While we miss getting together in person, we pray that this online alternative will be just as encouraging to you!
Jesus walks with you through pandemic. When our world is panicked, you and I have a hope the coronavirus (COVID-19) can never take away. Matthew 8-9 showed us the sovereignty of God over every kind of sickness. No disease reaches beyond our creator’s authority or saving grace, even Coronavirus. Our God rules during any and every sickness our world faces. You and I have a responsibility to display peace and calm in Christ before a storm of anxiety.
Together, we want our church to continue to care for the community. For a couple Sundays, we will show Jesus’ love by helping this pandemic to end. Many government organizations and schools are closing for a few weeks. We do not want our gathering to speak to our neighbors that we do not care about combatting illness. As a church in the U.S. it is our freedom to gather. And we lay down that right in a sacrificial love.
We also care about those in our church family who are most susceptible to the virus. Even in the early days of pandemic we do not want the risk of spread to be our gathering for our own members’ sake.
Worship Through Song:
Come Thou Fount
This I Believe (The Creed)
O Praise the Name (Anastasis)
Worship Through Giving:
Worship Through the Reading of God’s Word:
Persecution Will Come
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
Have No Fear
26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Worship Through the Preaching of God’s Word:
Worship Through Prayer:
Pray this prayer from Philippians 4:6-7 with us:
6Tell God what you need,
Heavenly Father, thank you for welcoming us in our anxious hearts and legitimate concerns. “Pray more and worry less,” isn’t a formula; it’s our freedom. You know our needs better than we do, but here’s a few current things.
By the power of your Spirit, we want to be more worshipful than worried; more settled by your sovereignty than vexed by this virus; more praise-full than paranoid about the next cough or sneeze.
We pray for health-care workers, research scientists, and those most vulnerable to the coronavirus. We pray churches will actually thrive during this social-distancing season; that the Gospel will become precious to those suddenly alive to their mortality; and for single moms, caring for kids and carrying the weight of financial burdens. (Pause, and add to this list)
6b and thank him for all he has done.
Thank you for what you’ve already done? That’s easy Father. You’ve given Jesus to us and for us. He is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption—our active Advocate and ruling King… and a whole lot more.
7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Supersize our experience of your peace, Father. We don’t have to understand everything. Your timing is better than Swiss, and your faithfulness is greater than we realize. As we savor our life in Christ Jesus, guard our fickle, wandering, impatient hearts.
Indeed, on this [Sunday], we set our mind, affections and gaze upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, our merciful Savior and mighty Lord, the fountain of grace and ground of all hope. So very Amen we pray, in his tender and triumphant name.
*A prayer request from a church in the Calvary Family of Churches: in this time of pandemic, please pray for our sister Patty at Calvary Crossway, in Castle Rock. She recently tested positive for COVID-19. As a way of encouragement, consider sending a quick note to email@example.com (the pastor of Calvary Crossway) and let him know who you are and that you are praying with them for Patty. What a great way to love our brothers and sisters in Christ!*
Worship Through Song:
Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me
A big thank you to Kyle Riggins for shooting and editing our worship song videos!
We love you! We pray that this time in worship from your home was just as encouraging as when we are together. God hears our praises – and He delights in it!
Check in with any neighbors you think might need help. Let them know you are available. Walk by faith, not fear. We look forward to seeing you in person. We long to pray with you face to face, hand in hand. But until that time comes, let’s make Jesus non-ignorable through our trust in His sovereignty.
We leave you with a new song recently released. It comes from a songwriting super group, really: Keith and Kristyn Getty (“In Christ Alone”), Matt Boswell and Matt Papa (“Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery), Jordan Kauflin (“All I Have Is Christ:), and Matt Merker (“He Will Hold Me Fast”). You can learn more about the writing of this song at this link on The Gospel Coalition. I can’t wait to sing this one together some time soon! May it bless you as you go.
What is our only hope in life and death? That we are not our own, but belong body and soul, both in life and death, to our God and to our Savior Jesus Christ. Christ our hope in life and death!