First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

September 6, 2020 At-Home Worship Plan

23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
September 6, 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.


Song of Praise

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

  • “O For a World” #683


God of Transformation, God of New Life,

Out of your love for people, you sent your Son to die for us – for people – while we were still sinners.  You offered us reconciliation and real relationship with you even BEFORE we sought forgiveness or turned toward you.  Help us, O God, to experience your grace during this worshipful encounter with you.  Grant that we might be transformed by your grace to extend a graceful offer of reconciliation to others.     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.)

O God of vision, in gratitude and great joy we thank and praise you for your good desires for all people, especially for your desire to transform the world into a place of love, a place that can be described as your very kingdom here on earth.  Help us to experience the transformation you desire as we encounter and contemplate the renewed relationship you offer us through Christ.  Strengthen us to follow your example and offer renewed relationship to people in our midst, especially those who have harmed us.  Grant that we and the whole world might be changed through the transforming power of reconciliation. 

As we celebrate your offer of reconciliation through Christ, an offer that underpins every joy we experience in this lifetime, help us each time we experience joy to seek and discover how our joy is the result of your love and your offer of continued, renewed relationship, even though we are sinners.  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 has regularly offered renewed relationship to sinners, grant us the strength to live by your example of reconciliation, that the world might be transformed into a place that more resembles your kingdom than it resembles a world so much in need of Jesus’ sacrifice.

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.


  1. Invitation –  “Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”  Prior to the event of Jesus, there was this notion floating around out there in the world that maybe, just maybe, God couldn’t understand what it’s like to be a human being living on this earth.  But God’s inspired Word given through the Apostle Paul reveals that, at least after Jesus, God knows people pretty well.  Rarely will anyone die for a righteous person.  Rarely will people make sacrifices for others.  And yet, God calls us to live in a transformed way, a way that isn’t like this world in which people won’t sacrifice for one another.  Each week, you are given the opportunity to model what it looks like to live in a transformed way…to sacrifice a little of what you might think of as “stuff belonging to you” – time, talents, money, material resources…whatever.  Each week, God calls us to follow the example of Christ and give a little more toward a selfless cause, all so that we might eventually follow that pattern in every moment of our lives, thereby ushering in God’s kingdom of selfless love here on earth.  Let’s be in the spirit of Christian giving.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.


  1. Invitation to Communion:  “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”  Have you given much thought each week at this table to the reality mentioned by Paul in this passage?  The act we remember here, it is the act by which God reconciled God’s self to us through Christ.  This table, it is a monument to the ministry of reconciliation.  And you know what a monument is supposed to do, don’t you?  It’s supposed to help us REMEMBER – in this case help us remember Jesus’ act by which God reconciled God’s self to us.  And, it’s supposed to change the way we live; a monument calls to us to emulate, to follow, to imitate what we encounter in the monument.  Today, we encounter the ministry of reconciliation by which the victim, the harmed party, offers reconciliation to the offender…while the offender is STILL a sinner.  As you partake at the Lord’s Table today, may you receive the strength to imitate what you encounter.  
  2. Communion Hymn – “In Memory of the Savior’s Love” #405
  3. Prayer – God who calls us to follow Jesus’ example of offering reconciliation, renewed relationship, to those who have injured us – physically, emotionally, spiritually.   Remind us each time we partake of this bread and cup that God offered us renewed relationship even while we were still sinners.  And strengthen us by this bread and cup to offer reconciliation to those with whom relationship has been broken.  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

“Let There Be Peace on Earth” #677

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 follow God’s example,
That you may follow Jesus’ example,
Of offering forgiveness and renewed relationship
With those who have done you harm.