Happy Mother's Day (for those in many countries), and welcome, everyone! 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:
Our ToGather worship today calls us to be holy and honor the LORD in all areas of our lives. We combine the emphasis of our Verse of the Day — seeking holiness through the Lord's discipline — with our recognition of how important godly mothers are to us. Let's begin with a declaration of God's righteousness using the song, "For the Lord Is a Righteous God," led by the Zoe Group:
Let's declare the holiness of God with a passage of praise from the book of Isaiah and hear the call of the LORD for us to use our lives to live for him:
[The seraphim above the throne of God called out in praise:]
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."
Our response is to submit to the LORD's discipline and the transforming power of the Spirit as we pursue Jesus and show the way of God by our example:
He who heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
(Proverbs 10:17 — our Verse of the Day.)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
Let's sing "Refiner's Fire" as we seek to be shaped by the Spirit into vessels of honor that are useful to the Master (2 Timothy 2:20-21):
Focusing on the Scriptures:
Phil focuses on Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a great example for us. She yielded her life completely to the LORD's call, discipline, and purpose for her. Let's prepare our hearts for today's message by singing, "Mary Did You Know?" as sung by Pentatonix:
Please open your Bible, whether in printed or digital format, to Matthew chapters 1 and 2. Phil's message is entitled, "Fragile Grace, Transcendent Power":
Let's read Mary's Magnificat, her praise to God in the presence of her cousin, Elizabeth:
And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me —
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors."
Sharing The Supper:
As his mother, Mary's example to Jesus is reflected not only in the Magnificat — which has many themes found in Jesus' later teaching — but also in her willingness to submit to the will of God no matter the cost. Contemplate the following two statements, one from Mary and one from Jesus, and then we will have an opportunity to respond to God's call after these verses:
Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word" (Luke 1:38 NRSV).
And going a little farther, [Jesus] threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want" (Mark 14:35-36 NRSV).
As we enter into our time of Holy Communion, let's join our Savior and his mother in surrendering our hearts to the will and work of God in our lives as we sing, "I Surrender All," with Vineyard:
Closing with Praise:
Let's pray with the psalmist, David:
Rescue me from my enemies, LORD;
I run to you to hide me.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
[In Jesus' name we offer our prayer to you, O, God, and offer ourselves to your will and work in our world. Amen.]
(Adapted from Psalm 143:9-10 NLT.)
Let's close our ToGather worship with the song, "Your Will Be Done," shared by CityAlight:
May God bless us as we seek to yield to the LORD's discipline and live in his blessings!
Special thanks for the use of images related to Jesus' ministry from The Lumo Project and Free Bible Images for use on this week's post.
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