Worshipping at Home, May 16-17, 2020

(Clicking on the text underlined in blue will take you to Youtube videos.  Most are songs, except for the Sermon, “The Areopagus”)

All Prayers are from the Book of Common Worship (Westminster John Knox Press, 2018) and The Worship Sourcebook, Second Edition (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Faith Alive Christian Resources and Baker Books, 2013)

Pray: Loving God, we have gathered to meet you. We have come to listen to you, to seek you, to worship you. You are the beginning of all things, the life of all things; you knew us before we were born. In you we become; in you we live. Loving God, you are here and everywhere, around us and within us; you know our inmost thoughts. In you we hope; in you we live. You are the source of serenity, giving peace that is beyond our understanding. In you we are still; in you we live. Loving God, we live in you; we worship you. Loving God, you live in us; we worship you. Amen.

Sing or Listen: Traditional:  All Creatures of Our God and King

Contemporary: Here I Am To Worship

Confess: O God, you have shown us the way of life through your Son, Jesus Christ. We confess with shame our slowness to learn of him, our failure to follow him, and our reluctance to bear the cross. Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us. We confess the poverty of our worship, our neglect of fellowship and of the means of grace, our hesitating witness for Christ, our evasion of responsibilities in our service, our imperfect stewardship of your gifts. Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us. Amen.

Be: Sit (or stand) in silence for one minute. 

Be Assured: Hear these words of comfort from the book of Acts: All the prophets testify about Christ that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Read God’s Word: Psalm 66: 8-20

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.

You brought us into the net; you laid burdens on our backs; you let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will pay you my vows, those that my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.

I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats.

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.

I cried aloud to him, and he was extolled with my tongue.

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

But truly God has listened; he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me.

Acts 17:22-31 (New Revised Standard Version)

Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’

What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.

From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,

‘For we too are his offspring.’

Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Watch the Sermon: The Areopagus

Think or Discuss: What does it mean to be a child of God?  What does it mean for people we don’t like or who we disagree with to be children of God?

Do:  Talk to, and especially, listen to, someone of a different religion or no religion about what they believe and why they believe it. Pray for them. Remember that they are a child of God.

Pray: Use this time to pray, silently, at first, and then for others who need your prayers.

Finally, pray the Lord’s Prayer. (Our Father…)

Sing or Listen: Traditional: I Love to Tell The Story

Contemporary:  King of Kings

Bless and Be Blessed: May the God of Peace and the Peace of God be with you always.

After Worship, Our Service begins…

Serve: (Safely) Buy an essential worker (healthcare, education, retail, public safety etc.,) a gift card to a local restaurant. Even if they can’t use it now, the restaurant will appreciate the business as well.