CALL TO WORSHIP
Psalm 16

MUSIC
Curated by Kevin & Alyssa Borst
Jeremy Riddle - Love Came Down
All Sons & Daughters - Come Thou Fount
All Sons & Daughters - Great Are You Lord
Hillsong Worship - What A Beautiful Name

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION
I am going to be reading from the message version of Ephesians 1, and since we have found ourselves these past few weeks in a series on forgiveness I invite you to listen for themes of belonging to the family of God and the freedom that comes from that.
Hear these words from the scripture,

Long before God the Father laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

Thanks be to God for this message of freedom.

PRAYER
Even as we worship this morning, most of us will be aware of recent changes in immigration policy to the south that have left many refugees stranded and unsure of their future. Regardless of our politics today — for all those who seek peace we pray

Heavenly Father,
you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.

We thank you for opening the hearts of many
to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope,
and lives torn apart be restored.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord,
who fled persecution at His birth and at His last triumphed over death.

Amen.

TEACHING & DISCUSSION NOTES
Ashes