Resident Aliens for GodPresent Hope | week 1 | 05.24.20
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 is the first in our new series Present Hope.
Call to Worship
Father God, Your extravagant love has called us together.
Long before we even knew You,
You already knew us, and had chosen us to be part of Your own family—
sisters and brothers with our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
What amazing love You have shown toward us!
And so we come before You with praise and thanksgiving,
offering You the worship of our hearts and lives,
and opening ourselves to the prompting and leading of Your Holy Spirit.
Receive our worship—our praise and prayers and offerings—
through the intercession of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
May the time we spend here in Your presence bring honor and glory to Your Name.
Eternal God, you are the maker of us all, and we are your creation, people formed in your image, as individuals, as community—formed and nourished and equipped with understanding of who you are and of who and whose we are. We are worshipping you today in recognition of your calling, of your communicating, of your caring to invite us to share in your creative and healing work. We are here because we have heard you speak in us and through others. Help us, dear Lord, to ever respond to you and your invitation to your grace.
God of all our moments, of our days and our nights, you speak and you act in the world around us, not only to call all people to you, but also to direct and guide us in the way of healing and wholeness. Awaken us Lord, to hear what you would say to us. Help us to open our ears, our eyes, and our hearts to your presence. Help us to know when it is your voice we are hearing and when it is our prejudices and desires to which we are paying heed.
Lord, we pray that your church may rise up with renewed commitment in answer to your call, that your people may be instruments of your grace and love.
We pray for those who consider themselves inadequate and dismiss or avoid your calling in their lives. Give them a new vision, a vision in which you are their strength and their hope.
We pray too, today, O Lord, for those in need—for those of us and of the larger community who suffer in body or in soul.
Loving Father—bless us all with an abundant faith, a fruitful ministry, a joyful life. Bless us and all those who gather together to continue the work of Jesus, who came to heal, save, and deliver us all. Amen.
Welcome back, Pastor Paul!
Feel free to read along with Paul as he begins his talk with this scripture:
1 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Questions for discussion:
2. Maybe in the current pandemic crisis, but maybe in some other life crisis, how did you do in not allowing fear to control you but choosing faith instead? How did God help you do that?
3. Do Christians you know generally hold on to more hope in our current crisis, or are they more discouraged? If they are more discouraged, how can you help them?
4. What are ways that Christians hold too tightly to the things of this world that we are passing through? Can you think of an example of someone who holds the things of this world loosely?
5. When has the knowledge or the experience of Father God’s love really surprised you in a time of pain or suffering?
6. “Suffering takes us out of automatic”—how has God used this wake up call to focus on something in your life that needs attention?
This week, Pastor Paul encourages us all to know whom we belong to.
Download this “Who I Am in Christ” activity sheet.
- Take a few minutes every day this week to memorize one or two of the sayings.
- Read the passages that go with each saying.
We are children of the King!
- Print & color this paper crown.
- Cut out the crown and let it remind you of who you are!
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 artistic response to the talk or your colored crown with us on Instagram (@discoverycrc) (parents permitting).
Brothers and sisters,
Never doubt the love of God!
For long before you were aware of it,
God knew you.
He had already chosen you to be part of his family—
a child of God!
And having chosen you, he called you;
and having called you, he made you right with God;
and having made you right with God, he gave you his glory!
So do not doubt the love of God.
For if God is with us, we have nothing to fear.
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.