PDF for print version HERE. For permission to print and redistribute, comment below.
Preparation for Worship
Songs: Ask yourself and the people who will be worshipping with you (kids included), “What are some of the songs we sing that talk about God’s presence in our lives?” Play them on Spotify, sing them acapella, or create your own instrumental arrangement.
Bible: You will need a Bible to read from the scriptures. You can use this doc or your phone as well, but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.
This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts: Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66: 8-20, John 14:15-21, 1 Peter 3:13-22.
You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.
Call to Worship
Leader: Come and celebrate!
Shout joyfully to the Lord, our God!
Glorify God with our praise!
All: Everything on earth will worship you, O God;
The whole earth will sing your praises,
shouting your name in joyful songs.
Leader: Come and see what our God has done,
what marvelous things God has done for us!
All: Let the whole world bless our God and sing God’s praise.
For our lives are in God’s hands,
and God keeps our feet from stumbling.
Leader: Come and celebrate!
Let us worship God together!
Song of Praise
Sing one or two songs that focus on the risen Savior and God’s saving grace.
Prayer of Confession
Leader: Let us confess our sins together.
All: Eternal God,
We confess that often we have failed to be an obedient church:
We have not always done your will;
We have failed to follow your commandments.
We have rebelled against your love;
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves;
We have ignored the cry of those in need.
We silently confess the things that we have done and the things we have left undone. (pause)
Forgive us, we pray.
Free us for joyful obedience.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Leader: Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he has done for me.
I cried out to him for help,
Confessing my sin, and praising his name.
He heard my prayer, and forgave my sin.
Praise God, who listens when we pray,
and who responds with unfailing love!
In Christ Jesus, we are forgiven!
Option 1: Listen to the song and reflect on the Greatness of God
Option 2: Read Psalm 66:8-20
A reading from Psalm 66.
All you nations, bless our God!
Let the sound of his praise be heard!
God preserved us among the living;
he didn’t let our feet slip a bit.
But you, God, have tested us—
you’ve refined us like silver,
trapped us in a net,
laid burdens on our backs,
let other people run right over our heads—
we’ve been through fire and water.
But you brought us out to freedom!
So I’ll enter your house
with entirely burned offerings.
I’ll keep the promises I made to you,
the ones my lips uttered,
the ones my mouth spoke when I was in deep trouble.
I will offer the best burned offerings to you
along with the smoke of sacrificed rams.
I will offer both bulls and goats. Selah
Come close and listen,
all you who honor God;
I will tell you what God has done for me:
My mouth cried out to him
with praise on my tongue.
If I had cherished evil in my heart,
my Lord would not have listened.
But God definitely listened.
He heard the sound of my prayer.
Bless God! He didn’t reject my prayer;
he didn’t withhold his faithful love from me.
The Gospel reading comes from John 14:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.
“I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Prayer of Response
God of heaven and earth,
You created the world, and everything in it,
yet you are as close to us as our own breath.
We pray that Your Holy Spirit
would move among us,
opening our eyes to Your presence,
opening our ears to Your Word.
We pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
(The time of listening is a series of reading the scripture, re-telling the story, and paying attention to where God is stirring your hearts as you listen. Invite everyone to listen to the words of the scriptures and to be ready to re-tell the story.)
A reading from Acts 17.
Paul stood up in the middle of the council on Mars Hill and said,
“People of Athens, I see that you are very religious in every way.
As I was walking through town and carefully observing your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown God.’
What you worship as unknown, I now proclaim to you.
God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. Nor is God served by human hands, as though he needed something, since he is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else.
From one person God created every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands.
God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him.
In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us.
In God we live, move, and exist.
As some of your own poets said, ‘We are his offspring.’
“Therefore, as God’s offspring, we have no need to imagine that the divine being is like a gold, silver, or stone image made by human skill and thought. God overlooks ignorance of these things in times past, but now directs everyone everywhere to change their hearts and lives.
This is because God has set a day when he intends to judge the world justly by a man he has appointed. God has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
- Paul stood up. Where was he? What do you think he was planning on doing? What do you think the people were expecting from him?
- Paul made some observations. What did he see? What did he notice? What was going on?
- Paul had a story to tell. What were some of the points Paul wanted the people to hear? What was he talking about?
What word or phrases captured your attention? Why do you think these words/phrases spoke to you?
What message do you think Paul was trying to deliver to the people of Athens?
What do you think of what Paul said?
What will we carry into this week from this text?
What can we pray for this week?
Song of Response
Prayers of the People
Prayer is a conversation with God. We join our hearts and voices to offer our prayers to God.
Hear us, we pray, O God,
Guide us by your presence,
As we lift up our heart’s desires,
Our soul’s deep needs,
Our hungers, fears and failures.
We pray for those around us who need your care,
and ask that you would make of us your instruments
of healing, peace and redemption.
We pray especially for those we name to you today,
and others we lift to you in the silence of our hearts. (pause)
We pray for your world for peace and justice and healing. (pause)
Powerful God, we pray that you would be with those we pray for today and with us,
That as people of renewed faith and life,
We may be empowered to serve your world,
And so give glory to you;
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
now and forever.
And now we pray together the prayer you taught us to pray saying,
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
Go now into this day singing God’s praises.
Remember God’s faithfulness.
Remember God’s promises and blessings.
Joyfully give back to the world the love you have received.
Know that God loves us and abides with us. Always.