We don't go to church...
That might sound odd, but the Bible doesn't use the word church about a building, place or event. In the Bible, the word church always refers to people - the family of God, saved by God, for God's purposes. We have a saying in our family, "We don't go to church. We are the church." It reminds us the gospel of Jesus gives us a new identity that we can't earn and don't need to strive for.
Gathering during COVID-19
Typically, our Missional Communities would all gather together as the whole church on Sundays to celebrate the gospel of Jesus. We'd sing, encourage one another, pray, share stories, laugh, sometimes cry, learn from Scripture, take communion, and be exhorted to be who we are as God's people - disciples of Jesus, a family of servants on his mission.
During the present global pandemic, all of that is still true except we are only meeting in very small groups in homes. Each micro Missional Community has worked out the details of how they can safely meet in-person considering guidelines from health authorities.
We use this page as guide and resource for these "house to house gatherings" - a reference to Acts 5:42 and Acts 2:46 where we see that the early church met regularly in their homes too. Individuals and households who need to be on their own are also using this same digital liturgy to participate virtually, either on their own or together online.
Call to Worship
Facilitator, read this aloud. Church, read the words in bold aloud together.
O God, you summon the day to dawn,
you teach the morning to waken the earth.
For you the valleys shall sing for joy,
the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
For you the kings of the earth shall bow,
the poor and the persecuted shall shout for joy.
Your love and mercy shall last forever,
fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise.
Great is your name.
Great is your love. Amen.
This can be led by one person or shared among your group.
Let's take time to pray together, continuing our worship.
Living His Story
Ordinary Time: The Embracing and Reconciling Community
In the renewal that Jesus brings, “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and
uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11). No social hierarchy, no racial superiority, no spiritual privilege. We may absorb such distorted perspectives and attitudes from a wider society, but once we are in Christ and part of his church, they are stripped off like soiled clothes. Instead, we clothe ourselves with Christ and therefore strive to be an embracing and reconciling community. We mirror the love of God who shows no partiality.
Pray this prayer together:
Search us, O God and know our hearts; test us and know our thoughts, see if there be any prejudicial way in us and lead us in the way all-embracing. As your chosen ones, holy and beloved by you, clothe us with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience; above all, clothe us with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Amen.
We take the call to disciple our children seriously. We encourage you to walk through this lesson with everyone present before releasing the children.
SermonRead the following verses:
1 Corinthians 14:26-40
- How have you asked “What’s in it for me?” in our gatherings? What did Justin share that stood out to you most about this?
- Are you in need of being built up in your love for Jesus? What ways can we work together to see this happen?
- Do we experience love when we gather as an MC? What need to change for us to experience God through one another?
God meets us in the sacraments, communicating grace to us
by means of water, bread, and wine.
In baptism, whether of the newly born or newly converted,
God reminds and assures us of our union with Christ in covenant love,
the washing away of our sin, and the gift of the Holy Spirit -
expecting our love and trust in return.
In the Lord's Supper, Christ offers his own crucified body and shed blood
to his people, assuring them a share in his death and resurrection.
By the Holy Spirit, he feeds us with his resurrection life
and binds us to each other as we share one loaf and cup.
We receive this food gladly, believing, as we eat,
that Jesus is our life-giving food and drink
and that he will come again
to call us to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Finish the time of communion in prayer.
Soma Women's Gathering - July 26, 6:00 PM @ Darianne's house
VisionSync - August 2, 5:00-8:30 PM @ Lifeway Church
In Person Outdoor Gathering - Sunday, August 15, 4:00 PM @ Lifeway Church
Find more details and RSVP for these events on Soma Connect!
As we close our time together, let us remind one another of our call this week:
- We are disciples of Jesus, learning to follow him, be changed by him, and worship him.
- We commit to growing as disciples by submitting to the empowering lordship of Jesus in all of life.
- We are disciple-makers, showing others what it means to follow Jesus.
Father help us be obedient to the Great Commission. Holy Spirit, please do whatever it takes in our hearts so that we might become disciples who make disciples. We submit this week to you. Amen.