The 10-Day Quarantine that Started the Christian Church
For the Week beginning May 31, 2020
- An EXCITING video service just for children (and kids at heart) is found at the end of this service. Just scroll down! (Thanks, LifeChurch!)
The Prelude: We Prepare Ourselves to Worship God
- At least an hour before you start your home worship service, please download and read "How to Prepare for Worshipping at Home."
We Gather Together
- If you have family worshipping with you, give everyone a hug.
- If you are alone, take a moment and imagine the arms of the Loving Lord wrapped around you. Send thoughts of love to those most important to you.
- Then, find a spot at your chosen place of worship. Light your candle(s).
- Be silent for a moment, asking God to open your hearts to every good gift that God has for you today.
We Open with Prayer
(If possible, please pray out loud):
Lord Jesus Christ, giver of God's grace, open our hearts to receive you in faith, to do your work on earth, and to give thanks for every daily opportunity to be your person. AMEN.
We Sing a Song of Praise: "Blessed Be Your Name" Matt Redman (c) 2017
You can sing along with a music video (or just listen) by clicking on the image below.
We Call Each Other to Worship
(If possible, read out loud. If you are not alone, take turns reading the lines)
(Based on Isaiah 43):
The Lord says to you: “Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you."
The Lord says to us: "I have called you by name—you are mine!"
This means, People of God, when you go through deep waters and great trouble,
The Lord will be with us!
This means, People of God, when you go through rivers of difficulty,
The Lord will be with us!
This means, People of God, when you walk through the fire of oppression,
The Lord will be with us!
The Lord says to you: "I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel."
The Lord is with us! Therefore we will always trust in God.
We Pass the Peace of God to Others
If you are with others in your home, give each other a hug, and pray for those who will not have any human touch today.
If you are alone, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind at least one person who needs a call or email or card. Commit to following through on this as soon as this worship service ends. (If you have others in your household, they can do this, too).
We Read the Bible: Acts 1:1-15; 2:1; Psalm 37:1-9
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations
(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)
Acts 1:1-15; 2:1
1 In my first book, Theophilus, I wrote about what Jesus began to do and teach. This included everything from the beginning of his life 2 until the day he was taken to heaven. Before he was taken to heaven, he gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles, whom he had chosen. 3 After his death Jesus showed the apostles a lot of convincing evidence that he was alive. For 40 days he appeared to them and talked with them about God’s kingdom.
4 Once, while he was meeting with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for what the Father had promised. Jesus said to them, “I’ve told you what the Father promises: 5 John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when the apostles came together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 Jesus told them, “You don’t need to know about times or periods that the Father has determined by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he had said this, he was taken to heaven. A cloud hid him so that they could no longer see him.
10 They were staring into the sky as he departed. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood near them. 11 They asked, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking at the sky? Jesus, who was taken from you to heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.” 2 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives. It is near Jerusalem, about half a mile away. 13 When they came into the city, Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon the Zealot, and Judas (son of James) went to the second-story room where they were staying. 14 The apostles had a single purpose as they devoted themselves to prayer. They were joined by some women, including Mary (the mother of Jesus), and they were joined by his brothers.
15 At a time when about 120 disciples had gathered together, Peter got up and spoke to them.
2:1 When Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Passover, came, all the believers were together in one place.
1 Do not be preoccupied with evildoers.
Do not envy those who do wicked things.
2 They will quickly dry up like grass
and wither away like green plants.
3 Trust the Lord, and do good things.
Live in the land, and practice being faithful.
4 Be happy with the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Entrust your ways to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will act on your behalf.
6 He will make your righteousness shine like a light,
your just cause like the noonday sun.
7 Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.
Do not be preoccupied with an evildoer who succeeds in his way
when he carries out his schemes.
8 Let go of anger, and leave rage behind.
Do not be preoccupied.
It only leads to evil.
9 Evildoers will be cut off from their inheritance,
but those who wait with hope for the Lord will inherit the land.
++This is the word of God for the children of God: Thanks be to God!
We Sing a Song of Devotion: “It Is Well" -- Karen Dimarco & Bethel Music (c) 2014
Just experience this song or sing along by clicking the image below.
We Testify to God's Grace
"Trust in the Lord Forever, for in the Lord God You Have an Everlasting Rock"
(Isaiah 26:4; from The Upper Room, from April 28, 2020 -- John R. Robinson, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Georgia)
I recently had two operations just six weeks apart to remove large kidney stones from both my kidneys. Following each operation I bemoaned the days I lost, unable to focus at home on reading, writing, or even watching television.
But those days had a different purpose in God’s plan: developing my ability to trust. I had to trust the surgeon, the operating room staff, and the nurses. After my operation I had to trust my family who helped care for me at home, the instructions and medications I was given, and the medical recommendations about when to remove the painful drainage tubes from my back. Most importantly, I had to trust that I was placed firmly in God’s hands.
Now that my incisions have healed and I have returned to health, my pain is gone. The days after my operations were not wasted or lost. They taught me to rely on God with my life and health. I now trust that I will never be disappointed by God’s presence and care.
(Do you have a testimonial you'd like to share here during future services? Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org)
We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
We Reflect in Silence
Take several minutes to consider today’s scripture and message. Here are some questions to help:
- By nature, are you more trusting or suspicious? How might this impact your most important relationships, for good or ill? Your relationship with God?
- It's been said, "When you pray there is no worry, and when you worry there is no prayer." Do you think this statement is true or false, and why?
- How do you usually calm your anxieties and worries?
- Have you ever meditated before? What questions do you have about it that Pastor Thomas might help you answer?
We Pray to the Lord
(The Lord's Prayer is from Matthew's Gospel, the Contemporary English Bible)
(If possible, please pray out loud)
God, today I (we) pray . . .
- for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially ...
- See Barbara’s email prayer list for congregational requests. To receive the email list, please reach out to email@example.com.
- We especially pray for our members and friends who are in nursing homes and rehab centers.
- for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially ...
- for those who suffer and those in trouble, and especially...
- for the concerns of this local community, and especially...
- for the world, its peoples, and its civic leaders, and for the earth that you have given to our care, and especially ...
- for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, we pray:
In these days of knowing, not knowing,
We, like the buds on the trees,
Are eager to burst forth into the world.
Lord, hold us gently in place
Until we are certain in the ways of loving our neighbor.
Let us not toss ourselves and neighbor into thoughtless harm.
Let us recall that all life is sacred in your eyes,
not only that of the newborn child,
but also those with lines of life lived etched upon their hands and faces,
and those who struggle with chronic illness.
These, too, are your beloved, whose care we are blessed to bear.
And we seek blessing upon those
who have answered a call to care for us
in our times of physical healing,
no matter our opinions, our politics, or our hardships, Lord.
These, we hold in our care as neighbors.
Help us to hear that caring for one another
is your command on our lives.
Open our ears to hear the tragedy in this time of coronavirus,
and not only our own anxiety and grief.
Instead, let us think on how we will make the world a better place.
Instead, let us think on what kindness, however small,
we might offer someone.
Instead, let us remember that our life is not our own,
but belongs to you.
Instead, let us dream how we might enter our communities
to be a beacon of hope for those living in disorder
to come alongside them while they find order;
alongside them while they reorder their lives.
Help us always, Lord, to remember our promise to you
that we will care for our neighbor as ourselves. Amen.
- for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn, for our District Superintendent Cindy Havlik, and for our new Superintendent coming this summer, Connie Gibson. We also pray for those churches that are now opening up and ask that those who gather would be wise and caring for each other. We ask that you would protect them from harm and disease, and give them a mighty dose of your Spirit. We pray for these and for other Christian leaders, including...
- in communion with the saints, remembering all those who have gone on before us, and now form part of the Great Hall of Faith which encourages those of us who remain on earth. Today we especially remember . . .
- For my (our) needs today, which include . . .
Help us remember, Lord, that you are merciful and good, and quick to act in times of need. We thank you for all of your many blessings that you graciously give to us and to the world you love.
Therefore, as your children on earth, we pray the prayer that our Brother Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father in heaven, help us to honor your name.
Come and set up your kingdom, so that everyone on earth will obey you, as you are obeyed in heaven.
Give us our food for today.
Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others.
Keep us from being tempted and protect us from evil.
[You are Power, Honor, and Glory forever. Amen.]
We Give Gifts to the Lord
Even during COVID-19, the work of Hope United Methodist Church continues! Please take a moment to remember all the many blessings God has given you, and then go to www.hopefortulsa.com/give to make an online donation. It's simple to sign up--just have your checkbook, debit card, or credit card ready to provide the requested information. You just have to do this one time. You can continue to use this online portal in the weeks ahead to bless your church and your Lord.
If you'd like to mail a check instead, please make it out to "Hope UMC" and send it to: Hope UMC, 12424 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK 74146. All donations are tax-deductible. And thank you in advance!
We Say What We Believe: The World Methodist Social Affirmation
(If possible, read this out loud):
We believe in God,
creator of the world and of all people;
and in Jesus Christ, incarnate among us,
who died and rose again;
and in the Holy Spirit,
present with us to guide, strengthen, and comfort.
We believe; God, help our unbelief.
We rejoice in every sign of God's Kingdom;
in the upholding of human dignity and community;
in every expression of love, justice and reconciliation;
in each act of self-giving on behalf of others;
in the abundance of God's gifts entrusted to us that all may have enough;
in all responsible use of the earth's resources.
Glory be to God on high; and on earth, be peace.
We confess our sin, individual and collective, by silence or action:
through the violation of human dignity
based on race, class, age, sex, nation, or faith;
through the exploitation of people
because of greed and indifference
through the misuse of power
in personal, communal, national, and international life;
through the search for security
by those military and economic forces that threaten human existence;
through the abuse of technology
which endangers the earth and all life upon it.
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
We commit ourselves individually and as a community
to the way of Christ:
to take up the cross;
to seek abundant life for all humanity;
to struggle for peace with justice and freedom;
to risk ourselves in faith, hope, and love,
praying that God's kingdom may come.
The kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Closing Hymn "Trust and Obey" (Traditional) -- Chelsea Moon with the Franz Brothers
1 When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
2 But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]
3 Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we'll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]
'Tis so sweet!
Benediction (from Psalm 37)
Trust in the Lord, and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and you will receive the desires of your heart.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust God, and surely you will find help.