Sunday April 24, 2016
Year C, Fifth Sunday of Easter
EARTH STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY
Fifth Sunday of Easter :: White ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 148
L: Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens;
P: Praise God, all the angels; praise God, all the host!
L: Praise God, sun and moon; praise God, all you shining stars!
P: Praise God, you highest heavens!
L: Let them praise the name of the LORD,
P: For the LORD commanded and we were created.
L: God established us forever and ever
P: PRAISE THE LORD!
Everlasting and eternal God, whose home is among us mortals; dwell with us as our God; and help us be your people. Wipe every tear from our eyes. Relieve our mourning and crying and pain.
Remind us, O God, that you are making all things new. Help us to drink of your eternal spring of water of life as we gather here with you. Be with us in spirit and truth as we seek to honor and praise your holy name. Hear our prayers, as we offer them before you in the name of Christ our Lord.
It is Earth Stewardship Sunday. As we come together preparing to bring our tithes and offerings, you may ask yourself how it ties in to the stewardship moment. Surely we are not taking a special offering for the earth, are we? Let me assure you that we are not. Yet each time we bring our gifts, in a way we are. When we seek to be a community which Reduces, Reuses, and Recycles, we are making an offering for Earth Day. When we seek to make each other aware of concerns for our call to be Stewards of God’s great creation, we are making an offering for Earth Day. When we take action to care for creation, we are making an offering for Earth Day. All of these ministries require some use of the tithes and offerings we bring. Some come, let us bring our gifts before God, that in turn we can help to care for all of God’s creation.
We come before you O God, bringing our gifts. We bring them not only because we love you, but because you first loved us. Use our gifts not only to grow your reign on earth, but also to seek to care for your creation, and to make your church a blessing to many. We offer them in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
We come to this table to remember Jesus and his loving sacrifice for all of us. We come using simple symbols: bread and cup. Perhaps a better way to say what I am getting at is we come to remember with grain from the earth and fruit of the vine. On days like today, Earth Stewardship Sunday, it is valuable to remember that when we care for all of creation, we help to assure that what we need for this feast of remembrance is available. So come, enjoy the bountiful yield of God’s great creation as we remember our Lord and Savior.
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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