April 4, 2021 (Easter)

April 4, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving


Acts 10:34-43 

 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

I Corinthians 15:1-11 

John 20:1-18

This high festival day should be celebrated with light, white paraments, and as many symbols of LIFE as you can muster.

Call to Worship  (before or after the opening hymn, invite the congregation to stand 
                         and repeat each line with enthusiasm, following the worship leader’s lead.
                    This is adapted from p. 107, Thankful Praise, CBP Press, St. Louis, MO  1987)

Praise God!
Christ lives!
Praise God;
we live!
Praise God,
death dies,
hope soars,
love grows!
Praise God!

Opening Prayer  

God of life and light,
For over 2000 years, Jesus’ followers have mourned his crucifixion.
For over a year, we’ve walked through the valley of COVID challenges.
For 40 days we’ve journeyed through this Lenten season.

Today, we rejoice because Jesus’ death did not end the story!
Today, we rejoice because we’re able to _____________ 
   (describe your particular situation; gather for worship?  See one another?  
      Proclaim our delight as we anticipate…)
For today we proclaim with joyful hearts, 
        Christ is risen!   Christ is risen, indeed!


Moment for Stewardship  

Easter has become, in many homes, a time for sharing gifts and treats.
Despite the hollow chocolate bunnies and filled plastic eggs which seem to multiply from year to year, we recognize the greatest gifts come from God, whose love is unending. 

In gratitude for God’s gift of resurrection, we respond with our own gifts, given in love.  For surely the work of ministry to which this congregation is called is not to boost the candy industry or even build a shrine to a dead Savior.

Rather, our ministry is to spread this good news:  Jesus the Christ lives!

We share our best gifts because Jesus still invites us to follow his lead, seeking justice and acting in compassionate mercy.  Our offerings—financial and other—help us share that news so people longing to connect to this God who brings LIFE may come join all who walk in the Way of Jesus Christ.

(remember to also speak of your Easter special day offering appeal.)

*Prayer of Thanksgiving

Bless, O God, all we’ve offered, that in our seeking and our serving,
your work through this congregation might illumine paths and make the Way clear for each one of us, and for all who seek you.

Guide us as we use these gifts to show your presence to the world you love; 
the world for which Jesus was resurrected.  Amen

Invitation to Communion  

Was it just last Thursday we called to mind that Upper Room where Jesus gathered with his disciples?  Was it just last Thursday we remembered the meal before which Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, but later saw Judas leave to betray him?  

That meal, launching a night of prayer, betrayal, conviction and on to crucifixion …
that meal is now transformed into this 
joyful feast of the people of God!  
Open your eyes and SEE, this is like a wedding banquet table to which we are all invited. 

This is a time of rejoicing with the bread of life and the cup of salvation. 
This is a table of anticipation with food that never goes stale, never runs out, a table from which no one ever needs to leave, hungry. 

Come!  Take your fill of the joyous feast of our Risen Lord!

Here’s a suggestion for using a different communion hymn on Easter, with a familiar tune:

Deeper Love: A Song for Communion

(adapted from James Burklo, tune suggestion:  O Waly Waly 

For deeper love we share the bread.

We won’t be full till all are fed.

‘Til every soul has home and bed

The rest of us can’t move ahead.

For deeper love we share the wine

We cannot taste the love divine

‘Til every soul has walked the line

And you’ve had yours like I’ve had mine

No one is saved ‘til all are healed

As Jesus on the Mount revealed

Your life and mine forever sealed

Just like the lilies of the field

We follow where the Christ has led

This table now for all is spread

And no one’s sitting at the head

But all know love thru’ wine and bread