Liturgy for Home Worship: 4/19/20
During the coronavirus outbreak, our church has decided to forego its usual corporate gathering and to worship as individuals, families, and in small groups. This liturgy is designed to help us maintain unity in our worship—even while we’re separated. To learn more about why we’re worshipping in this way, what a liturgy is, and how it works, click here. The liturgy is available for you to look at any time, but a few of the videos won’t be available until Sunday, 4/19/20 at 10:00 AM CST.
God’s People Together
Heavenly Father, we come now before you and ask that you’d inhabit our praises this morning. We may be separated, but we take comfort in the fact that we are united by the Spirit to Christ and one another. We pray that through the words we speak, the songs we sing, and the sermon we hear, you would cultivate in us a holy longing for the day when we can worship you together in body and spirit. Amen.
Call to Worship: Psalm 95:1–3 (ESV)
95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 133 (ESV)
133 A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
Song: “How Good It Is”
Link: Jacob O’Marrah, “How Good It Is”
New Testament Reading: Ephesians 4:1–6 (ESV)
4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Meditation: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (pp. 28-29)
“The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer…They receive and meet each other as one meets the Lord, in reverence, humility, and joy. They receive each other’s blessings as the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ…Of course, what is an inexpressible blessing from God for the lonely individual is easily disregarded and trampled underfoot but those who receive the gift every day. It is easily forgotten that the community of Christians is a gift of grace from the kingdom of God, a gift that can be taken from us any day—that the time still separating us from the most profound loneliness may be brief indeed. Therefore, let those who until now have had the privilege of living a Christian life together with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of their hearts. Let them thank God on their knees and realize it is grace, nothing but grace, that we are still permitted to live in the community of Christians today.”
During this time, it’s more important than ever that we continue to embody our trust in the Lord’s provision through faithful, sacrificial giving. Please visit http://evcl.org/give/ and make your offering as an intentional act of faith. Although online giving is preferred during this time, you may also write and mail your checks to:
Village Church of Lincolnshire
201 Riverwoods Rd
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Read: Malachi 3:10–12 (NIV)
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Song: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
Link: Stuart Townend, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”
Prayer for the Church and World
Father, we thank you for the kindness you have shown us in Christ. We come before your throne with boldness, knowing that you have welcomed us into your presence for the sake of your beloved Son. We ask now that you would hear us as we lift our voices to you.
- For those across the world who have been afflicted by this virus, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For the governments you have appointed to oversee these things, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For the healthcare workers who are burdened with the care of the sick, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For your Church both here and abroad, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For the most vulnerable among us, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For the neighbors around us, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For the slowing of the virus’ spread, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For eyes to see and hands to serve our brothers, sisters, and neighbors, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For the students at Trinity who are enduring economic hardship, Lord, hear our prayer.
- For the words we are about to hear and your work upon our hearts and minds, Lord, hear our prayer.
If you’re gathered in a group, this is a great time to pray together for specific needs and concerns that touch the folks in the room. You can either spend a few minutes sharing requests and then praying, or you can launch straight into a few minutes of group prayer.
Sermon: God’s People Together
Pastor Casey Dwyer
Not available until 4/17/2020 at 10 AM CST.
Link: Casey Dwyer, “God’s People Together”
Song: God Be With You Till We Meet Again
“‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again’, which was created by Jeremiah Rankin, was composed so his church choir could have a hymn to sing when they parted each week. Rankin was the minister for the First Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. and said this about the hymn, “Written…as a Christian goodbye, it was called forth by no person or occasion, but was deliberately composed as a Christian hymn on basis of the etymology of “goodbye,” which is “God be with you.” He got the idea for the first stanza of the song when he saw the dictionary definition of “good-bye” was short for “God be with you.” The hymn was written in 1882 when Rankin was 54 years old.” Source.
Father, thank you for binding us together in Christ. We long for the day when we can be together again, but we trust that in this time of distancing, you are knitting us together in a way that goes beyond anything our eyes could see. Help us to be your Church this week—together in Spirit even us we’re parted in body. Amen.
Benediction: Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV)
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
If you did not get a chance to do so earlier in the service, we encourage you to visit http://evcl.org/give to make your weekly offering. To learn more about why giving is so important to our faith during this season, see this letter from Pastor Kenny. For detailed instructions on how to give online, click here.