O Lord our God, as we sit in quietness our thoughts are far from quiet. We are wrestling with doubts and fears. We are looking for answers, hoping against hope, and seeking strength. We ask today for you to fill us with the breath of life, with thankful hearts, with calmness, courage and most of all, with gratitude for your presence. Amen.
Almighty God, we come before you today to spend time in your presence and to hear your word. We come as those seeking to worship you in Spirit and in truth. We humbly ask that you would conform our hearts and minds to yours. Now we pray together as 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
NEW TESTAMENT READING - James 3:1-12
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Lord, there are those in our church families that we know and love who are ill. We ask that You would surround them with your strong healing presence. Grant wisdom to those who need answers to difficult questions. Grant hope to those who despair
and friendship to those who feel lonely. Most of all O Lord God, we pray that we may know to our depths your love, your great love which you have for each one of us. We ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.
Each time we eat the bread and drink the cup with do so remembering Jesus. We do so remembering that Jesus calls each of us to come to him. This is not a Baptist table. This is the Lord ’s Table and is offer freely to all who love Him and seek to remember Him. The bread is used as a symbol of His body that he gave for us. The cup is used as a symbol for His blood that was shed for us.
At supper, on the evening before his death, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it, and then said these powerful words, “Take and eat. This is my body.” Let’s thank God for Jesus’ body, represented in the bread.
Lord, we are humbled by Jesus words that speak of a love for You and for us so strong, so majestic, that He would give his body in obedience to death and for us to experience life. We take this bread in remembrance of His words of praise and sacrifice. Amen. Jesus said, “This is my body, given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Partaking of the Bread
In the same way, after the supper Jesus took the cup, gave thanks, and said these words, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Let's thank God for Jesus' blood, represented by the cup.
Lord, we are overwhelmed by Jesus words that his blood was given over that we could be made clean and that we would be untied in his death and resurrection. Lord, as the fruit of the cup pass our lips remind us to only let words that praise, bless, and enrich the lives of others come from our lips. Amen. Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Partaking of the Cup
Let us go now refreshed by the body and blood of Jesus and show reverence toward him by our words of praise, blessing and enrichment to all we meet. Amen.
Keeper of every moment in eternity: we come, not only to hear those words which can transform us, but to be filled with your grace and hope. We have come, not out of habit, but to respond to your call, willing to be called away from the familiar ways of our lives. Bless us in our time with You. Amen.
Most Gracious God, You are worthy of worship and we pray our voices are a sweet sound to You. We come with joy to hear and experience Your great love for us, to sense Your call upon our lives, and to share that joy with others. We seek the power of Your Spirit that we might follow Your Son who gives us that joy and who taught us to pray, 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.
NEW TESTAMENT READING - James 2:14-26
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
You call us, Lord from our wandering and invite us to join you in the work You are doing. As we move with You in these uncertain times, we ask that you speak to us with the Spirit of Grace. Help us to feel and see you as the anchor and rock of our lives. Continue to bless our congregations with health and protection and wisdom in reopening our buildings to public worship of You. We ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.
Let us go now fully believing in Jesus as our Savior and Lord and let us show our faith in serving others. Amen.