The last Sunday of each month is Family Worship Sunday. Our elementary age kids do not go to children’s church and we all worship together. It is also the Sunday we celebrate and participate in the Lord’s Supper – The Eucharist – Communion. Here is the liturgy (work of the people) and a short explanation for each aspect.
Gathering of God’s people into God’s Temple:
We typically have soft background music playing while people enter in the sanctuary. There usually isn’t any intention for the songs we choose to play; just some nice worship music while people converse and are greeted. But this past Sunday, I specifically chose songs that we played ourselves to help prepare our hearts and minds to hear from God that connects the songs with the prayers, the Scripture readings, and the Sermon.
— I am a Temple by John Mark McMillan. In this song we are reminded that God dwells not only in church buildings and far off places, but that God dwells in our bodies. We are God’s Holy Temple.
— Enter This Temple by Leeland.
— Alabaster by Rend Collective. This Sunday was also Alabaster Sunday where we receive an offering of loose change collected over the year to give towards the building of schools and churches and other important buildings around the world. See more info here.
Prayer of Invocation:
We ask God to meet with us this day, to open our lips so that we may worship God. ”Praise to the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever and ever. Amen.
Call to Worship song:
— We are the Church: I wrote this song to help remind us that we are the body of Christ and we gather as God’s people to worship Him. We gather as the church in the name of the Father, in response to Jesus the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit; not solely for ourselves, but to participate in God’s mission!
Announcements/Greeting: During this time people came forward to give to the Alabaster offering.
Worship Through Song/Celebration:
Build Your Kingdom Here by Rend Collective.
— The last line in verse 3 says “You made us for much more than this. Awake the Kingdom see in us. Fill us with the strength and love of Christ.” Sometimes we fall asleep spiritually. We forget exactly who God has made us to be and what God has called us to do. We forget the living/breathing Word of God. We fill our lives with worldly things. We mistreat God’s temple, our bodies, by allowing almost everything in but God’s Word.
— 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit…”
How He Loves by John Mark McMillan/David Crowder
— This popular song is always a good reminder that God loves us very much. God is a jealous God. God doesn’t like when we leave him out of our lives. God wants all of us.
Sermon: 2 Kings 23.
The Kings of God’s people are quite the diverse group. Some have been faithful. Some have not! We get to Josiah. He was faithful. FYI, we are working through the 11th chapter of Hebrews and the long list of faithful people. Josiah is in this list. The text says that he did right in the eyes of the Lord, like his father David did (King David).
During his reign, the temple of the Lord had become something other than what it was intended for. People were worshipping false idols and doing unimaginable things in the eyes of the Lord. God’s holy temple was no longer a place where people met with the One true God. But it isn’t a surprise when we learn that the Book of the Law was pushed to the side, gathering dust in a hidden place. God’s word was no longer being spoken. God’s people were no longer filling themselves with the Word of God, but from outside and worldly things.
But when it was found, King Josiah gathered everyone together, read it aloud for everyone to hear and renewed their covenant with the Lord in God’s presence.
We must remember to daily renew our covenant with God by being with God’s people, and immersing ourselves in God’s word!
Song of Response:
Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone
— This song is probably the most classic hymn of all time. We haven’t sung it in a while. But God’s grace is so amazing that wherever we find ourselves, we can be reminded that God is there and is calling us to salvation and freedom from this world’s chains.
Many Protestants do not call the Lord’s Supper the Eucharist. I guess it’s too Catholic. But it simply means thanksgiving. This past Sunday we participated in the Eucharist by intinction. Everyone comes forward to receive the bread and juice and as they receive each element we respond by saying “Thanks be to God.”
Server: “The body of Christ broken for you.”
Recipient: “Thanks be to God.”
Server: “The blood of Christ shed for you.”
Recipient: “Thanks be to God.”
Worship Through Giving:
One of the most important ways we worship is the giving of tithes and offerings. This is also one of the hardest ways to worship. When we respond to God through giving, we are saying that we trust God with everything, even our money. Giving isn’t just a monetary thing to do because the church needs people to give so that the building stays heated and cooled and the staff is paid and we can buy resources for ministry. These things are important, but even more important is the spiritual act and discipline that says God is control of our lives and we are not. God has blessed us in so many ways and we are called to be a blessing and extend that blessing to others.
Just as we enter the temple in intentional ways, gathering as the body of Christ, so also are we intentional about the way that we are sent out of the building to go in the grace and peace of Christ to be a blessing to our families, neighbors and world!