May 19, 2019

May 19, 2019

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Easter 5

Acts 11:1-18

Psalm 148

Revelation 21:1-6

John 13:31-35

 Call to Worship  (from Psalm 148)
One:  Praise the Lord!
Many:  We’ve come to praise the name of the Lord!
One:  Young and old, nature and beasts, rulers and all people,
Many:  exalt the name of the Lord!
One:  Glorify our God!
Many:  The God who created all of life is the One we come to worship!

(if you have a choir or small singing group, consider following the spoken Call to Worship with this Cameroon song of praise:
“Praise, praise, praise the Lord”


Opening Prayer 

God of mercy and grace, we come before you this day, eager to honor and praise you for the resurrection life you give us in Jesus Christ.  As we continue to grow in faith, fill us with joy.  May the love he commanded be the love we share with one another and with a world yearning to see love in action.    AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Acts 11:1-18)

Life in the church has not always been easy (and that’s sometimes a huge under-statement!).  Way back in first century Jerusalem, Simon Peter found himself in hot water with the other apostles and Jewish believers in Judea, because he’d stretched the boundaries, going to the house of a Gentile.

Yet we read how the Spirit of God was at work and would not be contained within the small cohort of the Jews.  As good stewards of the Gospel message, when Peter and his brothers-in-faith saw the Spirit had been given to Cornelius and the Gentiles, they began to praise God.  Peter returned to explain how God’s giving went WAY beyond the bounds of the Jewish believers.

Peter told the story of the vision given to him.  We have scripture, our own experience and the witness of other believers given to us. In the face of all that, what we’ve been given is what we’re asked to share!

We do that with our words and our deeds.
In this time of offering, we also do that with symbols of our lives;
checks and coins, on-line giving and free-will abundance sharing.

A traditional celebration song reminds us of Peter’s experience – let no man hinder God! As we receive our morning tithes, gifts and offerings, hear
“Ride on, King Jesus, no man can hinder me!”


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Gracious God, you’ve raised up Jesus the Christ, and poured out your Spirit on believers around the world.  Thank you for the abundant gifts you gave to the early Christians and all you continue to give us in our own day.

So receive this offering as our response of gratitude, returning to you a portion of what you’ve provided for us.  Use it, and use each one of us, that we might be witnesses to your love for the whole world. Let no one hinder as we seek to share the Good News.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

Jesus told his disciples “where I am going, you cannot come”.  For so many who seek to follow Jesus, how much easier it might be to follow someone we could go with – someone we could see, talk with, touch.

Neither the first disciples, nor we, can go where Jesus went. Yet Jesus provided for his followers and for us a new commandment to keep us connected:  “love one another”.  Jesus set that love in context, with the disciples gathered around a table, sharing in bread and cup.

For generations, this meal has been a weekly reminder ofand a weekly connection toJesus, the Christ.  In bread and cup, we recall Jesus’ love poured out for the forgiveness of sin.

So come!  All are welcome at this table.  All are invited by Jesus to “do this in remembrance of me”.

(“In Remembrance of Me” is an appropriate hymn, Chalice #403)