‘It is not just what we confess with our mouth, but what we do in our lives that reveal where we stand with Jesus’
by Melody K. Smith | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — “Blessed is the church that trusts in the grace of Christ to build congregational vitality,” said Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart, Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly (2020). This is just one of the Beatitudes read by Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Jerome Bentley, Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly, as they opened the newly recorded Matthew 25 worship service.
The prerecorded complete worship service is now available for viewing and download here. It is based on the Matthew 25 vision and draws from the Worship in a Matthew 25 Church resource available on the Matthew 25 website. Korean and Spanish versions of the recorded service will be available on the same website by Friday, Nov. 20.
Congregations are welcome to use the video however and whenever they like. The planning team hopes that congregations will find it helpful during a busy season of virtual and in-person worship services.
The comprehensive worship service includes music from Carter Anderson II, Marissa Galván-Valle, David Gambrell, So Jung Kim, William McConnell and Phillip Morgan.
“Vital congregations produce believers who actively engage the world, putting feet to faith, hands to hope and legs to love, following Jesus in ministry with ‘the least of these’ who are not less in Jesus’ eyes. In fact, the term used for the least of these in this Scripture, ‘mikroi,’ is the same term Jesus uses to refer to the disciples in Matthew’s gospel. The disciples are the beloved of Jesus. Highly honored by God. This is breaking news! Refrain from adopting patronizing attitude towards the least of these; after all, the judgment of God is not against them, but those who fail to see and respond to their cries,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, whose sermon from Matthew 25:31–46 was focused on “Seeing Jesus.”
The service also includes the new Matthew 25 hymn “Jesus, Be With Us,” sharing the vision of Matthew 25 through images and song.
The worship service concludes with the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), bringing the blessing and charge. “Jesus says, ‘Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ Thanks be to God.”
The video is now available at pcusa.org/matthew25-worship for viewing and downloading.
Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. Convicted by this Scripture passage, both the 222nd and 223rd General Assemblies (2016 and 2018) exhorted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor.
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