We're glad you joined us for ToGather.church! 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:
Let's begin ToGather by reading aloud these words of truth about the creation declaring the glory of its Creator:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
Let's sing the truth of these verses from Psalm 19 as we join Hillsong United in "So Will I (100 Billion X)":
Focusing on the Scriptures:
The apostle Paul praised Jesus as the Creator, Sustainer of the universe, and Son of God who chose to bring us salvation at the cost of his life on the cross:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:15-20).
Let's praise Jesus for being our sacriicial, all-sufficient Savior as we sing, "You Are My All in All":
Learning to live for Jesus from others who are older and sharing how to live for Jesus with those who are younger are two points of emphasis in our Verse of the Day:
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity (Proverbs 3:1-2 NIV84).
Phil's message taps into the double application embedded in this biblical principle:
Our identity as a children of God is given to us and repeatedly reaffirmed by God. However, we need others to help us remember who we are in Christ. Others around us also need us to help them remember who they are in Christ. Our goal is to help them say to God, with confidence, I am "Who you Say I Am"! Let's join Hillsong in singing this truth:
Sharing The Supper:
Some old traditional hymns are great ways to open our hearts to receive the gift of Communion. The hymn, "Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross," reminds us of how we need to remember the price paid for our salvation and the love of Jesus that led him to make that sacrifice for us:
Our Communion reflection comes from Ratan and Neelam in India. We have many brothers and sisters in Christ in India who suffer from the raging spread of COVID variants and growing starvation related to food shortages. Please remember we share the burdens and blessings of our brothers and sisters worldwide as we share in this Supper. This couple coaches church leaders, and they and their team are responsible for many people coming to Christ each month and for providing food for small churches in the countryside of India. Let's take this Supper in solidarity with our brothers and sisters!
As we conclude our time at the Lord's Table, let's let Jesus know how precious he is to us, as we sing "Oh Lord, You're Beautiful":
Closing with Praise:
Let's join together in prayer using the words of Paul in Colossians 1:15-20 — from Eldon Degge's "Praying with Paul" — as the basis of our prayer:
We are Christ's church, and he is head over us, head over his body. He is the beginning, the firstborn of creation, and the firstborn from the dead that in everything, he might have the pre-eminence.
How gracious you were and are in your goodwill toward us that your very fullness should dwell in him and that through him all things should be reconciled to you, things on heaven and things on earth.
Thank you for making peace with us and all your creation by the blood of your Son's cross.
Let us always glory in it and him!
Thank you, dear God, for the wonderful salvation you have provided. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Let's close with Bryan & Katie Torwalt and Jesus Culture in the song, "Remember":