April 30, 2017
Year A, Third Sunday of Easter
Third Sunday of Easter :: White ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 116
L: O LORD, I am your servant, you have freed me.
P: The LORD has heard our voices and supplications.
L: I will call upon the LORD as long as I live.
P: We will lift up the cup of salvation,
L: We will pay our vows to the LORD in the presence of the people.
P: We will offer a thanksgiving sacrifice.
L: I will come into the courts of the LORD and offer praise:
P: PRAISE THE LORD!
In the midst of depth of our despair, you call us, O God. In the midst of our guilt and shame, you call us close to you. We come, O God, confessing our shortcomings and sin. We come, O God, seeking your forgiveness and blessing. We come, O God, because you have called us and claimed us. As we offer you our worship and praise, draw ever nearer to us. Fill us with your Spirit, and help us to reach out with love, in the Name of your Son, Jesus the Christ.
In the 24th Chapter of Luke, we read about the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. It tells the story about those who walk the path. The Spanish word for those who walk the path is “Caminante”, it also happens to be the name of a Dominican Republic partner in your Global Ministries.
Caminante is a grass roots organization made up of people who have first hand knowledge of the struggles that face the kids and teens in their community. Caminante is located in Boca Chica, a beach-resort town, located close to the airport and the capital city of Santo Domingo. The project is providing a safe space where hundreds of youth and their families will receive counseling and participate in recreational and formation programs. Additionally, in coordination with local government and non-governmental agencies, victims of sexual abuse and exploitation are receiving special attention and services. Many of the staff of Caminante are former participants in the program who lived on the streets or had little support from a family.
The purpose of Caminante is to serve children who are at risk of being drawn into prostitution as a result of the culture associated with the tourist economy in the Dominican Republic. Caminante seeks to help develop the self-esteem of these children by teaching Christian values, through education and recreational activities. Also, Caminante works closely with the families, churches, and the community to raise awareness regarding the complexity of this problem. As members of the Christian church, we cannot all become individuals who walk the path with these children, but we can support them through our tithes and offerings. We will now receive the tithes and offerings which make ministries like Caminante possible.
Loving God, who meets us on the road of life, we come today bringing our gifts. Bless them, use them, and multiply them, that they will make a difference in many lives. We offer them in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
It was at the table, that their eyes were opened. Where they recognized Jesus: the risen Lord. Here at this table we replay the drama each time we gather. True we do not usually invoke the experience at Emmaus, but each time the bread is broken and cup poured, someone’s eyes may be opened for the first time. As we come to Christ’s table, let us do so prayerfully, that someone will see and believe in the risen Christ today.
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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