We are surely glad you joined us for ToGather.church. This home worship guide will help lead you, your family, friends, small group, or house church through a full worship experience. (More information about ToGather.church is available here.)
Our theme today comes from Deuteronomy 7:19 and focuses on the yearning in many of our hearts: "Lord, the things we heard you did in days gone by, please, dear Lord, do them again in our day!" Many of us long to see God move powerfully today! So, we will sing, pray, share in the Lord's Supper, and leave with a blessing, and we will take each step of our journey, recognizing our need for God's power and presence. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to fill, guide, and empower us.
We begin our worship today by joining Francesca Battistelli in singing, "Holy Spirit," and making clear that we welcome God's presence and power for us!
One of the most pivotal moments of the early Christian movement came during a time of worshiping and fasting in the multi-cultural church in Antioch. The Holy Spirit moved among them and challenged them to send two of their very best to share God's grace with the lost world. As we read these verses, let's pray for God's Spirit to move among us and help us know what we can do to minister in the best way during this challenging and frightening time:
Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man"), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them." So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. (Acts 13:1-3 NLT).
We invite you to worship as we offer our hearts to God because we are here to honor God and receive his power and grace. Let's open our hearts to God through Matt Redman's anthem, "Here for You!"
Phil's message today is about refusing to settle for a boring, powerless life of religious activity devoid of God's power. Following Jesus isn't about knowing the facts of antiquity, but about meeting the living Lord of history who longs to do in our day what he did in past ages. He wants to be present and act through us with his power in the Holy Spirit!
We need the Holy Spirit's presence to live in the power of God in our day. The following song is both a prayer and an anthem of confidence. Let's sing Sylvia Rose's song, "Holy Spirit (Dwell in Me)", and ask Jesus to move through us with power from his Spirit.
Welcome to the Table of the Lord:
Jesus created everything (John 1:1-3). Jesus, God in human flesh (John 1:14-18), came and lived among us as one of us. Because God loves us so much (John 3:16-17), he came to us and allows us to accept or reject him (John 1:10-12). When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are born into God's family (John 1:12-13, 3:3-7). God's gracious and sacrificial love is overwhelming and glorious. As we prepare to share in the Lord's Supper, let's sing "Overwhelmed" with Big Daddy Weave and proclaim to God — Father, Son, and Spirit — that we are overwhelmed by his love and mercy!
Our Closing Blessing:
We close where we began, focused on the power and presence of God in us through the Holy Spirit. But, we don't want to experience this power and presence just ourselves; we also want to pray for God to release that power and presence in the lives of others we know and love who follow Jesus. Let's join Donna Ware as she prays Paul's beautiful prayer to release the Holy Spirit's power in the lives of other believers.
I pray for you... asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called — his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:16-20 NLT).
We leave today with a group of teenagers challenging us to trust in God. Let's finish with the Westover Hills teens leading us in Lauren Daigle's song, "I Will Trust in You":
Go forth from our ToGather time today, acknowledging that we are believers scattered all over the face of the earth, but brought together by our faith and our trust in Jesus and by the Holy Spirit who connects as God's children.