This is a guide to worship by yourself or with your household. If you’re in a group, choose a leader to speak the unbolded parts. If you’re by yourself, try reading all parts out loud.
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A NOTE ON HOME WORSHIP
Consider this an opportunity to proclaim Jesus Christ in solidarity with many Christians around the world. Christians have a long history of meeting in homes to worship. Today, many live in crisis or persecution and have no other option but to meet in their homes for worship. Praise God for his church!
CALL TO WORSHIP
Praise the LORD, all you who fear him!
Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.
I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
The poor will eat and be satisfied.
All who seek the LORD will praise him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
For royal power belongs to the LORD.
He rules all the nations.
PRAYERS OF PRAISE
Take a few moments with the people you are gathered with, or on your own, to praise Jesus for giving us rest for our souls.
SONGS OF PRAISE
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Leader: Gracious God, we confess that we have longed too much for the comforts of this world. We have
loved the gifts more than the giver.
Congregation: In your mercy, help us to see that all the things we crave for are
shadows, but you are substance; they are quicksand, but you are the mountain; they are
shifting, but you are the anchor.
L: We plead your forgiveness on the merits of Jesus Christ. Accept his worthiness for our unworthiness, his sinlessness for our transgressions.
C: Accept his fullness for our emptiness, his glory for our shame, his righteousness for our dead works, his death for our life.
Together: Set us free from our sin, and restore us to the joy of your salvation now and forever.
WORDS OF COMFORT AND ASSURANCE
Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
In the same way, Christ died, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, your sins are forgiven. Thanks be to God.
PASSING OF THE PEACE
Because of the peace with God we now know through Jesus Christ, we are told as "far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Romans 12:8).
Take this time to contact through whatever means possible and reach out to share the peace of God.
Romans 3:9-26 (NLT)
Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“They rush to commit murder.
Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don’t know where to find peace.”
“They have no fear of God at all.”
Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
THE MESSAGE IS BASED ON John 5:1-18 (NLT)
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.