Welcome to ToGather.church and our home worship guide for you, your friends, your family, your home group, or your house church. (What is ToGather.church?) Our theme today comes from Jeremiah 7:5-7 and challenges us to love and provide care for the widows, fatherless, and foreigners among us. This kind of compassion reflects the heart of God (Deuteronomy 10:18) and is the foundation of Jesus' ministry (Luke 4:18-19) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to us to reach out to the world with compassion and grace.
We live in a broken world! The challenges our world faces today remind us of our world's fragility and of its people's vulnerabilities. Jesus has promised us a better day is coming, and a better world awaits us at his return. Until that day, Jesus calls us to live the values of God's Kingdom in our world, today.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever."
And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new!" And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true." And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega — the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty, I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children" (Revelation 21:3-7 NLT).
Jesus invites us to come near to him, and to sing of our hope in him as a Savior who awaits us with open arms. Let's sing "O Come to the Altar" with Elevation Worship:
Here's What Is Important to God!
We are not required to "have our act together" to draw near to the Lord in worship. He invites us to come as we are. We know that we can draw near to God because he came near to us in Jesus. He felt our hurt, bore our sorrows, and endured our anger and hate. He did so because he wants "All the Poor and Powerless" to know we are welcome. Let's sing this truth with All Sons & Daughters:
Phil's message today reminds us that Jesus came to live as one of us because God wants all people to know they are invited to share in his life and his family, forever. Until then, the Lord calls each of us who are God's children to treat those who are most vulnerable with grace and compassionate care. Why? Because God wants us to extend his gracious mercy to others.
Our response to Jeremiah's call to be people of compassion (Jeremiah 7:5-7) parallels Jesus' call to us in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We must live with compassion toward others. We are to be Jesus' heart, hands, and feet, bringing God's love to those who do know it. Let's remind each other that we can bless the broken, remember the forgotten, include the left out, and extend care for the needy as we sing, "To the Least of These":
The Lord's Supper helps us remember Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection as we join with other believers in a simple meal. The celebration and remembrance of Jesus, by believers around the world, tie us to each other and to previous generations of believers. We are not the first who have taken the Supper under challenging circumstances. Let's join Brad Carter, from African Christian College, as he and a couple of students remind us of how Jesus meets us in this meal and leads us from disappointment to hope:
Because we bring our brokenness and disappointment to Jesus, he can heal our hearts and awaken our hope. Because our identity is in the Lord and what he has done, we can sing "I Will Change Your Name" with confidence, knowing that Jesus has given us a bright future and a new name!
As we close, Phil leads us back to the book of Revelation, the place where we began our worship today. Today's blessing is more of a promise than a blessing, but this promise ensures us that God's blessings await all of his children from all over the world:
Because we know our future, we believe that God can help us handle anything that's between us and this glorious day when what Jesus longs for is fully realized, and we believe that he can lead us through whatever it is, to victory:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb."
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:"Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God forever and ever.
Because we know the heart of God as revealed by Jesus, we know our future is secured through Jesus' victory over sin, death, and hell. Even while we struggle with the challenges of living on a broken planet with broken people, we join Anthony Brown & group therAPy, singing, "I Refuse":
As you go forth, may you have the faith expressed in the last song and may the Lord use you to bless and reach others even in this time of social distancing.© Heartlight, Inc. and ToGather.church. All rights reserved.
"ToGather: Caring for the Vulnerable (July 5, 2020)" by Demetrius Collins & Phil Ware is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Heartlight encourages you to share this material with others in church bulletins, personal emails, and other non-commercial uses. Please see our Usage Guidelines for more information.