He, Me, We: Shared Grace
Thank you for joining us for our Digital Worship Gathering! You can use the worship guide below to follow along with songs, prayers and readings. This week we begin a new series: He, Me, We: Community & Joy in Philippians.
Twice a year Discovery Church does Coffee & Conversations, a time of small group discussion before regular worship, and we’ve decided to base our new normal of digital worship on that format. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us in some thoughtful conversation led by Pastor Heather Stroobosscher. Our current series is He, Me, We: Community & Joy in Philippians.
Call to Worship
Hear this Good News!
God’s Grace is wider than our wildest imaginings.
God’s Grace embraces us as we are and where we are
and draws us out to be the people we were created to be.
Father God, we give You thanks.
We give You praise and glory and honor.
We also come humbly before You admitting our great need for You.
Not simply a partial need, Lord, but a comprehensive, deep, constant, and daily need.
Thank You for Your grace.
We humble ourselves before You and ask that You would pour out Your grace
in mighty measures today.
Graciously speaking to us and touching our hearts.
Graciously working in us to will and to do according to Your good pleasure.
And graciously transforming our lives to the image of Jesus Christ.
By Your Holy Spirit, unfold Your Word and make it alive to us.
Lord, we confess that we can only live by every word that proceeds from Your mouth.
So speak to us. We are ready to hear what you have to say. Amen.
Let’s worship God together:
Let us pray:
Out of our ordinary, everyday lives,
you have gathered us here, Holy God,
to this time of worship, to this time of praise.
We join with the angels and all the company of the saints
to bless you, to listen for your Word,
to immerse ourselves in your grace, in your love.
Open our eyes, our hearts, our minds
to your presence with us.
Take the chaos of the world that has found its way into our hearts —
speak your Word and give order and form and new creation.
Take the failures and defeats, the guilt and the shame that bind our spirits —
speak your Word and set us free.
Take our longings for your goodness to shape our lives, this community, the hurting world —
speak your Word and infuse us with your courage and your hope and your love.
Then, awaken us to your Holy Spirit who is making all things new, even us.
We ask all of this in Jesus’ name who sends us out to speak love and mercy and grace
to those who are waiting, longing, hoping
for a sign that they are not alone, that you are a God of love and grace,
that you are a Savior who knows their name, that the Holy Spirit is leading them home. Amen.
We welcome Pastor Heather Stroobosscher for this series. Heather, her husband Chris, and children Zoe, Phoebe, and Nick were members of Discovery Church. Heather is one of the pastors at Calvary CRC in Wyoming.
Feel free to read along with Heather as she begins her talk with this scripture:
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Questions for discussion:
2. What does Paul mean that they “share in God’s grace” with him (v. 7)?
3. In what modern context would you/could you say to someone or a group of people that they “share in God’s grace” with you? What words would you use today to express that idea?
4. Discuss what Paul means in verse 9 by “love” (a heart idea) abounding in “knowledge and depth of insight” (two head associations).
5. How might your love abounding in knowledge and depth of insight affect your relationship with God? With others?
6. Could you sing the refrain, “it is well with my soul”? How deep does this go for you?
Scripture Prayers from Philippians
You may wish to use some of these to pray together as a small group. Find this in PDF form here if you’d like to download and use throughout the week.
“Gracious God, who began a good work in [name], we pray that you carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
“God of hope, we pray that [name]’s love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that [name] may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10).
“Generous God, we pray that you fill [name] with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:11).
“Father God, we pray through your provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that what has happened to [name] will turn out for his/her deliverance” (Philippians 1:19).
“Gracious God, we pray that in humility, [name] will value others above himself/herself, not looking to his/her own interests but to the interests of others. And we pray that in [name]’s relationships with others, he/she will have the mindset of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5).
“Righteous God, do a work in [name] that he/she may do everything without grumbling or arguing. Cause [name] to shine like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2: 14-15).
“God of Strength, we pray that [name] will strain toward what is ahead and press on toward the goal to win the prize for which you have called him/her heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
“Heavenly Father, we pray that [name] will rejoice in the Lord always. And we pray that [name] will let his/her gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:4-5).
“Lord who is near, we pray that [name] will not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, that [name] will present his/her requests to you, God. We pray that your peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard [name]’s heart and mind in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
For financial gifts, use your bank’s online payment option to send a gift to Discovery, or have someone address an envelope (a good opportunity for digital natives) and place the stamp on it. Checks can be mailed to:
7245 Eastern Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Please specify “general fund” or “missions fund” on the memo line.
Or, use this form to give online via the Christian Reformed Church’s site (our denomination). Be sure to choose Michigan- Grand Rapids- Discovery CRC from the drop-down list. You can give via credit card or automatic bank withdrawal. A 3% fee will be charged to Discovery.
For gifts of encouragement, write a note or draw a picture for someone who may need encouragement at this time. Have someone address the envelope and place a stamp on it. Or deliver it in person (keep that six foot social distance) to a neighbor or loved one.
For gifts of art, share a picture or video of your coloring page with us on Instagram (@discoverycrc) (parents permitting).
May God, who began the good work within you,
continue to be at work in your life,
bringing everything to completion
on the day when Christ Jesus comes back again.
May your love for others overflow more and more,
and may you keep growing in your knowledge and understanding.
Never forget what really matters,
so that you may live a pure and blameless life until Christ returns.
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—
those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ—
for living this way will bring much glory and praise to God.
Digital Prayer Pad
Prayer requests will be sent to Sara, our administrator, who will compile and distribute them to the congregation via email throughout the week as usual.
Thank you for joining us today! And thanks to Pastor Heather Stroobosscher, Pastor Mary, Kristi Stulp, Ahna Ziegler, and Bill TerHaar for creating this week’s service. Watch our Facebook & Instagram feeds for ways to stay connected throughout this self-imposed quarantine, including tips for making delicious coffee at home (so you’re well prepared for Coffee & Conversations). Social distancing does not mean social isolation!