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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 about being united in Christ?” 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:
Exodus 12:1-14 and Psalm 149, Ezekiel 33:7-11 and Psalm 119:33-40, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20.
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
Leader: Come, people of God, rejoice in your Maker!
All: Let us sing songs and hymns, old and new;
Let us celebrate with voices and instruments,
with praise and prayers!
Leader: Let us open our eyes to the life-giving presence of Jesus Christ.
For God is already here, among us and within us, bringing new life to all who believe.
All: God is with us! Let’s praise God together!
Song of Praise
Sing one song that focuses on God’s love and God’s call.
Reading of the Psalm
The psalmist writes in Psalm 119:33-40 (CEB),
Lord, teach me what your statutes are about,
and I will guard every part of them.
34 Help me understand so I can guard your Instruction
and keep it with all my heart.
35 Lead me on the trail of your commandments
because that is what I want.
36 Turn my heart to your laws,
not to greedy gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things.
Make me live by your way.
38 Confirm your promise to your servant—
the promise that is for all those who honor you.
39 Remove the insults that I dread
because your rules are good.
40 Look how I desire your precepts!
Make me live by your righteousness.
Exhortation from the New Testament
(A Reader’s Theater based Romans 13:8-14)
One: Brothers and sisters,
don’t owe anyone anything—
with one exception: love.
Love is a debt which never ends,
because love fulfills all the requirements of God’s law.
For the commands given in Scripture say:
Two: Do not commit adultery,
do not murder,
do not take what is not yours,
do not envy your neighbor.
One: These commands, and others like them,
can all be summed up in this one commandment:
Two: Love your neighbor as yourself.
One: Love does no wrong to others.
In fact, love achieves everything the law requires.
Two: This is all the more urgent,
because of the times we are living in.
It is time to wake up and see what is right before your eyes.
Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
One: The night is almost over,
and the day of salvation will soon be here.
Two: So remove the deeds of your old, dark life like dirty clothes,
and put on the shining armor of right living.
We belong to the day,
so we should live lives of decency and goodness for all to see.
One: Don’t fall into patterns of dark living:
wild parties, drunkenness, sexual depravity,
immoral living, quarreling and jealousy.
Two: Instead, clothe yourselves with the presence
of the Lord Jesus Christ,
putting aside thoughts of how to indulge your sinful desires.
Prayer of Preparation
You are speaking to us.
Break through our slumbering and our self-centeredness.
Open our eyes and ears
that we may hear your voice and see your movement in the world.
Awaken our love for your ways.
Awaken our desires for Your Kingdom to come
here as in heaven.
We love You, LORD. 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 the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 18 (CEB).
15 “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. 17 But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”
Let’s re-tell this scripture reading together. What did Jesus say first? What was next? Tell each other what was said in the text.
What part of these scriptures stood out to you? Why do you think that part stood out?
Let each person in the circle take a turn to wonder about something in this text…a word, a phrase, something that happened in the text, something that you’re thinking about… Start out by saying “As we read these scriptures, it made me wonder…”
We have been sharing living room liturgies for 6 months now. What have we learned about worship? What has been life-giving about this? What has been challenging? What do we miss about life before March 15?
What will we carry into this week from this text?
How can we be praying this week?
Prayers of the People
You have set before us the path
but we have wandered on our own
to try to find our way.
Remind us, O God,
that we always have much to learn.
Help us to seek You every day,
to acknowledge that we need Your wisdom and guidance,
and help us to return to the path and walk with You.
We pray today for the world.
Guide our leaders. May they lead with wisdom and justice.
We especially pray for these things that weigh on our hearts and minds … (pause for prayers)
We pray today for people.
May those who are lost or lonely or hungry or broken
Have a deep sense of your presence with them today.
We especially pray for these people who weigh on our hearts and minds…(pause for prayers)
Open our eyes to recognize Your presence in our lives.
Give us grace to hear Your call,
and courage to follow without hesitation,
knowing that Your way is the only way that leads to life.
In the name of Christ, who is our companion on this journey of faith, we pray.
And now we pray the prayer he 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,
Go out in love, reconciled to one another in Christ.
Lay aside the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light.
fulfilling the law through love for all.
And may God mark you out for salvation;
May Christ Jesus be present among you always,
And may the Holy Spirit reconcile you to one another
and fulfil the law of love among you.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.