Here we will provide resources and guides for house churches meeting Sunday, March 29.

Hapa tutatoa vifaa na maelezo kwa ajili ya ibada ya nyumbani jumapili, tarehe 29, mwezi wa 3. Kwa ajili ya kuabudu, liturujia itapatikana…

March 29 House Church order of worship

For worship today, follow the worship order in either the PDF above or as written below. You are encouraged to worship around your dining room table, similar to the way our Jewish brothers and sisters begin their Sabbath celebrations. Gathering the following items and assigning the following roles prior to beginning worship will allow for a smooth flow to the service.

• Items: bowl of water set at the table, candle and matches, bread and wine or juice
• Roles: liturgist, candle lighter, 2 scripture readers, a prayer leader, someone to set the table with communion elements, oldest and youngest readers in the household

You may also want a computer or smartphone available to access the links to the sermon video and other recordings throughout the service. All the recordings are available on this page. Links to recordings of the music are provided, but if you have a musician in your household, you are encouraged to have the musician lead the songs.

The liturgy and music are comprised of material from our SES and BES Lenten liturgies, as well as our Children in Worship program. We hope this unique opportunity for house-church worship, will allow all members, young and old, native English speaking and ESL learners, brothers and sisters from many cultures to participate fully in the worship of our Triune God.


Call to worship
Please rise in body or in spirit

Leader:   As we gather to worship, let us fix our eyes on Jesus who heals the sick and mends the brokenhearted, who frustrates the proud and raises the humble. Together we say, “Let us follow Jesus to the cross.” 

People:    Let us follow Jesus to the cross.

Leader:   Let us fix our eyes on Jesus who proclaims good news to the poor and freedom to prisoners. Together we say,

People:    Let us follow Jesus to the cross.

Leader:   Let us fix our eyes on Jesus who endured opposition from sinful people so that we will not grow weary and lose heart. Together we say,

People:    Let us follow Jesus to the cross.

Leader:   Let us fix our eyes on Jesus who takes away the sin of the world. Together we say,

People:    Let us follow Jesus to the cross.

My Life Flows on in Endless Song

Confession and Assurance
Please be seated

Leader:   Jesus is our high priest and he has entered heaven. He understands our weaknesses and has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin. So let us come boldly to God’s throne of grace. There we will receive mercy. We will find grace to help us when we need it most.

People:   God of mercy, we confess that we have turned away from you. We have disobeyed your commands. We have hurt others and dishonored your name. We have neglected justice. We have doubted your power to protect us. Have mercy, O God, and forgive our sin.

Pass the water bowl around the table, holding it momentarily as you silently confess your sins and remember your baptism.

Leader:   Jesus our priest offered one sacrifice for sins for all time. By that one sacrifice he has forever set us free from sin.

People:    Thanks be to God.

Please rise in body or in spirit

Proclamation of the Law

Leader:  As forgiven people let us hear the wisdom of God’s law:

People:    Do not put any other gods in place of me.
Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on the earth or in the waters. Do not worship them.
Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and mother.
Do not commit murder.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not steal.
Do not lie about your neighbor.
Do not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Write your law upon our hearts, O God.


You may put your hand on your heart as you verbally pass the peace.

Leader:   God has given us peace through Jesus Christ. Let us pass the peace of Christ to one another.


Prayer for Illumination
Please be seated

If you have children in your group, invite them to lead the motions for this song that is sung weekly in Children’s Worship.

Be Still and Know…

Leader:   We light the Christ candle to remind us that Christ is with us as we hear the word of God.

A member of the household lights the candle.

Leader:   Living God, help us to hear your Word, understand your Word, believe your Word and follow your Word.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

People:    Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 130

Leader:   1The Lord, I cry out to you because I’m suffering so deeply. 2Lord, listen to me. Pay attention to my cry for your mercy.

3Lord, suppose you kept a close watch on sins. Lord, who then wouldn’t be found guilty? 4But you forgive. So we can serve you with respect.

5With all my heart I wait for the Lord to help me. I put my hope in his word. 6I wait for the Lord to help me. I want his help more than night watchmen want the morning to come. I’ll say it again. I want his help more than night watchmen want the morning to come. 7Israel, put your hope in the Lord, because the Lord’s love never fails. He sets his people completely free. 8He himself will set Israel free from all their sins.

This is the Word of the Lord.

People:    Thanks be to God.

New Testament Reading: John 11:1-45

Leader:   1A man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2Mary would later pour perfume on the Lord. She would also wipe Jesus’ feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick in bed. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus. “Lord,” they told him, “the one you love is sick.” 4When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory. God’s Son will receive glory because of it.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So after he heard Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.

7And then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short time ago the Jews there tried to kill you with stones. Are you still going back?” 9Jesus answered, “Aren’t there 12 hours of daylight? Anyone who walks during the day won’t trip and fall. They can see because of this world’s light. 10But when they walk at night, they’ll trip and fall. They have no light.” 11After he said this, Jesus went on speaking to them. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep,” he said. “But I am going there to wake him up.” 12His disciples replied, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he will get better.” 13Jesus had been speaking about the death of Lazarus. But his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your benefit, I am glad I was not there. Now you will believe. But let us go to him.” 16Then Thomas, who was also called Didymus, spoke to the rest of the disciples. “Let us go also,” he said. “Then we can die with Jesus.”

17 When Jesus arrived, he found out that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem. 19 Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary. They had come to comfort them because their brother was dead. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him. But Mary stayed at home. 21“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “I wish you had been here! Then my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you anything you ask for.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha answered, “I know he will rise again. This will happen when people are raised from the dead on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even if they die. 26And whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27“Yes, Lord,” she replied. “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God. I believe that you are the one who is supposed to come into the world.”

28 After she said this, she went back home. She called her sister Mary to one side to talk to her. “The Teacher is here,” Martha said. “He is asking for you.” 9When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Jesus had not yet entered the village. He was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31Some Jews had been comforting Mary in the house. They noticed how quickly she got up and went out. So they followed her. They thought she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32Mary reached the place where Jesus was. When she saw him, she fell at his feet. She said, “Lord, I wish you had been here! Then my brother would not have died.” 33Jesus saw her crying. He saw that the Jews who had come along with her were crying also. His spirit became very sad, and he was troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35Jesus wept. 36Then the Jews said, “See how much he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “He opened the eyes of the blind man. Couldn’t he have kept this man from dying?”

38Once more Jesus felt very sad. He came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone in front of the entrance. 39“Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad smell. Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days.” 40Then Jesus said, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see God’s glory?” 41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up. He said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I know that you always hear me. But I said this for the benefit of the people standing here. I said it so they will believe that you sent me.” 43Then Jesus called in a loud voice. He said, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out. His hands and feet were wrapped with strips of linen. A cloth was around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the clothes he was buried in and let him go.”

45Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary saw what Jesus did. So they believed in him.

This is the Word of the Lord.

People:    Thanks be to God.

Psalm of Lament: Psalms 42 & 43

During the season of Lent, we plan to include a Psalm of Lament in our time of worship. Particularly in times of distress, it is important to turn to the Psalms and learn how we can cry out to God for deliverance

As the Deer

Dwelling in the Word

You are invited to watch a sermon video from Pastors Karen and Andrew.

When a Bible story is shared with young children at COS, the Children’s Worship leader invites everyone to spend time wondering about the story. Here are some “I wonder…” questions for you to consider after today’s reading. Feel free to add your own!

  • I wonder how Mary and Martha feel when their brother is so sick.
  • I wonder how Mary and Martha feel as they watch Lazarus die.
  • I wonder how they feel when they see Jesus.
  • I wonder how they feel when Lazarus is alive again.

Intercessory Prayer

Today’s prayer time uses the structure familiar to BES worshipers, allowing time to share thanksgivings and petitions. Feel free to use this as an outline for your prayer time, or offer your own prayers of intercession.

(Begin by sharing prayers of thanksgiving – times that you have seen God at work in our world.)

Leader:   Lord Jesus Christ, you are the resurrection and the life. We give thanks for the signs of new life we see in your creation – budding flowers, a fresh blanket of snow, the warm spring sunshine. We give you thanks for the signs of new life we see in your people – those recovering from illness and surgery, those with energy to care for the sick, those who work to provide us with our daily bread, and those whom we call family and friends.

(Take a few moments now to share prayers of petition for your neighbors, friends, family, church, nation, and our world.)

Leader:   Lord Jesus Christ, you are the resurrection and the life. We know that you hear our prayers. We know that God will give you anything you ask for. So we pray for healing for those who are sick. We pray for comfort for those who mourn. We pray for peace for those who are restless. We pray for love for those who are alone. We pray for hope for those who are running into dead ends. We pray for faith for those who feel fear. We pray for your presence in all our lives.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the resurrection and the life. We remember your sacrifice for our sins, and we believe in your resurrection. Help us to live by this hope.  

People:    Amen. 

Affirmation of Faith
Please rise in body or in spirit

Leader:   Let us together affirm the faith of the church at all times and in all places.

People:   I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Preparing the Table

Leader:   Sisters and brothers in Christ, the gospel tells us that on the first day of the week, the same day on which our Lord rose from the dead, he appeared to the disciples in the place where they were gathered and was made known to them in the breaking of bread. Come, then, to the joyful feast of the Lord. Let us prepare the table with the offerings of our life and labor.

You are welcome to give to the church online or by mailing a check to the church office. During this worship service, you may place your offerings or tokens of your offerings on your table. At this time you are also encouraged to set your table with the bread and wine you will use to celebrate communion.

Praise God from Whom…

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving…

Leader:   The Lord be with you.

People:   And also with you.

Leader:   Lift up your hearts.

People:   We lift them up to the Lord.

Leader:   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:   It is right for us to give you thanks and praise.

…to God the Father

Leader:   We thank you, Father, for the many gifts of creation. But we thank you most of all for the gift of your great love. We thank you for sending your Son to save us. We praise you with one voice saying together:

People:   Holy, holy, holy are you, God of power and might; heaven and earth are full of your glory; hosanna in the highest.

…for the work of Jesus Christ
Please be seated

Leader:   Holy and gracious God, we come to this table to remember Christ’s death. We come to have fellowship with the resurrected Jesus. We come in hope that one day we will share this feast with you and one another in the new heavens and new earth. So we proclaim in faith:

People:    Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

…for the presence of the Holy Spirit

Leader:   Living God, we pray that you would send your Holy Spirit on us. May this meal feed our bodies and our souls. Make us one with Jesus. Make us one family so we can pray as Jesus taught us:

People:   Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.


Youngest at the table:   Why have we come to this table?

Oldest at the table:   We come to this table to remember the last supper that Jesus shared with his disciples. We come because Jesus tells us to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup in true faith until he comes again.

Youngest:   How is this meal different from all others?

Oldest:   In this supper God tells us that our sins have been completely forgiven through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. God also tells us that the Holy Spirit makes us one with Christ, and in Christ one with all other Christians.

Youngest:   Why do we eat the bread?

All others at the table:   The bread that we break is our sharing in the body of Christ. We remember and believe that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was given for complete forgiveness of all our sins.

(Pass the bread around the table)

Youngest:   Why do we drink the cup?

All others at the table:   The cup for which we give thanks is our sharing in the blood of Christ. We remember and believe that the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ was shed for the complete forgiveness of all our sins.

(Pass the wine or juice around the table)


Thank You Lord


Changing the Light

Leader:   (pointing at the light of the candle) Look, the Light is all in one place now.  We are going to change the Light so it is not just in one place anymore.  It can be in many places at once.

Snuff the candle and watch the smoke curl in the air and spread throughout the room.

Leader:   Now the Light of Christ that was just in one place at one time is in all places in all times. Go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:    We offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, to live to God’s will and die to our own.


Leader:   In your journeys, may God direct you.  In your times of pleasure, may God bless you.  In your times of anxiety or trouble, may God sustain you. In your times of peril and danger, may God protect you.

People:    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.


“My Life Flows On in Endless Song” Robert Lowry, arr. Greg Scheer ©2011

“Ese Ni Iki Cyadutandukanya” Rwandan, trans. R. King

“Be Still and Know” Text: Psalm 46:10; music: anonymous

“As the Deer Pants for Water” Psalms 42-43; Greg Scheer ©2005 Augsburg Fortress

“Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” Text: Thomas Ken; music: Louis Bourgeois

“O Christ, the Lamb of God” Text: Agnus Dei, based on John 1:29; tune: Kirchenordnung, Braunschweig, 1528

“Thank You, Lord” Trad. Black Gospel

“Lift High the Cross” Text: George W. Kitchin; rev. Michael R. Newbolt, alt.; tune: Sydney H. Nicholson; text and music ©1974 Hope Publishing Company

Song permissions: One #A703305.

The cover art is by Virginia Wieringa based on Psalm 130, Out of the Depths. Of this piece of artwork, Virginia says, “This Psalm talks about being desperate and depressed. Our lives are lived in overlapping enigmas and labyrinths. There are valleys and dead ends. Only God sees the paths we take and how they will lead us to the place of redemption. The arrival of the morning sun brings hope and God’s love flowing into our lives.