Church can be an intimidating place to visit — especially if you don’t know what to expect. Through participating in our Sunday morning Gathering, we invite you to experience what the Christian gospel means intellectually, spiritually, and relationally. We hope that through visiting with us, you will experience the hope, love, and joy that comes from a community of people who love and follow Jesus.

what to expect

Sunday isn’t a ritual for the week. It’s a rehearsal for eternity. Therefore, we "rehearse the Gospel" when we gather together on Sundays through a liturgy, which is one of the things that makes Emmaus unique.

Time and Location

Sundays @10:00am

1849 Wabash Ave. Redlands, CA 92374

 

our liturgy

CAll to worship

Worship begins with God because everything began through God. All of creation worships because God created it to reflect His glory (Ps. 19:1). We worship because God hardwired us to do so by creating us in His image (Gen. 1:27). In this way, every new day is a call for us to worship God; every encounter is a call for us to worship God, and in our sin God calls us back to Himself so we might worship Him (Luke 5:32). Therefore, when we Gather to rehearse the Gospel, we begin with a Call to Worship. God speaks, we respond.

What to Expect:

  • Instrumental Music at 10 am to announce the beginning of Gathered worship.
  • A greeting followed by a Scriptural Invitation such as Psalm 100 or Matthew 11:28-29. Sometimes there is a portion of Scripture which the congregation reads aloud together.

Adoration

In response to God’s call to worship, we continue with a song of Adoration. Gathering together from a world filled with gods demanding our worship, we not only sing of God’s worth, but simultaneously declare God to be the only One worthy of our worship. Therefore, this song will be marked by expressing love and devotion for who God is and what He’s done.

What to Expect:

  • A song which expresses love & devotion for God, often making much of a specific attribute of God.
  • Sometimes there is a Scripture reading or prayer to guide our adoration.

Confession / Assurance

As we enter the light of God’s presence, we become increasingly aware of the darkness of our sin. An appropriate response is not self-pity, self-loathing, or fleeing, but Confession. God tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Healthy Confession is directed to God and based upon the understanding that if we Confess, Assurance that Christ has forgiven us awaits. True Confession never occurs without Assurance that Christ will forgive us our sins.

What to Expect:

  • We alternate methods to keep Confession and Assurance from becoming a dead religious practice. Some weeks we’ll read a passage of Scripture aloud together which guides our Confession. Other weeks we’ll allow 30-45 seconds of silence to go before God with our sin. Many weeks we’ll hear a Scripture passage like 1 John 1:9 read and explained.
  • Some weeks we offer laments, voicing cries to God for the fallenness not only of ourselves, but the world we live in.

Passing of the peace

In the Passing of the Peace we learn to put into practice horizontally what we’ve experienced from God vertically, by turning to one another to offer the peace we’ve been given in Christ. In the early church they did this by greeting one another with a “holy kiss” (Rom. 16:16, 1Cor. 16:30, etc). Don’t worry, we’re going more for the principle than the practice itself; but you’ll find Emmaus folks to be warm and welcoming, embracing each in Christ. It’s a sweet time, not a stiff time.

To avoid the awkward vibe which often plagues “greeting time,” at Emmaus we’ll never distract from this profound Gospel reality by prompting you with clumsy intros or corny games. It’s simple: Pass the Peace we’ve been given in Christ.

What to Expect:

  • You’ll be prompted at the close of the song following Assurance with a statement like, “As people who’ve been given peace in Christ, let’s take a minute to pass that peace to one another.”
  • Most folks will say good morning with a handshake. A common greeting is to simply say, “The Peace of Christ” as you shake hands.
  • The Passing of the Peace lasts about 30-45 seconds at which point an Elder will address the congregation to transition to the Giving.

Giving

We give because God first gave us His Son. The Gospel teaches us that giving is a privilege we are invited to, something we are free to do because we are no longer enslaved to money. Jesus, out of concern that we would know such freedom, spoke often of money, saying in Matthew 6:21, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Therefore, giving is an opportunity to make what is eternal the thing our hearts treasure.

What to Expect:

  • A Pastor reminds us that we give to express our gratitude to God for giving us Jesus.
  • Tin cups are passed across the rows, and collected at the end.
  • The offering is counted and sealed by a minimum of 3 ushers to guarantee accountability.

proclamation of the word

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Therefore, we strive to present the Word of God in it’s fullness, drawing out the plain meaning of the text and demonstrating how it points to the work of Christ in the Gospel. We never move past that message.

What to Expect:

  • A Scripture Reader has the congregation stand for the reading of the sermon text. This captures the reality that the Word of God speaks before the Preacher.
  • A Pastor will then come up and teach from the passage for about 35-40 minutes.

communion

Communion is our response to the Proclamation of the Gospel, partaking in the broken body and shed blood of Christ as a church family. With roots that stretch back to the Exodus, and symbols pointing forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, no other event captures the timelessness of the Gospel. This is why author James K.A. Smith says of communion, “It’s as if the story we’ve been hearing and rehearsing now comes with live illustrations.” Together we enjoy an earthly encounter with the heavenly Christ.

What to Expect:

  • The preaching Pastor will give instructions for communion following the sermon.
  • The bread & wine are served by members of Emmaus. As you come forward you’ll hear “the body and blood of Christ” as you tear off the bread and take the wine or juice.
  • A Pastor will come forward to administer communion, offering words from Scripture as we partake together.

Benediction

The Benediction is what we call a “blessing for the road.” As we end the Gathering we are reminded that we do not cease to be the church when we leave the building. Rather, we are still the church, now sent- Scattered- throughout the Inland Empire. A simple farewell or command isn’t appropriate for this reality, but rather a blessing from God in which He sends us with the power and presence of Christ’s Spirit.

What to Expect:

The Preaching Pastor will ask you to extend your hand to receive the blessing, and then will offer a blessing based upon the truths of the sermon.