You can watch today’s service here.
If you are watching our live stream this morning, you are invited to find a candle, so that we can all light candles at the same time.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Philippians 2:9-11)
One: God exalted Jesus Christ and gave him the name that is above every name,
All: so that at the name of Jesus
One: every knee should bend,
All: in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
One: and every tongue should confess
All: that Jesus Christ is Lord,
One: to the glory of God the Creator.
All: Let us worship God!
Send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, Almighty God, to rule and direct us according to your will, to comfort us in all our temptations and afflictions, to defend us from all error, and lead us into all truth; that we, being steadfast in the faith, may increase in love and in all good works, and in the end obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION
The Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. In recognition that our ways have not been righteous and often we have gone down wicked paths, we turn to our merciful God to confess our sin and ask for God’s forgiveness. Let us pray.
Please join me in the prayer of confession, followed by a silent personal prayer.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Lord, we come to you with questions that are not genuine, seeking only your affirmation of our behavior and opinions. We assume our own righteousness and quickly condemn others in your name, forgetting that our ways are not your ways, our judgment not your judgment. We do not take time to examine our hearts and seek your will. We jump to conclusions and neglect a life of prayerful discernment. Help us, gracious God, to humble ourselves before you and listen. Give us the courage to hear your corrective word and act upon it in ways that reveal our love for our Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you confess this week?
Assurance of Pardon
Approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, in joy we proclaim that through Jesus Christ we are forgiven. The old life is gone, a new life has begun. Thanks be to God! Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Lord, your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. We need not stumble in darkness, nor fear the night, because you send your Son to be the light of the world. In this hour of worship, we ask to be illumined by your wisdom and will through the power of your living word read and proclaimed. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.
- How did you come to believe in Jesus?
- Have you ever met someone who changed your life at your first meeting?
- In what ways are we similar to the first generations of Christians, who worshipped God in their homes?
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Almighty God, as the days shorten and the leaves fall from the trees, we turn to you, our unfailing source of light and life. While we wonder what tomorrow will bring, we are certain of your love for us no matter what challenges we face. We trust your promise to never abandon us and your power to uphold us all our days. We marvel that you choose to be in relationship with us, forgiving us repeatedly and surrounding us with grace daily. Confident in your never-changing character of mercy and kindness, we turn to you know in prayer, laying bare our hopes, our fears and the longings of our hearts.
Alpha and Omega, there is no corner of creation that does not belong to you, that is not beloved by you. We neglect our neighbors and ignore our siblings who cry out for help, but like a nursing mother, you cannot forget your children. Bring to our minds those for whom you would have us pray (silent prayer). As we remember the hurting and vulnerable you hold especially close, give us the courage to tend to them in ways that reflect your compassion and justice. Remind us yet again that when one part of the body hurts, we all suffer until that time we all rejoice together.
God of all that is seen and unseen, you give us your commandments that we might live in ways that reflect your will and make abundant life for everyone. All of the law and the prophets is summed up in loving you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. We ask, therefore, that our love of you and one another be tangible and transformative. Send your Spirit to enable us to practice mutual forgiveness, radical hospitality, generous mercy and relentless kindness. Help us to be gentle with one another, with the earth, with those desperate for relief and compassion.
Loving Lord, we pause to rest in your presence. Knowing that we are approved by you to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, we ask to be bold in our witness and humble in our service for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who taught us to say when we pray…
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
1 Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion;
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.
2 Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast;
let us all in thee inherit;
let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
3 Come, Almighty, to deliver;
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
4 Finish then thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee:
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.
INVITATION TO OFFERING
There are many gifts but the same Spirit who gives them. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord. All of us are called to serve and share with generosity and joy. Trusting the abundance of our God we give to God our morning’s offering.
If you are able to, please consider mailing your offerings to the church (210 Smith Street). Alternatively, there is a link at the top of this page that will take you directly to a secure page where you can make a one-time donation. We appreciate your generosity as we seek to continue our mission and ministry throughout the community during this difficult time.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Lord, you have blessed the work of our hands, given us resources and talents to share in your service, entrusted us with gifts to share for the building up of your kingdom. We rejoice that you enlist us to participate in your providential care for all creation. We celebrate the work of your Spirit in us and in our world and through these gifts we give to you in faith and hope. Bless and use them in ways we may never see but can nonetheless trust. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from A Brief Statement of Faith)
In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve. We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God. Jesus proclaimed the reign of God: preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition, Jesus was crucified, suffering the depths of human pain and giving his life for the sins of the world. God raised this Jesus from the dead, vindicating his sinless life, breaking the power of sin and evil, delivering us from death to life eternal.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
May your faith continue to inspire you, on this day and all days.
God has been with us from the beginning of all things,
and God is with us now.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
If you are using this page to follow along with today’s worship service while it is being live streamed, please join us for virtual coffee hour! Turn on your video camera and join us after the benediction with this link. You could also join over the telephone by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering the meeting code 146 874 134, followed by the password 075003.