingdom to gain nothing by your giving. When you prayerfully consider what to give, please consider the love that resides at the heart of your decision. If there is no love that leads you to give, don’t give. If there is love that leads you to give, please give whatever and wherever that love leads you to give…that you may gain something and that God’s kingdom might gain by your giving!
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.
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: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Every week as we gather around this communion table, we gather to remember an act of love. Not just any act of love but the GREATEST act of love – the giving of one’s life for one’s friends. Y’all, this meal, it is no mere wafer and cup of juice. No, it is a living monument to the greatest act of love…ever. It is a living monument that calls us to reframe EVERYTHING we do in terms of love. As you prepare to partake today – and as you do partake – please consider how Jesus’ ultimate act of love calls you to transform every action of your life to become more loving.
Communion Hymn – “In Remembrance of Me” #403
Prayer – God who calls us to follow Jesus’ example of love, Jesus’ example of seeking to meet the needs of others over his own desires, grant by this bread and cup, by this encounter with the risen Christ that we will receive the strength to become more loving in every action of our lives. 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.
“The Gift of Love” #526
Go now as the people of God,
Empowered by the Holy Spirit
And given peace by God’s risen Son,
That you may follow Jesus’ example
And God’s desire of living and pursuing change
out of love.