October 18, 2020 Liturgy

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 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: 

Exodus 33:12-23 and Psalm 99, Isaiah 45:1-7 and Psalm 96:1-9m (10-13), 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:15-22.

You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering.  It would be great for every person to have a part.


Gathering Words

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:       Sing to the Lord a new song!

                     Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

All:          Sing to the Lord! Bless his name!

Leader:       Share the news of his saving work every single day!

Declare God’s glory among the nations;

declare his wondrous works among all people

because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise.

All:              Sing to the Lord! Bless his name!

Leader:       It is the Lord who created heaven!

Greatness and grandeur are in front of him.

Strength and beauty are in God’s sanctuary.

All:          Sing to the Lord! Bless his name!

Leader:       Give to the Lord glory and power!

Give to the Lord the glory due his name!

Tell the nations, “The Lord rules!

All:              Sing to the Lord! Bless his name!

Leader:       Come, let us worship the Lord!

Song of Response

How Great is Our God

Song of Praise

Sing one song that focuses on God’s love and God’s call.

Some suggestions:

Great Things

O Praise the Name

How Great Thou Art 

Lord You Have My Heart

One Way (for kids)

Praise the Lord Everyday (for kids)

For other song ideas click here.

Reading of the Psalm 

The psalmist writes in Psalm 99 (CEB),

The Lord rules—

    the nations shake!

    He sits enthroned on the winged heavenly creatures—

    the earth quakes!

2 The Lord is great in Zion;

    he is exalted over all the nations.

3 Let them thank your great and awesome name.

    He is holy!

4 Strong king who loves justice,

    you are the one who established what is fair.

    You worked justice and righteousness in Jacob.

5 Magnify the Lord, our God!

    Bow low at his footstool!

    He is holy!

6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,

    Samuel too among those who called on his name.

They cried out to the Lord, and he himself answered them—

7  he spoke to them from a pillar of cloud.

They kept the laws and the rules God gave to them.

8 Lord our God, you answered them.

    To them you were a God who forgives

    but also the one who avenged their wrong deeds.

9 Magnify the Lord our God!

    Bow low at his holy mountain

    because the Lord our God is holy!

Exhortation from the New Testament

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 (CEB) says, From Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. To the Thessalonians’ church that is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to all of you.2 We always thank God for all of you when we mention you constantly in our prayers. 3 This is because we remember your work that comes from faith, your effort that comes from love, and your perseverance that comes from hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father. 4 Brothers and sisters, you are loved by God, and we know that he has chosen you. 5 We know this because our good news didn’t come to you just in speech but also with power and the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know as well as we do what kind of people we were when we were with you, which was for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord when you accepted the message that came from the Holy Spirit with joy in spite of great suffering. 7 As a result you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The message about the Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia but in every place. The news about your faithfulness to God has spread so that we don’t even need to mention it. 9 People tell us about what sort of welcome we had from you and how you turned to God from idols. As a result, you are serving the living and true God, 10 and you are waiting for his Son from heaven. His Son is Jesus, who is the one he raised from the dead and who is the one who will rescue us from the coming wrath.

Prayer of Preparation

God, You reign!

You are robed in majesty and armed with strength.

You hold our world and our lives securely.

Your decrees are firm and unshakeable

and will last forevermore.

Open our ears to hear what you have to say to us.

Open our hearts to receive your word.

Be with us, O God.

In Christ’s name we pray.



(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 33 (CEB).

12 Moses said to the Lord, “Look, you’ve been telling me, ‘Lead these people forward.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. Yet you’ve assured me, ‘I know you by name and think highly of you.’ 13 Now if you do think highly of me, show me your ways so that I may know you and so that you may really approve of me. Remember too that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “I’ll go myself, and I’ll help you.”

15 Moses replied, “If you won’t go yourself, don’t make us leave here. 16 Because how will anyone know that we have your special approval, both I and your people, unless you go with us? Only that distinguishes us, me and your people, from every other people on the earth.”

17 The Lord said to Moses, “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special approval, and I know you by name.”

18 Moses said, “Please show me your glorious presence.”

19 The Lord said, “I’ll make all my goodness pass in front of you, and I’ll proclaim before you the name, ‘The Lord.’ I will be kind to whomever I wish to be kind, and I will have compassion to whomever I wish to be compassionate. 20 But,” the Lord said, “you can’t see my face because no one can see me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near me where you will stand beside the rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by, I’ll set you in a gap in the rock, and I’ll cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. 23 Then I’ll take away my hand, and you will see my back, but my face won’t be visible.”

And a reading from the Gospel of Matthew 22 (CEB),

15 Then the Pharisees met together to find a way to trap Jesus in his words. 16 They sent their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are genuine and that you teach God’s way as it really is. We know that you are not swayed by people’s opinions, because you don’t show favoritism. 17 So tell us what you think: Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

18 Knowing their evil motives, Jesus replied, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax.” And they brought him a denarion. 20 “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked.

21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 22 When they heard this they were astonished, and they departed.


Let’s remember together what happened in these readings.  You may want to read/act out one or both of the 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.).

Paying Attention

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 texts, it made me wonder…”

What do we learn about God from these texts? 

What will we carry into this week from this text? 

How can we be praying this week? 


Prayers of the People

Ever-Present God,

We praise you for your grace which is always on the move,

from death to life, desolation to hope, famine to feasting.

As we journey through the pain and rejoicing of life,

we give thanks that you go with us as our protector and friend:

that you have taken us by the hand and led us.

As You welcome us, so You welcome our prayers.

We bring them to You with confidence,

knowing that You will hear and answer.

We pray for the world You created, and the people who share it with us. pause

We pray for our country and for its people. pause

We pray for our local community. pause

We pray for the people we know and love.  pause

Pour out Your Spirit on us!

Fix our hearts and minds on what is true and honorable and right.

Give us the joy and peace that comes from knowing and doing Your will.

Keep us faithful to the call we have received in Christ Jesus, our Lord,

extending Your loving invitation to the world around us.

And now we pray together the prayer you have 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, 

forever. Amen.



Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,

In the name of Christ. Amen.

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