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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 hearing the word of the Lord?” 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:
Isaiah 40:21-31, Psalm 147:1-11, 20c, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39.
You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.
Call to Worship
Leader: How good it is to sing praises to our God!
All: He heals the brokenhearted,
And binds up their wounds.
Leader: He counts the stars,
and calls them each by name.
All: How great is our God!
His power is abundant,
and his understanding, beyond comprehension.
Leader: So come, sing out your praises to God.
Offer to God the worship that belongs to Him alone!
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 147(NRSV),
Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
8 He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;[a]
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!
Exhortation from the New Testament
A reading from 1 Corinthians 9.
If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel. 19 For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
Prayer of Preparation
Still us, O God,
so that we might listen to You speaking to us,
knowing us, seeing us, loving us.
Fill us with your Living Word
that will transform our spirits and souls
into springs that burst forth
with life and love
for your people, for ourselves, and for our world.
We pray in Christ’s name. 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 Isaiah 40 (NRSV).
21 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
23 who brings princes to naught,
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
25 To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
And a reading from Mark 1 (NRSV), 29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32 That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Let’s remember together what was said in this reading. What was said first? What happened next? (go around the circle and tell the story to each other. Try to remember as many details as possible.).
What part of the scripture grabbed your attention? 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 will we carry into this week from this text?
How can we be praying this week?
Prayers of the People
God of our life, you are our never ending hope;
by your great will and power
you have created and sustained the vast and unfathomable universe.
By your grace you have called us
to serve you and to be your people.
Teach us, O God, your ways.
Help us, each day to turn aside and to listen for you,
and to study your word,
and to pray to you,
so that we might live as your people,
and give ourselves – all we are and all we have – in obedience to your will.
Give us strength and hope, peace and joy,
so that we might be able to impart these things to others in your name.
We pray now for the things that weigh on our hearts and minds today… pause for people to be able to offer prayers aloud.
All these things we ask through Christ Jesus your Son, our Lord, our brother, and our friend.. Amen.
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,
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or imagine, according to the power at work within us, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.