Virtual Worship: Light of the World

In this time when we cannot gather as a traditional worshipping community next to one another, I invite you to take a few minutes of personal worship time in front of your screen. Use the parts that contribute to your connection with God and move to the next section, skipping those things that do not. The entire service in video form is at the end of the blog. I also invite your feedback.

We Gather

Light of the world,
You stepped down into darkness;
Opened my eyes . . .
let me see, beauty that made this heart adore You;
Hope of a life spent with You.
Here I am to worship.
Here I am to bow down.
Here I am to say that You’re my God.
You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy.
altogether wonderful to me.

Call to Worship (video includes anthem O Love.)

Perhaps it does not begin.
Perhaps it is always.

Perhaps it takes
a lifetime
to open our eyes,
to learn to see
what has forever
shimmered in front of us

the luminous line
of the map
in the dark

the vigil flame
in the house
of the heart,

the love
so searing
we cannot keep
from singing,

from crying out
in testimony
and praise.

Perhaps this day
will be the mountain
over which
the dawn breaks.

Perhaps we
will turn our face
toward it,
toward what has been
always.

Perhaps
our eyes
will finally open
in ancient recognition,
willingly dazzled,
illuminated at last.

Perhaps this day
the light begins
in us.

– Jan Richardson, from Circle of Grace, Wanton Gospeller Press

Hymn: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

We Pray

Prayers of the People

(NOTE: The video prayer that accompanies this part of the service has been edited.)

Heavenly Father, we are not altogether convinced that darkness is a thing of the past. Many people in this world of ours feel their world is one of darkness and gloom. Pressures crowd in upon us and get us down.

The causes are varied: bereavement, illness, money, worries about family, trouble at work or not having work, drugs, drink, boredom, doubt, weariness, futility.

Then there are the world issues: war, poverty, climate change, disease, unfair trade and so on. It does not help when we feel that as Christians we should be doing so much better than we are. Gracious and loving God, we rejoice that you are with us in our troubles, you know us and you love us – always.

Even though we have made a mess of things personally and collectively you remain faithful. We rejoice that your Son came not to a perfect world, but to a broken world, our world. To bring light to the darkness, our darkness.

We pray for our dark and dreary world, a world in need – in need not just of a technical fix, but in need of love and grace, forgiveness and new life, hope, peace and fellowship, in need of renewal, in need of YOU.

We pray that you would come alongside us and all those for whom we pray, that you would show us Jesus, the light of the world, the one who came (and who comes) to rid us of sin, to give us life and health and peace, peace that passes all understanding – not a temporary respite from trouble but the strength to overcome it and ultimately to receive life eternal.

You don’t wave a magic wand for everything to sorted instantly – you require us to exercise our faith and to respond to your call to preach the gospel and to seek to live it out, to look to you for the strength that we need to share your love and grace. Help us to share the good news in word and action – the same good news that the fishermen were called to proclaim that there is a Saviour, a merciful king who loves us and whom we can love and adore.

We have been set free.  Enable us to use our freedom to share in bringing in the kingdom. In the light of this we have something to celebrate, something to shout about – for even in our trouble and pain, even in our loss, we know that Jesus is with us.

Hear us as in a moment of silence we pray for those in darkness (of whatever kind) – let us pray that they may see and know the light of Christ:

Silence

The Lord is my light and my salvation. Hear our prayers, Lord, spoken and unspoken and answer them for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

To see the source of this prayer, click HERE.

We Give

Offering

The Word Proclaimed

Children’s Sermon

Sermon: Light of the World

We Depart

Benediction


Complete Video of Entire Service

Published by Matt

Creative Arts developer, planner, husband, and father. I direct choirs, make graphic art, and film, photograph and work daily to foster an experience with the Holy.

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