God of love, plant us in the soil of your grace. Nurture us with the strength of Christ, the vine of everlasting life. Enlighten us with the wisdom of your Spirit, which flows through us today and all days. Abide in us, that we may abide in you and live in your love. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.
Most Gracious God, we sing and speak to honor You. It is our heart’s desire that our songs and words would be lovely things to You. We join with our sisters and brothers today in unity to proclaim Your love for us and we pray with them the prayer of peace Your Son taught us, saying: 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. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
We thank you, gracious God, for Jesus Christ the true vine, with his roots eternally grounded in you. We rejoice that by grace we have been grafted into him, to be branches on a vine which bears the loveliest of all the fruits of earth. Yet we confess that all is not well with the way we live. Please forgive us for the occasions when we have been the ones to introduce disease into the vine,
preferring its contamination to the vigor of health. Forgive us for neglecting to draw deeply on the sap of Life, for our tendency to wander instead of growing on the framework your provide, for being content, and sometimes even proud of, a few sparse or undersized fruits, for the apathy which lets us to go through some seasons without bearing any fruit. Please do not lose patience or sever us completely from the true vine. Rather heal our diseases, discipline and train our wandering ways. May we remain in Christ and he in us, through all the changing seasons of life. Let us delight in bearing the fruits of love which are our true purpose and joy. For your Name’s sake. Amen!
Let us go now rooted in Christ, grounded in faith, and be at peace. Amen.
It is by God’s grace that we gather for worship. And it is by God’s grace that our lives are changed. We are counting on the active and amazing grace of God today. By your Holy Spirit, enliven our worship. Help us by our actions to be faithful followers of Jesus. For this, we give you thanks and praise. Amen.
Almighty God, we come to sing of Your great name, so that all who hear know You are God. We come to speak Your words, so that we may be empowered. We come to pray so that we may be comforted, as join Jesus saying: 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. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
God, You are a God of compassion and love. Time after time we have experienced your care and provision. Time after time You’ve answered our prayers and met our needs—often in ways we could never have dreamed possible. We praise You for Your faithful love toward us. Because we have known Your love, we come to You with confidence, offering our prayers for the world that You love. We see so much pain and suffering. so much violence and poverty and despair. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs around us. But we continue to bring our prayers to You in faith, because we know that nothing is impossible for You.
You are the God who rained down bread from heaven, and made water flow from a rock in the desert; the God who resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead, and who brings new life and hope to all who believe. For You, all things are possible. Hear our prayers. Amen.
Let's us make Christ first in our life and go now to share Him with everyone we meet. Amen.