Christian Liturgy 101: How One Church Worshiped on Orphan Sunday, 2019

by Bobby Gilles

in Liturgy & Sermons

Welcome to Sojourn’s weekly worship music set list review & service recap. You’ll not only read a list of the songs we led, but also the readings and prayers from our liturgy. You can also watch the video stream of the whole service from our Facebook page, or here below (you’ll also see a higher resolution video of the sermon alone).

Our liturgy is written by Worship Director Justin Shaffer, in collaboration with our Creative Team at Sojourn Church New Albany and worship staff at the other four Sojourn Collective churches in the Louisville area.

This Sunday, Pastor Jonah Sage preached from Matthew 12:15-21 in our series Respond: Following the Lord of Life. To learn more about Sojourn Church, click here.

November 10, 2019 – Respond 6 – Jonah Sage from Sojourn Collective on Vimeo.

The Strange Man


Welcome to Sojourn! I’m _____one of the ______… Today is Orphan Sunday, an annual reminder of the Lord’s bold declaration that he is “a father to the fatherless” and of our call as Christians to defend and care for the fatherless. As we celebrated new life and committed to parent our kids under the love and admonition of Jesus last Sunday, today we honor orphans as the beloved children near to the heart of God that they are. Further, it is because of his grace towards us that we who were once spiritual orphans are now adopted as children of God. We hear this truth in scripture:

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds;

Rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.

—Psalm 68:4-6

God has set the lonely in a family, this is profoundly the case for our church family worshipping together today! Let’s praise the Lord together as we set our gaze on God our great Father this morning!

Our Great God

Orphan Sunday Prayer 

…(Judea: your town) pray for local foster and adoptive folks who are on the front lines of orphan care… foster and adoptive parents, those who work within the foster care system, those who facilitate foster care or adoptive services, case workers, social workers, psychologists and therapists, to be encouraged, supported by the local church, and that God may give them the strength to continue.

… (Judea: your town) pray for your pastor, your church leadership, and the Church as a whole to feel the Lord’s heart for the orphans as seen in Psalm 68:5-6 (below) and for Him to raise up workers for the harvest from your church and community to go to the “fields of the fatherless.”

“Give up your wicked ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows.”

~Isaiah 1:16-17

(Samaria: The U.S.) …pray for policy makers, judges, attorneys, penitentiary and correction officers and workers, and national organizations committed to helping orphans. Ask the Lord to give them wisdom as they make decisions directly affecting children, particularly the orphan.

(Samaria: The U.S.) …pray that God would move within the Church across the United States and give the Church a positive voice across America as it reaches out to homeless children and youth, victims of child trafficking, foster care, parents struggling to care for and raise their children, birth parents, and children trapped in an abusive situation.

(The Uttermost Parts of the World) …ask the Lord help parents struggling to care for their children due to financial, physical, medical, stress or social stigma due to a birth defect. Ask the Lord to protect children and their parents from kidnapping, child trafficking, hunger, disease and war.

(The Uttermost Parts of the World) …ask God that of the 2 billion Christians in the world, 7% would show hope to a single orphan, looking after the child in their distress. Ask the Lord to convict the church around the world that if we did this, there would effectively be no more orphans. Ask the Lord to show each of His followers that we can each do something. (Horn of Africa, Lyon??)

Good Good Father


Though we fall short of God’s holiness, God didn’t wait for us to clean up our mess; instead, He adopted us, mess and all, into His family. That’s a real, unchanging love, unlike any other!! Listen to this amazing truth:

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us.

—adapted from Ephesians 1:4-6

We were made to be in relationship with God. Even though we sinned, God made a way for us to be a part of His family. We get to live in community with Him and bring him glory. Let’s pray this aloud as we prepare our tithes and offerings:

Father, in the presence of each other

We bringing you this offering, for thine is the Kingdom

And the power, and the glory, forever! Amen

 Let us behold him as we sing:  

What a Friend is Jesus        


Oh that we would deeply embrace the reality that we may have lasting friendship with one another because we have eternal friendship in Jesus. Let’s pause a moment and greet each other in this amazing reality.



Let Justice Roll    


God of This City


Lord Jesus Christ, send us out with confidence in your word,
to tell the world of your saving acts, and bring glory to your name.
Send us, we pray, in the name…

-(from A Prayer Book for Australia)

Previous post:

Next post: