Welcome to sojournmusic.com’s weekly worship music set list review & service recap. You’ll not only read a list of the songs we led following the Call To Worship, but also the readings and prayers from our liturgy. You can find links to the set lists of this church and many other churches each week in the Worship Blog Carnival at theworshipcommunity.com. And you can learn about some of the songs we sing at Sojourn Gathered each week in advance of the Sunday service by reading my “Getting Ready For Sunday” post each Thursday at Sojourn’s online journal, TravelBlog.
Some campuses/service times deviated slightly from this set list. Photos this week from Sarah Horrar and David Alan Kidd at the J-Town campus.
Call to Worship
As we gather to worship today we can take great comfort that the pressure to perform doesn’t rest on our shoulders. We aren’t here to prove anything to each other or to God. We are sinners in need of mercy. Jesus Christ came to live the perfect life and to die the death we deserved. It is through Him, not ourselves, that we approach God today.
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:14-16
Let us offer our songs, prayers and hearts to God knowing we are accepted in Jesus.
Song: Before the Throne Of God Above hymn text by Charitie Lees Bancroft, music by Vikki Cook. We recorded this as our “song of assurance” on the liturgically-themed Before The Throne album. You can hear “Before The Throne Of God Above” in full right now at our Before The Throne Bandcamp album page.
Prayer of Confession:
The blood of Jesus allows us to boldly come before God and be honest about our sin and our needs. Let’s pray:
Lord, we know that Jesus,
who knew no sin and whose hands were clean,
became sin for us, that we might be called righteous,
clothed in white and called your children.
But at our best, we still feel as though we are in rags.
Our best prayers are stained with sin,
Even our tears of repentance are full of impurity,
and our spiritual life is full of pride and selfishness.
Help us to repent of our repentance,
Wash our tears and cover us in your righteousness.
Like the prodigal son, we run to a far country,
and return home, crying, “Father forgive.”
In your mercy, you call us your children,
and you bring us clean garments.
Every morning, let us wear them. Every evening, return in them.
May we live in your righteousness, work in it, share our homes in it,
be found in death in it, and stand covered by it when we come before your throne.
Bless us, renew us and overwhelm us with the beauty and glory of Christ. Amen.
-(An adapted Puritan prayer)
Father for Thy, promised blessing,
Still we plead before Thy throne
For the times of, sweet refreshing,
Which can come from Thee alone
Song: Only Your Blood Is Enough written by Sojourn’s Neil and Kate Robins, adapted from “Psalm 51, Part 2″ by Isaac Watts. We recorded this one on Over The Grave: The Hymns Of Isaac Watts, Volume One. You can hear “Only Your Blood Is Enough” in full here.
Now we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father.
He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.
He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins
—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. – 1 John 2:1-2
A community who lifts up Jesus as our righteousness is a community who can boldly love one another for the sake of the Gospel. We can draw near to each other without shame because the Gospel puts us all in the same place – we’re sinners saved by grace, and no one can brag about any spiritual achievements. No matter our background, we’re all in desperate need of Jesus. So as a family with this deep bond, let’s practice welcoming and embracing one another.
Hear the words of Jesus:
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35
Our giving says a lot about how much love we have for our church family and for the world. By these offerings, those who are in need can be ministered to and the love of Christ can be preached. Let us ask God for more love and unity as we give as a family:
God of life, we pray that our unity will be seen not only in what we believe but also in how we work together to be salt and light in this world. May our gifts today be a sign for each other and the world that we pledge to work together in your name for the healing of this broken and hurting world. Through Christ, our Lord we pray. Amen.
Then our pastors preached the final sermon in our summer sermon series, The Last Meal, focusing on John 17:20-26. During the morning services at our Midtown Campus, we enjoyed guest preacher Kevin Twit, the founder of Indelible Grace. Later in the afternoon, Twit gave a songwriting seminar, focusing on the life of hymnwriter Anne Steele. We’ll present that audio to you on our podcast soon.
Song: Beautiful Savior written by Stuart Townend. We’ve sang this one for years at Sojourn Gathered, and it’s still a powerful shared moment of praise:
Beautiful savior, wonderful counselor
Clothed in majesty, Lord of history, You’re the way, the truth, the life
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,
in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
All of us together have received God’s mercy in Christ.
In Christ we are forgiven, redeemed, and made to be a community united in faith.
Thanks be to God. —based on 1 Peter 2:9-10, NRSV
Let us sing of our redeemer,
and of his love which makes us free,
and know this gift is ours forever,
a fellowship so deep
Go as God’s redeemed family, united by the will of the Father, the love of the Son and Power of the Holy Spirit. Peace be with you.