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 about God’s love and care?” 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 17:1-7 and Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 and Psalm 25:1-9, Philippians 2:1-13, Matthew 21:23-32.
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 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, all who are thirsty—come to the water!
You who long for the water of life—come and drink!
All: We are thirsting for more of you, Lord.
Leader: Dip your soul in the river of God’s goodness;
quench your thirst at God’s well of grace.
All: We are thirsting for more of you, Lord.
Leader: God is here among us,
offering living water to all who would drink!
All: Let’s worship God together!
Song of Response
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 25 (ESV),
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
Exhortation from the New Testament
Philippians chapter 2 (CEB) says,
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Prayer of Preparation
To You, O God, we lift up our souls.
To You we offer our praise and prayer,
our worship and thanksgiving.
To You, O God, we offer our very lives.
Make Your ways known to us.
Show us the path on which we should walk.
Lead us in Your truth and teach us.
You alone are the God who saves.
You alone are the God in whom we trust.
(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 Exodus, chapter 17 (CEB).
The whole Israelite community broke camp and set out from the Sin desert to continue their journey, as the Lord commanded. They set up their camp at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people argued with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses said to them, “Why are you arguing with me? Why are you testing the Lord?”
3 But the people were very thirsty for water there, and they complained to Moses, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?” 4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What should I do with this people? They are getting ready to stone me.”
5 The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of Israel’s elders with you. Take in your hand the shepherd’s rod that you used to strike the Nile River, and go. 6 I’ll be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Hit the rock. Water will come out of it, and the people will be able to drink.” Moses did so while Israel’s elders watched. 7 He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites argued with and tested the Lord, asking, “Is the Lord really with us or not?”
Let’s remember together what happened in this story. You may want to read/act out one or both of the following readings. What happened first? What happened next? (go around the circle and tell the story to each other. Try to remember as many details as possible.). Perhaps your group would like to act out this story…
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 this story, it made me wonder…”
What do we learn about God from these texts? What do we learn about people?
What will we carry into this week from this text?
How can we be praying this week?
Prayers of the People
God of compassion and love.
Time after time we have experienced your care and provision.
Time after time You’ve answered our prayers and met our needs—
often in ways we could never have dreamed possible.
We praise You for Your faithful love toward us.
Because we have known Your love,
we come to You with confidence,
offering our prayers for the world that You love.
Hear the prayers we offer for the world.
We see so much pain and suffering.
so much violence and poverty and despair.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs around us.
But we continue to bring our prayers to You in faith,
because we know that nothing is impossible for You.
Hear the prayers we offer for those in need.
You are the God who rained down bread from heaven,
and made water flow from a rock in the desert;
the God who resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead,
and who brings new life and hope to all who believe.
For You, all things are possible.
Hear the prayers we offer for the things that seem impossible..
Nothing is impossible for You, O God,
Give us courage to faithfully follow you,
with actions that bear witness to the words we speak,
and worship that overflows into our daily tasks and relationships—
May our lives bring glory to you.
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,
Go now to will and to work for God’s purposes.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
Be filled with the same love
and look to the interests of others.
With reverence for God, work out your salvation.
And may God quench your thirst with love and consolation;
May Christ Jesus strengthen you and encourage you;
And may the Holy Spirit lead you on and make your joy complete.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.
(©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net)