At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
March 7, 2021
3rd Sunday of Lent
- 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
(You can look up the lyrics/music in a hymnal or on hymnary.org…or watch the playlist on our YouTube channel or website.)
- “Go to Dark Gethsemane” #196
God of Lent, God who calls us to return from the wilderness of sin to your kingdom. Attune us to your heart and your desires as we worship, that this time in your presence will set the pattern for our purposeful living throughout the rest of the week. We pray these things in the name of Jesus, our Lord, 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
Anthem – “By His Wounds” by Mac Powell and Friends
(Share joys and concerns, then have someone pray the following prayer or one of your own.)
God Who Calls us Into a Closer Walk with You,
We learn from the scriptures of your great and steadfast love for us. We learn from the scriptures how much you desire the absolute best for us, in this lifetime and always. We remember during the season of Lent how you call us to turn away from all that separates us from you so that we might live into what you know is best.
So grant us an awareness of your love and your great desires. Grant us a renewed remembrance of the goodness that has resulted from each time we – and our spiritual ancestors – have lived into your desires instead of the desires of people. Grant each time we experience a joy in life – joys like those mentioned in this service of worship – that we might consider how you made each joy possible…so that we might choose in our joy to continue to turn away from the ways of the world and toward your ways.
Even as we give thanks for the joys you make possible, we know there are people who struggle to find joys you make possible 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 struggle or refuse to turn to you this Lenten season;
- 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 calls us to return to you and to purposeful living, grant us the strength we need to resist temptation and return from the wilderness of sin into your loving arms and loving ways this season of Lent and always.
We pray, as we live, through Jesus, who calls us out of the wilderness and back toward you, and by the power of your 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 to Discipleship
The people of Sodom chose to live worthlessly…not in terms of their own desires but in terms of God and God’s purpose for them. And the results were…not good. But the story of Sodom is not a one-off; we see this pattern repeated in the scriptures and throughout human history: when people live worthlessly in terms of God’s purpose, the results are not good: not good for the individuals involved and not good for the world as a whole.
But God calls you – people of God – to live differently, to live purposefully. God calls you to live in a way that will bring not destruction but life to you and to all the world. Which way will you choose?
Hymn of Invitation – “Purer in Heart, O God” #573
Invitation. Have you ever considered what it means, what it would look like, for you to live purposefully with all the material stuff of your life? Have you spent a day going around your house and asking of each item you own, “how does this help me live into God’s purpose for me?”
I would imagine that – if we partook of this exercise – most of us would discover that we have a great many things that we very rarely, if ever, use purposefully (in terms of God’s purpose, anyway.) Which means, we’re spending our money gluttonously, purchasing things with our money that do not serve God’s purpose for us. It’s difficult to hear, I know. We are people of God; we don’t like to imagine that we participate in these “deadly sins”, but, the truth is, we do. As you consider what you should give to God during this time, I encourage you to consider how your giving to God can help redirect you to being more purposeful with your money and material stuff. Then, give in accordance to what you discover.
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. God of Lent, help us to return to you, to return to purposeful living, this Lenten season with the whole of our lives, including our giving. Bless these gifts we offer, and help us to experience the goodness that results from turning toward you with the material possessions we think of as “ours”. We pray this in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Communion: Gluttony is about acting, about doing and speaking, in ways that don’t contribute to or participate in God’s purpose for us.
This gluttony-thing, it’s something that WE do, but it’s not something that was done by the One we follow…which makes Him, and the meal He instituted around this table, a wonderful example for how we can return to purposeful living.
Jesus had a choice; Jesus ALWAYS had a choice. He could have lived into His purpose by giving His life for us, or He could have chosen…just about anything else. Which do you suppose would have been more personally fulfilling for the human part of Jesus?
Fortunately for all of us, fortunately for all the world, Jesus chose the way of purpose over the way of gluttony, and Jesus calls us through this meal to do the same!
Communion Hymn – “Gather Us In” #284
God of saving activity, as you bless these elements and as we partake of them, strengthen us by this bread and cup to only partake of activities that help us live into God’s purpose for us…just as you partook only of purposeful activities during your ministry. 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.
“All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly” #419
Go now as the people of God,
Seeking to know God’s purpose for you,
And doing all you can to live into that purpose with each action of your life.
Go in the name of Jesus
And by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.