April 19, 2020

April 19, 2020

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Second Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:14a, 22-32

 Psalm 16

 1 Peter 1:3-9

John 20:19-31


Call to Worship  (adapted from Acts 2 and Psalm 16)
One:  Rejoice!  Let your hearts be glad!
Many:  We’ve been given the ways of life.
One:  Gather in, all who live in hope.
Many:  We’re full of gladness in the presence of God.
One:  Let your voices shout your joy,
Many:  for the Risen Christ is here among us!

Opening Prayer
Risen Lord, standing among us, we give thanks for the LIFE
which comes even in the face of death.
So gather us in spirit, even if we’re not able to gather in the flesh.
Bind us to God and to one another through your love,
which took you to the cross, the grave and to resurrection joy.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship
For people living in the northern hemisphere, this is a time of spring coming; tip-toeing into our awareness one blossom at a time, or full-blown greening of the grass, trees, bushes as the heat increases and people are drawn outside to the wonders of azure blue skies and golden sun.

All that life emerging often serves to encourage us – especially if we’ve had a hard winter, or been inside under COVID restrictions.

Not even a beautiful spring, however, can compare to the gift we’ve been given in Jesus, raised up from death into new life.  In the Gospel of John, the writer details (John 20:31) the purpose of writing this book:  “these (signs) are written so you may come to believe Jesus is the Messiah…and through believing you may have life in his name.”

Our full life comes as we believe!  And part of that full life is our own over-flowing spirit of gratitude, which leads us to respond with signs of life.  So today, we offer symbols of our full life.

If you’re gathered for worship, this is time to make your offering of cash, check or other gifts dropped into the offering plate.

For those worshiping electronically, our offerings may come in the form of a check mailed to the church.  They may also come in taking time to call and encourage others in our congregation. They may come in creating cards of thanks to surprise your minister, your church musicians, your youth leaders.

However you are able to demonstrate your gratitude for the amazing gift of being a Resurrection Person, let’s join in making our offering.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Living God, we thank you for the most amazing gift of Jesus, raised from the dead.  In joy, we celebrate the gift of your Holy Spirit, alive and at work in us and in your world.

So receive these gifts, and receive our gratitude, as we seek to live fully the life you give us today.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion
(John 20 leads us to CH #283, “Jesus, Stand Among Us”.  Written by William Pennefather, 1873, music (Wem In Leidenstagen) by Friedrich Filitz,1847).
If possible, have a soloist sing this (or you sing it).  If you are worshiping while observing “social distancing”, and do not know the tune, use the words as a prayer.)

Jesus, stand among us in your risen pow’r.
Let this time of worship be a holy hour.
Breath the Holy Spirit into ev’ry heart.
Bid the fears and sorrows from each soul depart.

It was just the evening after Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found it open, and empty.  What a day!  How could it still be that same day?
In the current COVID-19 “stay-at-home” topsy-turvy world many of us are living, it’s easy to have time stretch and/or collapse.

Many of us are pushed to look at a calendar to even figure what day it is…
let alone know it’s been a whole week since we share the news of Jesus risen from the dead!  It’s easy to be overwhelmed and confused, given how our lives have been pulled out of our ordinary patterns (or ruts?).

But here, as we come to share in a meal of remembrance, we are grounded once more.  Here, we’re able to recognize the risen Jesus as he speaks “Peace” to each one of us.  Here, we can voice our joy, along with disciples across time and space.

So come, share in food and drink which call you to remember.  As you eat and as you drink, remember Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit which he continues to give.  “Breathe the Holy Spirit into every heart”!