Welcome! We're glad you joined us for ToGather. We are praying that our time in song, prayer, Communion, praise, and Scripture will bless you. No matter where you are, please know that God's people from all around the world are joining you in this time of special worship. (Find out more.)
Opening with Praise in Word and Song:
We begin ToGather by declaring the greatness of God:
Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.
(Psalm 34:3 NLT)
Let's continue our praise with the song "Great Are You Lord," led by All Sons & Daughters:
Focusing on the Scriptures:
In today's ToGather, we focus on redeeming our world from hatred. A key element in saving our culture from hatefulness, prejudice, spitefulness, and pettiness is each one of us showing love in all that we do.
How will I respond to mistreatment and unfairness?
What would life be like if I saw people through the eyes of Jesus?
What would be different about my behavior if I did to people, and I did for people, what Jesus did?
Phil's message today will challenge us to be a different kind of people, a Jesus-shaped people who leave the world a different and better place than we found it. So, let's use the following song to prayerfully ask God, along with the Discovery Singers, to "Be Thou My Vision":
Proverbs 10:12 is the emphasis of our Verse of the Day and Phil's focus for our ToGather lesson:
Hatred stirs up dissension,
but love covers over all wrongs.
Open your heart as Phil shares how this verse met him with the Lord's corrective challenge. He wanted to get even for something done unfairly to him. But as he questioned this fleshly reaction he saw in himself, he sought to find a better way:
Keith & Kristyn Getty remind us that how we respond to the love and forgiveness of Christ makes a powerful difference in the world. Jesus can help us overcome the power of the devil and his minions who seek to keep the world in bondage and deny us grace, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Let's sing "O Church Arise (Arise, Shine)":
Sharing The Supper:
Living as God's vessels of redemption and grace can be a challenge for us in our divided world. Today's Communion reflection challenges us to live out the message of our Communion preparation song, "Instruments of Peace," led by Sounds Like Reign:
What do we do when we are out of relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ? Communion offers us a challenge to realign our hearts with Jesus and reconcile with our brothers and sisters:
Jesus is worthy! His example of forgiving his enemies and reclaiming his fallen disciples calls us to do the same. As we conclude our time of Communion, let's build our lives on the foundation of the Lord's words and example as we seek to live redemptively in our broken world. Let's sing "Build My Life," with Pat Barrett, to remind ourselves of these truths:
Closing with Praise:
Let's close ToGather using Eldon Degge's adaption of Ephesians 4:29-5:2 into prayer:
Let nothing evil come out of my mouth — only what is suitable for building others up. Let whatever I say fit the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.
Don't let me do anything that would grieve your Holy Spirit within me, by which I have been sealed for the day of redemption. Please help me get rid of all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander, and especially anything malicious. Please help me to be kind to others, tenderhearted, and forgiving, even as you have forgiven me in Christ.
Father, I want to imitate you, as a loving child would imitate a father.
And may I walk in love, even as Christ loved me and gave himself up for me, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to you.
In the name of Jesus, who sacrificed himself for my sake. Amen.
May God bless each of us as we seek to live as a blessing to all the world, shining as lights in our dark world.