Praise with music
Listen with joy to “The Church’s One Foundation,” by S.J. Stone, 1866. It is shared here by Giftson David of India.
Call to Worship Psalm 27; John 4
Let us worship God, our light and our salvation.
The Lord is the stronghold of our lives.
Let us worship God in spirit and in truth.
Teach us your ways and make straight our paths,
in this hour of worship and always.
First Reading Acts 17: 1-9
After Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” 4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason’s house. 6 When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” 8 The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, 9 and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go.
Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 1: 1-9
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9 For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.
Music and Offering
During this time, or after our prayers, you may make an offering to John Knox by going to our homepage and scrolling to the bottom where you will see a link to online giving. When you give this way, consider giving a little extra to defray the cost of this service. If you prefer, you may mail you offerings to the church directly. Even though we are far apart, the church's expenses remain the same. We give out of pure gratitude for what God has done.
Listen now to this offertory music, The Lord Bless You and Keep You, by John Rutter, sung by the Batavia Madrigal Singers, Indonesia. It is recorded as a virtual choir, and presented for this time in our world.
Prayers of the People
We worship you, Jesus, our Savior;
you conquered death by your cross:
you are the stone rejected by the builders;
you have become the cornerstone;
make us all living stones in your church.
We pray to you for Christians:
may they live in the joy of the resurrection
and be a visible sign of your presence by their mutual love.
We pray to you for leaders of your church:
as they celebrate your resurrection with all your servants,
may they be strengthened for your service.
We pray to you for the leaders of the nations:
may they exercise their office as servants of justice and peace.
We pray to you for all who are suffering
from illness, grief, old age, and exile:
may your resurrection be a source of comfort and aid for them. Amen.
The Lord’s Supper
Invitation to the Table
As we are gathered–like the stars scattered upon the sky— let us remember God’s covenantal promise to Abraham, that God will always and forever be our God and we will always and forever be the children of God. Knowing that God loves us, and that Jesus Christ took the most basic and essential food of the people and consecrated them, let us now celebrate communion together in this a new way.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and Words of Institution
Holy God, you alone are holy, you alone are God.
The universe declares your praise: beyond the stars; beneath the sea; within each cell; with every breath.
We praise you, O God.
Generations bless your faithfulness: through the water; by night ad day; across the wilderness; out of exile; into the future.
We bless you, O God.
We give you thanks for your dear Son: at the heart of human life; near to those who suffer; beside the sinner; among the poor; with us now.
We thank you, O God.
On the night when he was betrayed, Jesus took bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take. Eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after supper, he took the cup, and pouring it out, he said, “This cup is the new covenant, sealed in my blood shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Drink this in remembrance of me.”
Whenever we eat and drink at this table, we remember the saving death and resurrection of our Lord.
Remembering his love for us on the way, at the table, and to the end, we proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
We pray for the gift of your spirit: in our gathering; within this meal; among your people; throughout the world.
Blessing, praise, and thanks to you, holy God, through Jesus, by your Spirit, in your church, without end. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
And now with confidence as the children of God, let us pray as Jesus taught his disciples: 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 debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, now and forever. Amen.
Sharing the Bread and Cup
The bread of heaven- the cup of salvation.
thanks be to God.
At this time, you may eat and drink the food that you have prepared.
Prayer after Communion
Nourishing God, thank you for inviting us to your table where all are welcome, and for feeding us with the bread of life and quenching our thirst with the cup of blessing. As you have filled our lives with love and hope, may we be a source of your love and hope for others who hunger and thirst for good news. Amen.
Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, and bring you peace. Amen.
Next week: Acts 18: 1-4 The Church at Corinth
“The Church’s One Foundation,” by S.J. Stone, 1866, sung by a congregation in India.
“The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” by John Rutter, sung by the Batavia Madrigal Singers, Indonesia.
Today’s prayers are from
—Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church (USA), Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 2018.
--The Worship Sourcebook, ed. 2, Faith Alive Christian Resources, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2013.
--katyandtheword.wordpress.com, Rev. Katy Stenta, 2020.
Rev. Becky Downs, Pastor