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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 love and care for us?” 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:
Genesis 28:10-19a and Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24, Isaiah 44:6-8 and Psalm 86:11-17,
Romans 8:12-25, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.
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
Person 1: Jesus says, If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens,
come to me and I will give you rest.
Person 2: Take the yoke I give you.
Put it on your shoulders and learn from me.
This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.
Person 1: Jesus says, “I am humble and kind, and you will find rest.”
Christ calls us to come to worship
Person 2: To rest from the things that are troubling us and
To learn what Christ can teach us.
All: Let us worship God!
Song of Praise
Sing one song that focuses on giving thanks to God and God’s work in the world.
Option 1: Read the Psalm together
The psalmist writes in Psalm 139,
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Listen to the song and meditate on the words:
Read the Psalm and Listen to the song
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. 25 While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then how is it that it has weeds?’ 28 “‘An enemy has done this,’ he answered
“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’
29 “But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.”’”
36 Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 Jesus replied, “The one who plants the good seed is the Human One.[a] 38 The field is the world. And the good seeds are the followers of the kingdom. But the weeds are the followers of the evil one. 39 The enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the present age. The harvesters are the angels. 40 Just as people gather weeds and burn them in the fire, so it will be at the end of the present age. 41 The Human One will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that cause people to fall away and all people who sin. 42 He will throw them into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Those who have ears should hear.”
Prayer of Preparation
You led your people in the pillar of cloud
as they walked together in the wilderness.
Speak to us through your Word today,
that we may hear you speak to us
out of the wilderness places in our lives
and into new places you have promised to show us.
In the name of Christ, we pray. 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.)
Hear the word of the Lord from Genesis chapter 28.
10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and set out for Haran. 11 He reached a certain place and spent the night there. When the sun had set, he took one of the stones at that place and put it near his head. Then he lay down there.
12 He dreamed and saw a raised staircase, its foundation on earth and its top touching the sky, and God’s messengers were ascending and descending on it.
13 Suddenly the Lord was standing on it and saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will become like the dust of the earth; you will spread out to the west, east, north, and south. Every family of earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants. 15 I am with you now, I will protect you everywhere you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done everything that I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob woke from his sleep, he thought to himself, The Lord is definitely in this place, but I didn’t know it. 17 He was terrified and thought, This sacred place is awesome. It’s none other than God’s house and the entrance to heaven.
18 After Jacob got up early in the morning, he took the stone that he had put near his head, set it up as a sacred pillar, and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He named that sacred place Bethel, though Luz was the city’s original name.
Let’s tell the story that we just heard. How did the story begin? What happened next? (go around the circle and tell the story again)
What parts of this story captured your attention? Why did that part of the story stand out to you?
Let each person in the circle take a turn to wonder about something in this story. Start out by saying “As we re-told this story, it made me wonder…”
What do you think you’d do if you had the same experience as Jacob?
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.
Holy and Gracious God,
We give you thanks for the gift of life,
for the gift of your Son,
for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Lead us, we pray, through the trials
the suffering and sorrow of life.
Guide us through the challenges
and struggles and dark places.
Be with those who grieve.
Be with us when we have no peace.
Lead us with your grace,
and with your love.
Fill us with renewed hope,
and with patience,
with strength to endure.
in your image
in your Son
in your Name.
Cause us to grow,
and to understand,
and to see.
May we be made whole.
May we be the hands and heart of Christ.
As we pray 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,
As we go from here, hear again the promises of God,
made long ago to our ancestor Jacob,
and still true for us today:
I am the Lord your God,
the God of Abraham and Isaac.
Know that I am with you,
and will keep you wherever you go.
I will not leave you
until I have done everything that I have promised.
Let’s go from here
in the assurance that our faithful God goes with us.