Following ChristPresent Hope | week 6 | 06.28.20
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 sixth in our series Present Hope.
Call to Worship
Lord God, Creator of all; you created us to be your people; a people free to love and to serve you with all our minds, with all our hearts and with all our strength.
We come to worship our God, leaving behind all that binds us: our doubts and our fears; our darkness and our hopelessness.
Jesus Christ, Savior of all: you shared love, laughter and tears with those whom you knew as friends and the love of the Father with all who would receive it.
So we come to love and to honor you, celebrating the companionship of those you have called to be your disciples.
Gracious Spirit, Inspirer of all; in and among us gathered here; eternally breathing Life into all of creation; endlessly giving and comforting.
So we come to be still in your presence; to hear in the silence the whisper of God
breathing life into our souls; deepening our unity in the very life of God and with each other. Amen.
From Psalm 25:
O Lord, I give my life to you.
I trust in you, my God!
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.
The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.
The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
God, our Creator, thank you for the gift of Jesus. He walked among us embodying your creative and life-giving Word in his body, his life, his words, his deeds, his sufferings, his death, and his resurrection. When we see him loving the outcast, forgiving the sinner, confronting the hypocrite, and teaching the crowds a new way of life, we see your heart, your compassion, your mercy, your character. So help us, Lord, to be among your disciples who come to you to be taught.
Help us, Lord, to be among the poor in spirit, to see and know that your kingdom is our homeland even now …
Help us, Lord, to be among those who mourn, to join you in your sadness for all that’s wrong and broken in this world, and in joining you, to find true comfort.
Help us, Lord, to be among the meek, those who find strength in weakness and power in vulnerability, to never fear lack or want, because when we have your love, we have all the world.
Help us, Lord, to desire justice, rightness, goodness, fairness, and integrity more than we hunger for food or thirst for water … and so let us find the truest fulfillment and satisfaction.
Help us, Lord, to be among the merciful. Help us to be a true friend to those who are hated, misunderstood, rejected, excluded, and disregarded just as you, God of Mercy, are. When others fail – when they fail us – help us show the same mercy you show to those who fail you, including each one of us.
Help us, Lord, to be among the pure in heart. May your light shine in our hearts and dispel every shadow, every layer and fold that conceals or pretends. Since it is only the heart that sees you, remove from our hearts everything that keeps us from seeing you.
Help us, Lord, to be among the makers of peace. Many build walls. Many sow fear and distrust. Many spread rumors. Many inflame conflict and profit from it. Help us to be an agent and messenger of your peace and reconciliation.
Help us, Lord, not to fear being among the persecuted, but rather, to rejoice in having the honor of standing for your restorative justice and rightness.
Help us, Lord, to be among those who suffer wrong well and with grace. Help us not to resent it, not to fear it, not to seek to escape it. Instead, help us to find joy in it … when others insult us, make our lives more difficult, or falsely malign us because of you. Help us to see through the momentary trouble to the lasting and weighty reward, even now, for your kingdom comes by suffering rather than by making others suffer.
So help us, Lord, to be among your disciples who come to you to be taught. We are limping, broken sinners and beginners, far from these realities, but this is where we want to go. In your mercy, lead us in this path. Amen.
Feel free to read along with Paul when he reads this scripture:
1 Peter 3:13-18 (NIV)
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
This week, Pastor Paul teaches us that by following Christ, we can help others get through hard times.
Every situation in life is an opportunity for us to show others what it’s like to follow Jesus. This activity sheet helps us see what following Jesus looks like in different situations.
Following Jesus is not a one time thing. It is something that we do every day.
- Print this activity sheet.
- In the space entitled “This week I will follow Jesus by doing…” write down ways you can accomplish this.
- During the week, every time you do your chosen activity, color in the space labeled for the current day.
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 coloring page with us on Instagram (@discoverycrc) (parents permitting).
May Christ our Lord be at the heart of all that you do.
May He be your first thought as you wake each morning,
and the One on whom you lay your cares to rest each night.
When trials come your way, may God bless you with a knowledge of how He is working; but when you do not see clearly,
may the Holy Spirit guide you back to the living hope we hold in Christ.
May any suffering that comes your way never be a result of your misdeeds,
for it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
In all of this, may you submit to the will of God,
May your words and deeds serve to tell the story of all that Christ has done in your life.
May your life direct others to hope in Him.
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.