HOME CHURCH GUIDE
In this season where our Church is unable to gather as a whole family for worship, we’re seeking to equip our Restoration family for God’s work among them – right where they are. That’s what Home Church is all about: giving you tools to gather with community groups or other believers (*safely* in person or online) for a shared experience of worship with the whole Restoration family. Below, you’ll find three movements of worship together: Worship (praise and prayer), Word (opening the Scriptures), and Witness (talking it out and living it out. So whether with a community group or a friend or two, let’s worship together! (Kids Resources Here!)
WORSHIP: PRAISE AND PRAYER
In light of the story of the good Samaritan, we encourage you to pray together while everyone in your group has these words in front of them. Choose one person to offer the “call” and lead the prayer alone in the sections labeled “one,” with the whole group responding aloud through the sections labeled “all.”
One: Merciful God, we see you each day. Sometimes the peace of your Spirit is so evident that it brings calm and joy. Sometimes the stirring of your Spirit is so fierce that it brings holy discontent and sheds light on our shortcomings, our biases, and our pridefulness. In both cases, the beauty of your Spirit is guiding our hearts as we journey.
All: On the road of life, open my eyes to the beauty of your Spirit. Each image-bearer I encounter has the capacity to extend mercy to me and receive mercy from me. Humble me to do your will.
One: As we seek to be merciful like you, remind us that we cannot give mercy freely without receiving it freely. We often place ourselves in the story as the Samaritan, but the truth is that we are all, at times, the person lying half-dead on the side of the road. Open our eyes to the ways our so-called “enemies” have extended your mercy to us. Fill us with gratitude.
All: When I am in need, your love meets me where I am. Forgive me for the times I’ve refused to see your face in the one offering me your love. I receive your grace.
One: In the moments when we see image-bearers attacked, stripped, beaten, and dying, give us endurance to not look away in apathy but to show active and compassionate mercy. Embolden us by the power of your Spirit to lay down our rights and resources for the good of others. Bring low the mountains so the valleys may be filled.
All: Let your kingdom come, and let it begin with me. Let acts of mercy flow from my heart and hands every day as I seek your face. Amen.
WORD: OPENING THE SCRIPTURES
WITNESS: TALK AND LIVE IT OUT
Whether among your community group or a few friends over Zoom, we want to challenge you to move beyond just knowledge and information and into practicing the way of Jesus in your everyday life! But we do this together. Below you’ll find some questions to discuss, as well as next steps for living it out!
1. Be honest: to whom do you struggle to show mercy? And why?
2. In Luke 10:25-37, we see the expert of the law ask Jesus, “who is my neighbor?” As you look out on current events, how do you see this question still trying to be answered?
3. We’ve all found ourselves at the end of our ropes… and how found mercy through the compassion of another. Talk about a time you received mercy, and what did it teach you about yourself?
4. The power to offer mercy to our neighbors come directly from our willingness to receive mercy from God. How do we keep God’s mercy towards our own lives in the forefront of our imagination as we seek to love our neighbors well?
Practice. Lamentations 3:22-23 is a phenomenal promise. This week, open your day with your heart ready to receive that day’s mercy. For a moment, set both the past and the present aside and focus your heart on today. God wants to meet you each day with a mercy you’ve never seen before. Slow down and receive it!