Welcome to ToGather.church, a home worship guide for you, your friends and family, and your home group or house church. We invite you to join us in opening our hearts to God. As we do, we ask Jesus to fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; Ephesians 5:15-21). (More information about ToGather is available here.)
Let's enter into our time of worship with Chris Tomlin's song, "At The Cross Love Ran Red," as we focus today on the love and power of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Invitation to the Word:
To prepare our hearts for Phil's message today from Galatians 6:14, we join together in the beloved song, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." Each verse of this song is powerful but focus on the second verse as we sing:
Save in the death of Christ my Lord.
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
Our Verse of the Day focuses on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul's words in Galatians 6:14 remind us that our only source of boasting as a follower of Jesus is the cross, but such boasting doesn't make any sense from a worldly point of view. For us, however, the cross means everything because, at the cross, God meets us with overwhelming grace and love that Jesus brings without limit. We pray the Lord blesses you today through Phil's message today:
Let's be blessed as we sing "Mighty Cross" with Elevation Worship and proclaim the power of the cross of Jesus Christ in our lives. As one line of the song says, "It will never lose its power for me!"
Invitation to the Table:
You are invited to the Lord's Table to share Communion with the Ware family: Phil, Donna, and Megan. While this is a casual setting for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, it is also deeply meaningful. After being apart from their daughter for months, Phil and Donna share in this holy meal of Communion with Megan. As they do, they remember family members who have already "gone home" to Jesus and that they anticipate seeing again when Jesus comes (1 Corinthians 11:26). Looking at old family pictures sparked their hearts to thank Jesus for this promised reunion.
As believers did for the first three centuries of Christianity, the Wares share the Lord's simple Supper in a home setting of familiarity, tenderness, and love. Phil ends the Supper with the holy kiss (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14) and invites you to do the same with those in your small family circle during social distancing.
At the Lord's Table, we remember Jesus' death. Among other things, we remember in anticipation of our reunion with our Savior. And, when our Savior comes, we will also be reunited with all our loved ones who have already gone to be with the Lord. During this time when we are apart, we remember our promised fellowship with those from whom we are now temporarily apart!
We close our time at the Lord's Table with this moving old hymn, "Hallelujah! What A Saviour! (Man of Sorrows, What A Name)," sung acapella by the Blue Rock Mennonite Youth. Notice especially the anticipation of Jesus' return in the last verse:
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Invitation to Live for Jesus:
Today, our closing blessing is from Ephesians 6:23-24 from The Passion Translation. As Megan Ware says goodbye to her parents to return to her home and her work, she leaves offering this tender blessing for them and all of us:
So may God shower his peace upon you, my beloved friends. And may the blessings of faith and love fill your hearts from God the Father and our Lord Jesus, the Messiah. Abundant grace will be with you all as each of you love our Lord Jesus Christ without corruption. Amen! (Ephesians 6:23-24 TPT).
We close this week with the song, "Before the Throne of God Above," sung by Selah. This beautiful song reminds us that Jesus endured the cross for us. Because of his willing sacrifice, Jesus is at the Father's right hand and saves us completely because he lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). He suffered and faced the challenges of life, so he is our assurance that God knows our struggles. The Father understands our pain, hardship, struggles, and temptations. He understands because he is God and knows all things and because, in Jesus, he faced them in mortal flesh (Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:14-16).
Special thanks to The Lumo Project and Free Bible Images for images related to the ministry of Jesus in both this post and in the videos. In addition, we appreciate the contributors to UnSplash.com and their photographers who provided the different images of crosses.