We're glad you're here for ToGather for April 26, 2020! (What is ToGather?) Below, you will find a guide for home worship for one person or a group of people with Scriptures, songs, a Communion reflection, and a challenging message from Ephesians 4:26. We encourage you to have an open heart as we worship God and to have bread and wine or grape juice for the time of Communion.
May God bless you, those you love, and those you want to reach with the grace of Jesus!
The ToGather.church Team
Invitation to Worship:
No matter where we are physically, we are together spiritually, connecting to honor God as the Holy Spirit transforms us to be more like Christ. Our focus this week is to love people as Jesus did.
Let's begin with Leeland leading us to worship God, who is with us whether we are alone or with others. We will use this song to remind each other that God is our "Way Maker":
As we continue our worship, let's read Psalm 86:8-12 aloud. Our reading reminds us that all of our redemptive work in the world begins with our reverent appreciation for God's mercy and grace!
There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
and bow down before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
(Psalm 86:8-12 NRSV)
All Sons and Daughters lead us in their beautiful song, "All the Poor and Powerless," to acknowledge what we have just declared. This song is a reminder for us to offer ourselves to God as we dedicate ourselves to do the work of Jesus:
Dealing with the Anger Inside Us:
Anger is a constant challenge. Unexpected outbursts of anger-fueled venom against others wound hearts and damages relationships. During the challenging times that we are now facing with social distancing, many of us struggle with boredom, fear, limited options, unemployment, anxiety, and a host of other emotions and problems. As these emotions and problems flood over us, anger may not be far behind.
How do we deal with the anger inside us?
How do we manage our emotions when events beyond our control damage our future and dim our hopes?
How do we respond when we feel mistreated?
Our passage today from VerseoftheDay.com challenges us to get control of our anger. But how do we? Join Phil Ware as he opens God's word and helps us with spiritual resources to address the anger inside us. You will want to have your Bible open to Ephesians 4:26 as we begin:
You may also want to hear Phil's "Six Strategies to Deal with Anger"!
Forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven us is hard. Handling our anger appropriately in these difficult times is challenging. Dealing with "the spider" inside the dark corners of our hearts is not a fun task. To handle our insecurities, wounds, and failures, we must have God's help. Let's join the Westover Hills Singers and confess in song, "Lord I Need You"!
Sharing the Supper:
The Lord's Supper is not just about remembering what Jesus did on the cross. The Supper invites us into the mystery of being changed to be like Jesus. The challenge we find at the Lord's Table today is the challenge to love people — both our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ-like love as Jesus has loved us. Let's join Jenn Johnson in a prayer-in-song to love others the way Jesus does with Bethel Music's "For The One":
Fred Spain invites us into the drama, tension, and amazing love of Jesus at the first Lord's Supper, when he was with his disciples before the cross:
As we complete our time at the Lord's Table, let's remember the Lord's call to love others as Jesus has first loved us, a commitment we have made and a covenant we have accepted by taking this bread and fruit of the vine:
[Jesus said to his disciples:] "Little children, I am with you only a little longer. ... I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:33-35 NRSV).
We join Fred Spain again for a closing blessing:
Then as we leave our virtual worship gathering, we leave in the power of the Spirit, knowing that God is at work in our lives. As we close this time, we have Gungor lead us in an acapella version of the Doxology:
May we all live knowing the blessing of God rests upon us and that we can share that blessing with others!
Living My MUSD — Faith Working Through Love:
Come join us for "Living My MUSD" (said, "Living My MUST") — Living My Mission Under Social Distancing.
This week, we focus on shared prayer and using this gift from God to forgive those who need forgiveness, including those who have sinned against us!
Music and CCLI licenses are in process and will be handled appropriately.