Welcome to ToGather.church and our home worship guide for you, your friends and family, and your homegroup or house church. You will find several video songs, a video message rooted in God's word, a video Communion reflection, a closing blessing, and an introduction to each one. 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 and we invite the Spirit to bring the fruit of Jesus' character to life in us (Galatians 5:22-23). (More information about ToGather is available here.)
Let's enter into our time of worship with Phil Wickham leading us in his song, "Living Hope," as we focus on Jesus as our example of forgiving love and the basis of our hope in a glorious future despite the challenges, hardships, and persecutions of life.
Invitation to the Table:
Jesus shared his love, his life, and his amazing grace with us on the cross. Let's prepare our hearts and minds to remember this costly grace by singing "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" with Chris Tomlin.
You are invited to the Lord's Table to share Communion with Fred Spain and Phil Ware. These two brothers have known and loved each other since their college years and their shared time together in El Paso, Texas. Fred was a groomsman at Phil's wedding, and they share an ongoing relationship with a group of brothers who stay in touch and try to get together every couple of years. Fred shares his insights into the drama and meaning embedded in the Lord's Supper because of what was happening in the room and with the hearts of Jesus' disciples at the Last Supper:
We are thankful that Jesus rose from the grave, victorious for us over sin, death, and hell. His resurrection validated Jesus as "Son of God in power" (Romans 1:4). Let's each join Thomas in confessing that Jesus is "My Lord and God!" (John 20:28) in singing "Thomas' Song" with Hallal.
Invitation to the Word:
To prepare our hearts for Phil's message today from Luke 6:28, let's sing "The Wonderful Cross" with Chris Tomlin to remind us of the injustice and brutality that Jesus suffered on the cross. Yet, he went there for us, to remove our sins and assure us of life forever with God. As we sing this song and enter into Phil's message, let's remember Jesus' words of overwhelming grace that he offered his accusers, his abusers, and those who crucified him: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
Our Verse of the Day focuses on Jesus' teaching on our role as his redemptive disciples in an often violent, hostile, and mean world. Rather than returning curses when we are cursed, we choose to forgive, bless, and redeem. We do this because Jesus both taught and demonstrated the importance of this truth in his life and death. In a world in upheaval with COVID-19 and racial division, Jesus' answer of grace and blessing for all people is our only real hope for healing and a fellowship of brothers and sisters "from every nation, tribe, people and language" (Revelation 7:9). We pray that you can be challenged by Jesus' words and find hope in living as "Christ-styled" disciples:
Entering the World to Share a Blessing:
Today, our closing blessing is from Ephesians 1:16-19 NRSV in both French and English and is shared with us by Fitia from Madagascar. May we be blessed with the wisdom and courage to live what Jesus has challenged us to do:
I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. (Ephesians 1:16-19 NRSV).