For Sunday April 23, 2017
Year A, Second Sunday of Easter
Second Sunday of Easter :: White ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 16
L: Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
P: You are my LORD; I have no good apart from you.
L: The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
P: I have a goodly heritage.
L: I keep the LORD always before me; I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
P: Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices.
L: You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy;
P: In your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Lord you are before us and beside us. You are leading us in paths of righteousness; you are at our right hand so we will not be shaken. Therefore our hearts are glad, and our tongues rejoice. Our flesh lives in hope. You have made known to us the ways of life; you make us full of gladness with your presence. Make us ever aware of your presence, O God, as we bring before you our acts of worship and praise. We have come to give thanks and praise for the mighty works you are completing through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
When did Thomas receive the Holy Spirit? According to John’s Gospel, all the other Disciples were gathered when Jesus breathed the Spirit upon them, but Thomas was not there. I think Thomas could have received the Spirit a couple of ways. The Bible is not clear. Thomas could have received the Spirit when he later encountered Jesus. Or Thomas could have received the Spirit from one of the other Disciples as they tried to convince him that Jesus had returned. I rather prefer this second theory, because it is how we all receive the gift of the Holy Spirit today, through other believers. When we share the love of Christ, and those new believers are baptized and the prayer for the Spirit to live in them happens, I believe we receive it with the same power and majesty as did the Disciples that day. When we bring our tithes and offerings, we support the mission and witness of this church as we strive to share the Spirit of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty, everlasting, loving God. We bring these gifts before you and ask your blessing. Use them to grow the mission and witness of this, your church, we pray in the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.
First Peter 1: 3-5 reads:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed.”
This table is our reminder of that inheritance. It is here we celebrate the gift God has promised through Christ our Lord. Come and be reminded of God’s gracious and eternal gift.
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Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Check out all of the awesome resources there at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu