Welcome to ToGather.church! (Find out more about ToGather.)
Opening with Praise in Word and Song:
Our time in song and the Scriptures focuses us on the power of love to cover over the offenses of others and stop the power of gossip from ruining lives. To share the love of God in a broken and hostile world, we need the Spirit to breathe on us and his power to inspire us to be God's instruments of grace.
In our opening song, we sing "Your Spirit" with Tasha Cobbs Leonard and featuring Kierra Sheard as a prayer for the Spirit to lead us and empower us to be the people of Jesus in our broken world:
Focusing on the Scriptures:
As we prepare to hear God's message to us from the holy Scriptures, we will sing "Ancient Words" with the Zoe Group as we open our hearts to the message of God:
Our message comes from our Verse of the Day found in Proverbs 17:9:
He who covers over an offense promotes love,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
This simple proverb is easier to memorize than actualize in our daily behaviors. However, few things are more important for our relationships in Jesus' family than covering the offenses of others with our love while refusing to gossip about their failures. Phil's message offers us several clear ways to live out God's will in this proverb:
Rather than gossiping or doing or saying hurtful things, we should always do positive, helpful things. Let's sing a prayer to be "Instruments of Peace," led by the singers from Maranatha Music. The words to the song come from a prayer written by St. Francis of Assisi:
Sharing The Supper:
Phil and Donna Ware remind us in our Communion reflection how much Jesus loves people — ordinary, everyday people, like us! He didn't just talk about that love or do impersonal miracles of power for people. People's suffering stirred his heart with compassion. The Lord then demonstrated his loving concern personally through his touch in addition to his healing. While Jesus died for the world at large, he also died for us, specifically!
Closing with a Song of Faith and Praise and a Blessing:
The song, "Speak (Words Bring Life)," with Trent & Soibhan, is a powerful message for us to take with us as we enter the world to share the love of Jesus:
Please receive this blessing as we speak it to each other, wherever we may be:
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).