Sometimes bad weather makes it unsafe to come to church. But even if you are stuck inside this weekend, we can still worship together as the body of Christ! I hope that this order of worship will help you and those you love to take time to give thanks to God and join with the communion of saints, wherever you are.
WE GATHER TOGETHER
Lighting of the Christ Candle: gather your family together. Take a moment to light a candle, remembering that Christ, whom we call “the light of the world” is always with us when we gather together.
Call to Worship: choose someone to “lead” and have everyone respond with the bolded words.
Great is the Lord—Exalted among the nations.
Mighty is the Lord—King of heaven and earth.
Holy is the Lord—Beyond our understanding.
Let us worship our God and King!
Hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Consider singing along to this familiar hymn, or use the video below as a time of prayerful reflection.
Confession: take a moment with your family to remember that God loves us just as we are. Whatever we have done or been this week, God accepts us. Prayer the prayer together below, or take time together to name moments this week where you have struggled to do God’s will, and are in need of forgiveness.
Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Through Christ our Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord for God is Good and God’s steadfast love endures forever. Nothing we can do, nothing we have done, can separate us from the Love of God. In Jesus’ Name, we are forgiven. Amen.
*Response Gloria Patri
THE WORD IS PROCLAIMED
Prayer of Illumination : Use this prayer to remember that the Scriptures are the one of the most important ways in which we can encounter God and know God’s will for us.
God of goodness and light, as you created the world by your Word and Spirit, breathe new life into us this day; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Scripture Readings: use the readings listed below, or find it together in the Bible. Take turns reading the verses, or choose one person to read the first lesson, and another to read the second.
First Lesson: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Gospel Lesson Luke 4:14-21
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Sermon “Love Your Body” by Rev. Sarah Weisiger (click here for the full text)
*Hymn Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God
WE RESPOND IN FAITH
Prayers of the People and Lord’s Prayer (opening paragraph written by Moira Laidlaw, and posted at http://www.liturgiesonline.com.au/)
Spirit of the living God, we praise and adore you for empowering us to claim membership of the body of Christ, a gift received through the fullness of your grace. Empower us anew, we pray, with tongues of fire and hearts of love to proclaim the reconciling word among people. Remind us that we are all members of the one body and if one member suffers, we all suffer. May we, as the body of Christ in this place, be the best evidence of your love by declaring and witnessing to this as the year of the Lord’s favour for all people. We give thanks that all of us are Christ’s body, and rejoice in each one being a part of it.
As we gather in church and at home, we pray for the body of our community. We pray for those who give thanks for snow, and for those who fear its coming. We pray for those who have the luxury to stay indoors, and for our emergency workers–police, firefighters, EMTs, hospital workers, Postal Service employees, Road Crews–whose work calls them into the storm. We pray for those who have no home from which to escape the cold. We pray for those who labor to provide a home for the homeless and the vulnerable in the storm. And we pray for those who are alone this weekend, and have no one with which to share their joy, sorrow, hope, or despair.
For all these and more, O God, we lift up our prayers. For we are one body, and we rise and fall together. In the name of our Head, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Offering: Remember that everything we have, and everything we are is a gift from God. How will you commit yourself to be a gift to God’s world this week? How will you be a blessing in the one and glorious life you have been given? Take a moment to share together ways in which you can offer your gifts, your time, and your treasure at home, at work, and at school. Consider making an offering together to bring to church next week, or use this weekend as an opportunity to try out our new online giving program through the Presbyterian Mission Exchange (click here to go to the website)
WE ARE SENT OUT
Hymn Blessed Be the Tie That Binds
Passing of the Peace: Close your time of worship together by passing the peace, remembering that wherever you are, God is with you when you gather in God’s name.
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. And also with you.