Thanks for joining us in ToGather! (Find out more about ToGather.church!)
Opening with Praise in Word and Song:
We begin our ToGather with the song, "Here I am to Worship," led by the Maranatha Music:
Our opening prayer is an adaptation of Hebrews 1:1-3 and Hebrews 12:2 into the language of prayer:
Thank you for speaking to your people through the prophets in the past. Thank you for speaking to us now through Your Son, Jesus. You made Jesus heir of all things. The Son created the world and sustains it through His powerful and gracious word. We give glory to You, dear Father because the Son shines with the radiance of Your glory and has purified us from our sins. He bears the exact imprint of Your holy essence. We fasten our gaze on Jesus as our pioneer who showed us how to live our faith perfectly. We worship You, O Father, and we praise Your Son, Jesus. Thank you for allowing us to speak to You through Him as He is seated at Your right hand.
Focusing on the Scriptures:
As people of faith, many of us consider this season to be Advent, the special time we remember Jesus' first coming to earth. To celebrate this incredible gift of God's grace to our world, we now sing the old spiritual "Go Tell It On The Mountain," led by For King and Country:
Jesus' incarnation and coming to earth are essential because He is our goal as disciples (Luke 6:40; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:28-29). Jesus' example of emptying himself to serve us is our example of how we should live with each other (1 Corinthians 10:32-11:1). The mystery of Jesus' self-emptying to save us must not be separated from our responsibility of self-emptying to serve each other. Paul used our Verse of the Day to emphasize the importance of submitting our will to the needs of others:
In your relationships with one another have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage...
Our ToGather message helps us apply the apostle Paul's message to us as followers of Christ:
Jesus' example of sacrifice is Paul's foundation for us to build our lives on the Lord's example. As part of our commitment to follow the Lord's example, Pat Barrett leads us in his song "Build My Life," featuring Cory Asbury:
Sharing The Supper:
Jesus is our Messiah, Savior, Lord, teacher, and example. As we prepare our hearts for the Lord's Supper, let's praise Jesus by singing "Jesus Messiah," with Maranatha Music:
Ratan and Neelam, our VerseoftheDay.com translator and his wife, share a Communion reflection to prepare our hearts for the Lord's Supper:
May we be "completely humble and gentle... [and] patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2) so that the world around us will see Jesus among us and in us by the way we treat each other and all those around us. Amen.
We close with a song, from Micah 6:8, that calls us to live like Jesus: "Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly," with Pat Barrett:
Now is an excellent time for you to join people worldwide who share a simple Bible reading plan for 2022. This plan will help us expect, experience, and share the presence of Jesus in our lives. We will read one chapter from a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) each day for the next year and ask the Holy Spirit to help us hear Jesus' answer to us to four questions each day:
- What do you want me to know about Jesus from what I read today?
- What do you want me to feel about what Jesus revealed to me today?
- What do you want me to do in response to what Jesus did and taught today?
- What do I need to share with someone that touched me today about Jesus and living for Him?
Download the "Experiencing Jesus Reading Plan" and let's celebrate the presence of Jesus coming alive in us in fresh ways in 2022!