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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 focus on God’s call 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:
Jeremiah 20:7-13, Psalm 69:7-10, 16-18, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39
You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.
In the Bible, in Matthew 18:20, the scripture says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” We believe that the church is not a building. The church is made up of people. So, we have gathered here in the spaces in which we live to be the church. We will worship God together. We trust that God is here with us, and God is at work among us.
Call to Worship
God, our merciful and gracious parent,
Thank you for your love for us from the beginning of time.
You formed us when we were in our mother’s wombs,
You creatively and intentionally knit us together,
Your faithfulness to us has not failed,
Your care has followed us our whole life long.
All we are and all we have, we owe to you,
And so on this day,
In this space devoted to worshipping you,
We give honor to you
With our hearts and hands and voices.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
People of God, let us worship together!
Song of Praise
Sing one song that focuses on giving thanks to God and God’s work in the world.
Old Testament Reading
A reading from Jeremiah chapter 20,
Lord, you enticed me, and I was taken in.
You were too strong for me, and you prevailed.
Now I’m laughed at all the time;
everyone mocks me.
8 Every time I open my mouth, I cry out
and say, “Violence and destruction!”
The Lord’s word has brought me
nothing but insult and injury, constantly.
9 I thought, I’ll forget him;
I’ll no longer speak in his name.
But there’s an intense fire in my heart,
trapped in my bones.
I’m drained trying to contain it;
I’m unable to do it.
10 I hear many whispering—
“Panic Lurks Everywhere!—
proclaim, yes, let’s proclaim it ourselves!”
All my friends are waiting for me to stumble:
“Perhaps he can be enticed.
Then we’ll prevail against him
and get our revenge on him!”
11 But the Lord is with me like a strong defender.
Therefore, my oppressors
will stumble and not prevail.
They will be disgraced by their own failures.
Their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 The Lord of heavenly forces tests the righteous
and discerns the heart and the mind.
Let me see your retribution upon them,
for I have committed my case to you.
13 Sing to the Lord,
praise the Lord,
for he has rescued the needy
from the clutches of evildoers.
Song of Response
Prayer of Preparation
We worship you and praise you. We trust that you hold our lives in your hands, and we are gathered together to hear from you. We ask you to speak through the scriptures. May we be ready to receive what you have for us today. Open our ears and hearts as we continue in worship by listening to the scriptures.
We pray this in the name of Christ our Lord,
(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.)
Hear the gospel reading from the book of Matthew.
“Disciples aren’t greater than their teacher, and slaves aren’t greater than their master. 25 It’s enough for disciples to be like their teacher and slaves like their master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, it’s certain that they will call the members of his household by even worse names.
26 “Therefore, don’t be afraid of those people because nothing is hidden that won’t be revealed, and nothing secret that won’t be brought out into the open. 27 What I say to you in the darkness, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, announce from the rooftops. 28 Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell. 29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a small coin? But not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing about it already. 30 Even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 Don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.
32 “Therefore, everyone who acknowledges me before people, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me before people, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
34 “Don’t think that I’ve come to bring peace to the earth. I haven’t come to bring peace but a sword. 35 I’ve come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 People’s enemies are members of their own households.
37 “Those who love father or mother more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who love son or daughter more than me aren’t worthy of me. 38 Those who don’t pick up their crosses and follow me aren’t worthy of me. 39 Those who find their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives because of me will find them.
Let’s re-tell the text that we just heard. Where did we begin? What happened next? (go around the circle and tell the text again)
What words or phrases grab your attention?
What parts of this sending seem difficult to you? What parts do you think you could follow?
What is challenging about this text? What is comforting about this text?
What will we carry into this week from this text?
What can we pray for this week?
Prayers of the People
Prayer is a conversation with God. We join our hearts and voices to offer our prayers to God.
Living and Holy God,
We rejoice that you have called us into new life
and that you have equipped us to follow you.
We praise you for the reflections of that new life
In nations and governments and those who lead around the world…
In the ministry of your Church…
In the sacrifice of those who serve…
In the gift of those who love and nurture us…
(pause and invite people to respond)…
You are the giver of new life and renewed hope.
Knowing this, we bring our prayers
For the nations of this world…
For our nation and its leaders…
For all who are sick or grieving…
For our community…
For people we know who have particular needs…
(pause and invite people to respond)…
We praise you that you call us to new life
And to follow you with joy and gladness.
By your Spirit
Lift us from doubt and despair
And set our feet on your holy way,
That our lives may be signs of your life
And that all we have may show others your love.
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 sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
People of God, hear now this blessing.
May the God of peace,
who raised from the dead our Lord Jesus,
provide us with every good thing we need
in order to do his will;
and the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be with us now and forever.
Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.