Here we will provide resources and guides for house churches meeting Sunday, March 22.

Hapa tutatoa vifaa na maelezo kwa ajili ya ibada ya nyumbani jumapili, tarehe 22, mwezi wa 3. Kwa ajili ya kuabudu, liturujia itapatikana…

March 22 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.


(Please rise in body or in spirit)
Call to Worship

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 Shepherd Will Supply

(Please be seated)
Confession and Assurance

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.

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.


(Please be seated)
Prayer for Illumination

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: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Leader:   1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you be filled with sorrow because of Saul? I have refused to have him as king over Israel. Fill your animal horn with olive oil and go on your way. I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? Suppose Saul hears about it. Then he’ll kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a young cow with you. Tell the elders of Bethlehem, ‘I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will show you what to do. You must anoint for me the one I point out to you.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. He arrived at Bethlehem. The elders of the town met him. They were trembling with fear. They asked, “Have you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, I’ve come in peace. I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Set yourselves apart to him and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he set Jesse and his sons apart to the Lord. He invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab. He thought, “This has to be the one the Lord wants me to anoint for him.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider how handsome or tall he is. I have not chosen him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outside of a person. But the Lord looks at what is in the heart.”

Then Jesse called for Abinadab. He had him walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen him either.” Then Jesse had Shammah walk by. But Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen him either.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said to him, “The Lord hasn’t chosen any of them.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these the only sons you have?”

“No,” Jesse answered. “My youngest son is taking care of the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him. We won’t sit down to eat until he arrives.”

12 So Jesse sent for his son and had him brought in. He looked very healthy. He had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Get up and anoint him. This is the one.”

13 So Samuel got the animal horn that was filled with olive oil. He anointed David in front of his brothers. From that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David. Samuel went back to Ramah.

This is the Word of the Lord.

People:    Thanks be to God.

New Testament Reading: John 9:1-12; 35-41

Leader:   1As Jesus went along, he saw a man who was blind. He had been blind since he was born. Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned? Was this man born blind because he sinned? Or did his parents sin?”

“It isn’t because this man sinned,” said Jesus. “It isn’t because his parents sinned. He was born blind so that God’s power could be shown by what’s going to happen. While it is still day, we must do the works of the one who sent me. Night is coming. Then no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After he said this, he spit on the ground. He made some mud with the spit. Then he put the mud on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him. “Wash in the Pool of Siloam.” Siloam means Sent. So the man went and washed. And he came home able to see.

His neighbors and people who had seen him earlier begging asked questions. “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” they asked. Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No. He only looks like him.”

But the man who had been blind kept saying, “I am the man.”

10 “Then how were your eyes opened?” they asked.

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed. Then I could see.”

12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said.

35 Jesus heard that the Pharisees had thrown the man out of the synagogue. When Jesus found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me, so I can believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said, “I have come into this world to judge it. I have come so that people who are blind will see. I have come so that people who can see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this. They asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you claim you can see, you remain guilty.

This is the Word of the Lord.

People:    Thanks be to God.

Psalm of Lament: Psalm 69

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.  

Today we encourage you to listen to Psalm 69, as written and sung by Wendell Kimbrough.

Dwelling in the Word

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 why it was hard for people to believe they were seeing the same man who once was blind, but now can see?
  • I wonder if there are things my eyes don’t see that Jesus wants me to see?

Intercessory Prayer

The following prayer is based on today’s lectionary Psalm, Psalm  23. It 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:   The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Good Shepherd, we thank you for the ways you provide for us. We thank you for the ways you bless us and give us rest.  We thank you for the ways you guide us on the paths of our lives.

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

Leader:   Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

Good Shepherd, we pray for all who are traveling through dark valleys, whether they are physically ill, grieving the loss of loved ones, struggling to pay the bills, forging through difficult relationships, or wrestling with depression and anxiety.  Lord, make your presence known to each one of these precious children. Give them comfort.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercyshall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Good Shepherd, as we come to your table, feed us with your goodness and mercy.  Anoint us to be your servants. Help us bring your love to our neighbors and hope to our world filled with despair, that we may dwell in your house forever.

People:    Amen. 

(Please rise in body or in spirit)
Affirmation of Faith

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 All Blessings Flow

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.

(Please be seated)
…for the work of Jesus Christ

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)



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 Shepherd Will Supply My Need” Text: Isaac Watts; music: W. Walker’s Southern Harmony

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

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

“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.