We're thankful that you joined us for this week's ToGather.church. (Find out more.) We hope that this worship guide blesses your home worship and that you can safely share your worship with your friends, family, home group, and house church. We desperately need each other's love and the Lord's presence, especially during this challenging time!
Our ToGather.church family comes together to join our hearts in worship and be filled by the Holy Spirit as we sing, open the Scriptures, pray, and share the Lord's Supper. If you are looking for a larger community to share prayer, fellowship, and discussion, please check out our comments section at the bottom of the Verse of the Day web page!
For those of you who celebrate Christmas on January 7, hopefully the comments related to Christmas in today's ToGather will not seem too out of place, but Christmas is this week for some of us. Of course, any time is a good time to celebrate Jesus' incarnation.
We begin today's ToGather with a song that reminds us that we are not alone. Though we may be scattered and unable to be as close to loved ones physically as we would like, God is with us. In fact, God came near and was among us as Immanuel — which means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). As we celebrate the coming of Christ, let's remember that even though we come together today as people scattered and feeling isolated, we are not alone. Let's sing this truth with All Sons & Daughters in the meaningful hymn, "God With Us":
Opening the Scriptures:
Let's praise Jesus as the King of kings, our King of glory. He has offered us his redeeming love by laying down his life and carrying away our wounds and sorrows. We join Phil Wickham in the song, "This Is Amazing Grace," to praise Jesus for all that he has done for us:
At first glance, our Verse of the Day seems very out of place. It comes from 2 Samuel 12:20 and talks about Israel rejecting Samuel, and rejecting God, and wanting God to give them a human king. As we come to understand God as the King willing to show us his wounds, then share our wounds, the birth of Jesus takes on a fresh and powerful new meaning. Jesus came as the King of glory, and his throne was first a manger, then a cross. Both thrones remind us that he is not an aloof King, too good to be one of us, but instead, he is the King who is willing to share our wounds:
Sharing the Supper:
Jesus is our King, the true and eternal King. Jesus is also the King who was willing to share our wounds. As we approach Holy Communion, let's lean into this truth shared by the Holy Spirit to believers who were struggling with their challenging situation in the world:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Hillsong Worship's song, "Grace To Grace," is such a powerful message of grace that prepares us for Fred's words of reflection before Communion and opens our hearts to the great love of Jesus to see beyond the pain of the cross to the gain of having us in his forever family. Let's sing about the wonder of his grace:
Fred Spain shares his deep emotion in our Communion reflection as he reminds us what the cross cost Jesus. You can feel what Jesus the Savior means to Fred as you hear and feel the emotion in his voice. Fred takes us back to the Servant Song of Isaiah 53 and helps us appreciate what Jesus has done for us to satisfy the wrath and justice of God and to bring us God's mercy and grace:
To give thanks to Jesus and praise to our God, let's reach back and be blessed by an old hymn that reminds us of how marvelous God's grace is for us. Let's sing, "I Stand Amazed," led by Reawaken Hymns:
Paul challenges us to live for Jesus who has made us treasures of heaven, vessels intended for honorable use by the King:
In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work (2 Timothy 2:20—21 NLT).
God's grace has mended us and made vessels ready for "honorable use" in our Master's house. Though broken and wounded by life, we are treasured by the King of glory. We know we can come to him as his treasures because he, too, has been broken. He has shared our wounds so that we can share his glory! Let's affirm this amazing truth about God's grace with Hillsong worship in the song, "Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)":
We conclude ToGather.church as Fred Spain leads us in our closing blessing from 1 Timothy 6:15-16 and reminds us of our eternal King of all kings:
For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen (1 Timothy 6:15-16 NLT).
Shortly after ToGather is posted each weekend, the videos are professionally captioned and posted on YouTube. See all of our ToGather.church videos on our YouTube® Channel.
Special thanks for Multi Transcription Services of America (MTSOA.com) for their fine work. See them for all your questions about marketing YouTube® videos and expanding your online reach. Email Lee for more info.