Present Hope | week 4 | 06.14.20

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 fourth in our series Present Hope.

See last week’s service here | Listen to previously recorded talks here | Want to join us on Zoom? Send us a message.

Call to Worship

Though we have known hardship and pain,
though life has not always turned out as we had hoped, we will stand here and say:
God’s steadfast love endures forever!
Though life becomes more complex, the deepest questions remain unanswered,
and the mystery of faith deepens, we will say:
God’s steadfast love endures forever!
And though the pain of the world often seems more than we can bear or address,
we will stand firm in our faith and say:
God’s steadfast love endures forever!

Great God, you wrap us around with love, mighty yet gentle,
and you carry us with strength and tenderness, setting us on our feet
to be your free and joyful daughters and sons.

Now, in our weakness, we pray to you
because we cannot come through life’s troubles unscathed;
and, with souls and bodies stressed and strained,
we cannot meet each other’s needs without your Holy Spirit.

Great God, we come to you with the resurrected Christ,
who bore the weight of human flesh and blood to Calvary,
for your love’s sake; and even now, as conqueror of death,
he pleads with you for all your suffering children.

We join our prayers to the prayers of Christ
for those we know who are ill or troubled,
and for all your suffering children who are beyond our reach of mind:
we know that all are brought home to your heart
in the prayers of Christ and in the silent intercessions of your Spirit,
who comes from your deep heart to ours,
and returns again to you with all our deepest longings.

Heal us and help us, comfort and strengthen us, deepen our joy.
Let our love reflect your might and tenderness.

Eternal God, there is great longing in the world;
people are desperate because of the suffering they endure.
Earth cries out for peace; oppressed people cry for justice;
women, men and children weep in sorrow and pain.
How can we have any hope for the world, unless you are with us?
Through all the mystery of pain, sorrow and human vulnerability,
we dare to believe that you are on our side,
that your love for us is greater than ours for you or for each other.
Call us, then, to speak your truth!
By the lives we live, by our patience, by our compassion,
by our belief in the future you will make for us,
let your Church proclaim the great things you are doing,
with hope for the nations of the world,
for every person born, and every living creature.

So, Living God, let praise begin, here and now with us,
welling up from our hearts,
rising towards the skies,
until praise fills the universe and joy is unconfined:
as you delight in us and we delight in you, for evermore. Amen.

Feel free to read along with Paul when he reads this scripture:

1 Peter 2:18-21 (NIV)

Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Questions for discussion: 

1. Kids: When was a time when you felt cheated out of something, when it was unfair that you didn’t get to go somewhere or get something?
2. When was a time recently when you had this deep longing to have justice done in a situation? Something at school, at work, at home, or with you personally?
3. When was a time when you saw someone trying to do something good for a group of people, maybe an act of social justice, but they kept hitting a wall time and again? Did they just give up eventually—what happened?
4. What does it mean to you to not react first, to not give a knee-jerk reaction to unjust suffering but to be conscious of God first? How does someone do that?
5. How has the unjust suffering of Jesus for our sins given you hope when you have come across unjust suffering?

Children’s Worship

This week Pastor Paul is teaching us that even though bad things happen to us, we can still share God’s love with others and be obedient to Him. Here are a few activities that will help us learn this amazing truth.

Activity 1

Watch this video about Daniel and answer the following questions with your family:

    1. Share how God has given you hope.
    2. Share a time where having hope in God helped you through a difficult time.
    3. Who did Daniel share God’s love with?

Activity 2

We need to trust God when bad things happen. Use this verse as a reminder this week.

Gift Offering

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:

Discovery Church
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 coloring page with us on Instagram (@discoverycrc) (parents permitting).


May you know your identity this week as a member of God’s family
and one who has been saved by His grace.
May this allow you to live out your life in such a way
that it leads others to know God better and to glorify Him.
May the Holy Spirit lead you this week
to share in the submission that Christ exemplified,
so that you might be a part of His kingdom-building work.
May this be the way in which you reflect Christ’s light.

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.

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