For Sunday April 10, 2016
Year C, Third Sunday of Easter
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 30
L: Extol the LORD!
P: The LORD has lifted us up.
L: When we cried to the LORD for help;
P: The LORD was there to heal us.
L: Sing praises to the LORD;
P: We give thanks to God’s holy name.
L: Weeping may linger for the night,
P: But joy comes with the morning! Hallelujah!
Here we are again O God, gathered together and seeking to know your presence in our midst. We come with burdens and fears. We come with joy abundant. We come with hopes and dreams. We come with emptiness and feelings of loneliness. Draw us near to you, O God, and help us to feel your presence. For though we know you are always with us, we know your presence seems stronger when we are gathered in your name. Receive our prayers, petitions, and praise. Grant us your blessings and favor. We ask it all in the name of Jesus the Christ.
Have you ever toiled an entire work day and felt like you walked away with nothing to show for it? Have you ever had a day where it seems like you are constantly in the wrong place, at the wrong time? Like you were expending all of your efforts in the wrong ways? I suspect most of us have felt that.
Peter, in his frustration over what do next between the appearances of Christ declares he is going fishing. The Disciples go with him. Through a night of effort, they produce nothing. Until they turn their eyes upon Jesus.
God’s abundance can amaze and overwhelm us in so many ways, when we look upon God’s direction for our lives. Did you notice what the Disciples did with the fish? They brought some of them to Jesus and were promptly blessed again, this time with a meal.
When we bring our tithes and offerings, we are doing so out of God’s amazing abundance offered to each of us. Surely we can afford to give back a portion of so many blessings. We will now receive the signs of thanksgiving for God’s abundant giving to us.
O God you give us so much, and we are truly thankful. Take these tithes and offerings, a simple sign of our thankfulness, and use them to further your abundance. We pray these signs of your blessing will become blessings of abundance for others, through Jesus Christ our LORD.
In the Revelation to John the angels sing “worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
We come to this table to remember that Jesus was that Lamb, and to give to Him our honor and glory and blessing. Come to the table. Come and honor the one who gave his life so we all can live.
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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