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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Children’s



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, Isaiah reminds us in chapter 55 of God’s compassion when we forsake our sinful ways, writing, “let [the wicked] return to the Lord, that [the Lord] may have compassion on him, and to our God, for [our God] will abundantly pardon.”

Indeed, when we bring our sins to the Lord and forsake them, we know that God pardons all those sins on account of His Son, Jesus, who paid the price on our behalf. Therefore, in the name of Jesus, you are forgiven.

ALL: Thanks be to God! Amen.



Scripture Reading

Isaiah 64:1-4; 8-11

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;  to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;  to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.  They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.



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. Is there a part of your life that is “painted gray with ashes” right now?  If so, how has that created additional temptation in your life?  If not, praise God for that gift!
  2. Where in your life have you seen God turn a situation you thought was ashes (broken beyond repair) into something valuable and precious?
  3. How can the resurrection of Jesus (and our future resurrection) enable you to cope with the frustrations and disappointments you experience?

REMEMBER: God is breaking into this broken world with glimpses of life to come, through the sending of Jesus and His Spirit.


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.

Heavenly Father, You have given us a glimpse of Your Kingdom through Your Son, Jesus, who entered this world of ashes to redeem us. Thank You for making us Your own, and showing us the joy of Your Salvation, which You alone give. Forgive us when we have desired our ashes over You and settled for a worldly Kingdom without any hope. Continue to work in and through us as Your people, that we joyfully bring Your Kingdom to those awaiting Your redemption. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Lord, through healing the blind and curing the lame, Your Son made the glimpses of Your Kingdom more apparent and tangible. As we dwell in the ashes of this fallen kingdom where sin and suffering abound, we ask once more for Your healing hand to come upon those who are presently ill or in recovery, especially Ellen Atwater (recovering from a broken shoulder), Dale Gierach (recovering from pneumonia), Rhonda Klug (recovering from neck surgery), Glen Jones (lymphoma), Buz Severin (medical tests), Yvonne Heinzel (battling cancer), Christine Geidel (battling cancer), Shawna Geidel (battling cancer), and Elaine Vorpagel (medical tests). We also take a moment to lift up those whom we name in our hearts [brief silence]. Bring them to a full recovery, and strengthen their faith in You during this time. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Everlasting God, though this pandemic has remained a constant presence in our lives, You also have remained present. We give You thanks for all our medical staff and health care workers who have been caring for COVID patients. Protect them from the virus, and grant them Your patience as they continue their work. Please be with all COVID patients, as well as all those who are lonely or isolated as a result of the virus, giving them Your presence and comfort as they continue through this time of trial. Lord, in Your mercy,

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Gracious Lord, You have given us Your message of redemption to bring into the world, that others may rise from their ashes. Thank You for calling us to this joyous opportunity along with those whom You have sent abroad, especially the Baker family (Serving in Mongolia) and Rev. Dale & Suzanne Kaster (serving in the Czech Republic). Lead us by Your Spirit, and give us the courage to be bold in our proclamation of You, whether in word or deed. Lord, in Your mercy, 

C: Hear our prayer.

L: Father, despite all the trials and adversity we have experienced as a nation over the last year, You have continued to guard and sustain us. We thank You for all of our police, EMT, firefighters, and those serving our nation in the military, especially Joseph Seifert (serving in Spain), Jessica Jones (Army), Sarah Geidel (Reserves), Rebecca Guild (serving in San Diego), Akan Udoeyop (serving in Germany), Madison Kessel Lyon (serving in Germany), Nicholas Zanow (Charleston, South Carolina), Kurt Degner (WI National Guard), and Mark Liedtke (Fort Lewis, Washington). Protect them in the line of duty, strengthen their faith in You, and grant peace to our nation. 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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Announcements


Summary

  • Please be in the habit of reading the bulletin each week!
  • Worship in the Home resources will continue to be available.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Worship services will look a bit different this year. Check out our weekly bulletin for more information.
    • Registration for Sanctuary services will be required. See the current weekly bulletin for registration links or you may call the office.
    • 1pm and 5pm services are reserved for those considered “High Risk” with masks required.
    • Open house style Christmas by the Fire from 4-7 pm Christmas Eve on Trinity’s grounds


Additional Resources

Additional Scripture

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,  the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”  John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.  Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.  And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.





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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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