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 listening to God?” 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:
Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17
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: Loving God, in reverent awe, we come to worship you!
All: We gather to honor and glorify God’s almighty name.
Leader: Righteous God, we rejoice as we come to worship you!
All: We gather to celebrate God’s power. God reigns over all!
Leader: Faithful God, with thankfulness, we come to worship you!
All: We gather to sing praises to the God in whom we trust. Amen.
Song of Praise
Sing one song that focuses on God’s love and God’s call.
New Testament Reading
It says in 1 John chapter 5 (CEB), Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God. Whoever loves someone who is a parent loves the child born to the parent. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep God’s commandments. 3 This is the love of God: we keep God’s commandments. God’s commandments are not difficult, 4 because everyone who is born from God defeats the world. And this is the victory that has defeated the world: our faith. 5 Who defeats the world? Isn’t it the one who believes that Jesus is God’s Son? 6 This is the one who came by water and blood: Jesus Christ. Not by water only but by water and blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
Prayer for Illumination
God of Love,
We offer this time of worship to you,
praying that it may reflect our praise and thanksgiving
for the gifts of creation and for all that Jesus has done for us.
Now, by your Spirit,
Open our eyes and ears
That we might recognize what you are saying to us. 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.)
Let’s hear the word of God from John 15 (CEB),
“As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. 12 This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 17 I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.
And a reading from Acts chapter 10 (NRSV).
44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47 “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.
Let’s remember together what was said in these readings. 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 . . . ”
In what ways have you found yourself abiding in God’s love in the past year?
Is there something we should remember for this coming week from what we heard from the scriptures?
How can we pray for each other?
Prayers of the People
May we honor your name
not by paying you lip service,
but by trusting you to lead us.
May we honor you by following you.
May we speak into the word with our actions
and show that we are your people by the way we live.
May we love in your name.
May we speak in your name.
May we care in your name.
We pray for those who are hungry and in need. (pause)
We remember the sick, especially those we name silently or aloud. (pause)
We lift up those things weighing on us today. (pause)
Give us joy that outlasts our sorrows,
Give us a hope stronger than the despair of our discouragement.
So often we forget
that you invite us to abide with you;
to have our lives hidden in you.
We thank you that you travel with us in our joys and our concerns.
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 with this blessing.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
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