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.
If you are visiting for the first time, welcome!
CALL TO WORSHIP
These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!
PRAYERS OF PRAISE
Take a few moments with the people you are gathered with, or on your own, to praise Jesus for giving his life for us.
SONGS OF PRAISE
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Leader: Gracious Heavenly Father, all your lovingkindness is in your Son. We come to confess our sins, seeking your promised forgiveness.
Congregation: Accept his worthiness for my unworthiness, his sinlessness for my transgression, his purity for my uncleanness.
L: We overlook the poor and the hungry and pass by those who mourn.
C: We are deaf to the cries of the oppressed and indifferent to calls for peace.
Together: Forgive us, God of mercy. Renew us by your Holy Spirit that we may know the joy of abundant life in Jesus Christ.
WORDS OF COMFORT AND ASSURANCE
Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
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.
James 5:1-20 (NLT)
Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.
But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
THE MESSAGE IS BASED ON John 15:9-17 (NLT)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.