MARCH 22, 2020

An Order for Personal or Family Worship

March 22, 2020

This order of worship is designed for individuals and families who are worshipping alone or with family due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is an adaptable worship aid; it can be rearranged and its parts can be skipped. Even though we cannot meet together, our goal is to find unity as a church in the theme of Psalm 23 - God is our shepherd, and he will lead us through trouble. 

If you’re worshiping in a group, choose someone to read the lector’s lines, and then read the bold part in unison. If you’re worshipping alone, we encourage you to read the included texts and prayers aloud.

Call to Worship - Psalter Reading:  Ps 107:1-3, 17-22  NRSV (read responsively)        

Lector: 1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

Group: 2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

17Some were sick through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities endured affliction;

18they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.

19Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;

20he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction.

21Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

22And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.

Hymn: Man of Sorrows

Singing in small groups or alone without music can be awkward, and we know that. You may be tempted to skip this part, and it’s okay if you do. If you’re not comfortable singing the included hymns, we want to encourage you to sing something, whether that’s singing an easy song like Amazing Grace or listening to or singing along with a recorded piece of music.

“Man of Sorrows,” what a name

For the Son of God who came

Ruined sinners to reclaim!

  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,

In my place condemned He stood;

Sealed my pardon with His blood;

  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we,

Spotless Lamb of God was He;

Full redemption—can it be?

  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die,

“It is finished!” was His cry;

Now in heaven exalted high;

  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,

To His kingdom us to bring,

Then anew this song we’ll sing

  Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Prayer of Illumination

If you are worshipping with children, let us suggest having a child read this prayer.

Lord God, thank you for giving us the Bible. 

Thank you that through reading it we can learn more about you and learn to love you more.

Send your Spirit to help us understand your Word and to help us grow.

For Jesus’ sake, Amen.*

First Reading:  John 10:11-18  NRSV                                     

11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

Hymn: What A Friend We Have in Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Second Reading: Psalm 23

Homily: “The Lord Is My Shepherd”


Joys and Concerns

Prayers of the People

Spend some time taking prayer requests (if you’re in a group) and praying through the needs of our congregation, community, and the world.

Hymn: Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,

Much we need Thy tender care;

In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,

For our use Thy folds prepare:

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,

Be the guardian of our way;

Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,

Seek us when we go astray:

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Hear, O hear us when we pray;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us,

Poor and sinful though we be;

Thou hast mercy to relieve us,

Grace to cleanse, and pow'r to free:

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Early let us turn to Thee;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Early let us turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor,

Early let us do Thy will;

Blessed Lord and only Savior,

With Thy love our bosoms fill:

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Thou hast loved us, love us still;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,

Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus, we walk with you through the valley of the shadow of death.

Let us find our life in you, O Lord.

Banished from the Garden of Eden for our rebellion,

We long for the garden of paradise.

O Lord, you are the Christ.

Remember us in your kingdom.

We come to hear you speak of your love for us.

You have the words of eternal life. Amen.*

* Reprinted by permission from The Worship Sourcebook, © 2004, CRC Publications