This Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Will our service be all about love? Nope. This is the first Sunday in the season of Lent. We will begin to follow Jesus on his journey to the cross.
The theme this Sunday is “finding our home in God’s presence.” Being rooted in our relationship with God is what helps us make sense of our lives and the world around us. “Home” is a powerful concept, a metaphor for all that is (or should be) right, safe, true, and lasting in our lives. It is in the presence of God that we can find our best and most perfect home.
- Welcome/Announcements: We take care of the business of the church.
- Opening Prayer: We invite and welcome God’s presence into our midst.
- “Once Again We Come”: We sing a hymn of celebration as we enter into God’s house with this song of praise.
- “Christians, We Have Met to Worship”: We continue to encourage each other to adore the Lord our God as we gather in his house.
- Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-11: This Old Testament passage encourages us to bring our “firstfruits,” the best of our harvest, the cream of the crop, as an offering to the Lord.
- Offering: We give our tithes and offerings to the Lord in celebration of his goodness and righteousness.
- “Forever”: With this song, we give thanks to the Lord for who he is. Forever, God is faithful! What a privilege to find our home in him.
- Responsive Reading: Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16: This psalm reminds us that God is our refuge and will be with us in times of trouble. (Plus, watch for how language from this Psalm shows up in the gospel reading later in the service.)
- “I Come to the Cross”: We quiet ourselves as we approach the presence of the Lord, at the foot of the cross, while we sing this song.
- Prayer: In humility, and in awe of Christ’s presence among us, we lift our concerns before the living King.
- “Surely the Presence of the Lord”: We give thanks for God’s presence with this quiet song of reflection.
- Special: We allow our minds and spirits to relax a bit as we prepare to hear God’s word once more.
- Scripture Reading: Luke 4:1-13 – The sermon text is the story of Jesus’s temptations, just before he starts his active ministry.
- Message: “Poured Out: Empty Dreams” – This first sermon in our “Poured Out” series will explore how Jesus poured himself out for the sake of humanity by emptying himself of worldly hopes and dreams for riches, power, and influence.
- “I Am Thine, O Lord”: Our closing song asks Jesus to draw us nearer, nearer, ever nearer to him throughout this season, and into the future.
- Benediction: We depart in peace to serve the Lord in the upcoming week.