This liturgy will provide you with a straightforward way to hold a Service of the Word in your own home.  As you worship, remember that simply following the instructions on this page will NOT create worship.  Worship is an encounter with God in which we receive His gifts of forgiveness and respond with prayer and praise.  The “active ingredient” of worship is faith.  As you follow these instructions, your worship begins with believing that God is present and expecting that God will have something to say to you during this time.

Read the words in bold aloud.  If you are fortunate to be worshiping with others, you may designate one individual the leader, and read the liturgy responsively as indicated by L: (leader) and R: (response).  Some elements of this service are links to videos which will play when you click on them.  Feel free to include as much or as little of the suggested music as you prefer, or to substitute live music in your home for the videos included here.

Each worshiper will need a pencil and paper during the confession.





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Opening Song

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Confession

L: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
R: Amen.

L: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
R: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

At this time, each person silently confesses his or her sin to God.  Individual sins may be written (children may wish to draw) on a piece of paper.  After an appropriate length of time, continue:

All: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me… Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:1-3)

Scratch out the sins that have been confessed on paper, drawing a cross over the whole page.  Then speak out loud the sure and certain word of God that follows:

L: Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us would look up to the Apostle Paul as an example of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. And yet in 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” Jesus came into this world, knowing who we are and the sins we have confessed, and He died so that those sins would be forgiven. Your sins are forgiven.

ALL: Thanks be to God! Amen.



Scripture Reading

John 1:43-51 (ESV)

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”



Statement of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell.  The third day He rose again from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.



Sermon Song

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Sermon & Reflection

Children’s Message

Sermon

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Reflection Questions

  1. Every religion in the world, except Christianity, teaches that you reach heaven through good works; you climb a ladder to heaven. Why do you think that teaching is so appealing?
  2. Jacob tried to enter into a bargain with God instead of believing God’s promises. When have you found yourself trying to negotiate with God (“God, if you… then I will…”)? How do those negotiations interfere with your ability to experience the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.)?
  3. The ladder leaves us looking down on others in pride, or looking up at others in frustration or even despair. The cross, on the other hand, refreshes us in forgiveness, love, and grace, and creates gratitude and the desire to help others know Jesus. Which one better describes your relationship with God lately? How can you keep your eyes on the cross?

REMEMBER: How awesome is our God, who has given us access to heaven and the gift of eternal life through Jesus – no ladders required!


Prayers

In addition to these petitions, bring your own requests to God at this time.  A simple guide for personal or family prayers can be found here.

Download additional petitions regarding COVID-19

Prayers

L: We now pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all others according to their needs. Please join me.

Father in Heaven, in Your love for us, You call us to repentance. Enable us to recognize the seriousness of the sin in our lives and to turn away from it. When we are tempted to take our sin lightly, remind us of the cross of Jesus and the true wages of sin, and when we struggle to believe Your forgiveness, strengthen our faith to believe that Jesus paid the full price for all of our transgressions. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Lord, You have called us as Your disciples, promising that we too will see Your salvation and dwell with You eternally. Forgive us when we doubt this truth or try to take Your work into our own hands and go astray. Teach us to follow You in every moment of our lives, trusting in Your grace and seeking out Your will. Lord, in Your mercy,,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Merciful Father, like Nathaniel, You too have prepared our eyes to see heaven opened and behold Your Son in His glory. Until that time though, our eyes only see the wounds inflicted through fear and sin. We ask You to heal these wounds of body and soul for all those suffering or in recovery, especially Glen Jones (lymphoma), Yvonne Heinzel (cancer), Christine Geidel (cancer), Shawna Geidel (cancer), Carol Tschudy (recovering from heart surgery), Irm Tews (COVID-19), Carol Gutekunst (recovering from heart problems), Christopher Solon (father of Kayleen Hunholz), Sharon Keller (hospitalized), and all those we name in our hearts [brief silence]. Bring them Your peace and comfort amidst their trial, along with a full recovery. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Almighty God, You have promised to remain with us, even when we are led into harm’s way. Protect and defend all our police, firefighters, medical staff, and all those serving our nation in the military, especially Sarah Geidel (Reserves), Rebecca Guild (serving in Monterey, CA), Akan Udoeyop (serving in Germany), Madison Kessel Lyon (serving in Germany), Nicholas Zanow (Charleston, South Carolina), Kurt Degner (WI National Guard), Mark Liedtke (Fort Lewis, Washington), Jessica Jones (being deployed to Kuwait), and Joseph Siefert (serving in Spain). Show them Your presence, strengthen their faith, and return them home safely to their families. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, You have been our refuge and strength in all times of trial. Please bring protection and endurance to all healthcare workers, especially those working with COVID patients or in senior living communities. We also lift up those who remain isolated due to the virus. Grant them patience and comfort, revealing Your abiding presence in their lives. Bring healing to those who have contracted COVID, and please bring an end to this pandemic soon! Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Lord, to follow You is to be led by You, and we thank You for leading us continually back to Your Gospel. Open our hearts to see those in our lives in need of the Good News, that You may lead us to them. We ask the same for all other missionaries serving around the world, especially The Baker Family and Adam & Melissa Degroot (serving in North America). Grant us patience and peace as we joyfully anticipate the work You will do in others through us. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, we long for the day when Your Son, Jesus, will return and swallow up death forever. We thank You for receiving Phyllis Ollie into Your Kingdom and securing her eternal life in You. Remind her family of this truth, and secure them in this same hope as they mourn her loss, trusting in the grace of Your Son. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Lord, remember us in Your Kingdom and teach us to pray…

ALL:  Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.



Closing Blessing

L: May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
R: Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)



Closing Song

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Children’s



Offering

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If you are a member of another congregation, we are delighted that we were able to provide you with the opportunity to worship in your home today.  Please honor God by continuing to support your home congregation during these uncertain times.



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You can leave a note for the pastors or let us know we were worshiping together today by signing our guestbook.



Announcements


Summary

  • Please be in the habit of reading the bulletin each week!
  • Worship in the Home resources will continue to be available.
  • A congregational meeting will be held on Sunday, January 24th at Noon. See the weekly bulletin for further details.
  • February 7th a special meeting will be held regarding a convertible vicarage for Daniel Reh.
  • An in-person Bible Study will be held at 9:20 am starting on January 17th focusing on the Book of Revelations.
  • The Nehemiah project this month is for Feed My Starving Children.
  • Women in the Word Bible studies will resume on Friday, February 5th from 8:30-9:30. They will be studying Daniel by Beth Moore.


Additional Resources

Additional Scripture

Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.  “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”  But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.  Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.





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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.  All rights reserved.



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