April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Easter II

Acts 4:32-35

Psalm 133

1 John 1:1 – 2:2

John 20:19-31

Call to Worship  (inspired by John 20:26)

One:  Welcome to this hour of worship, 
                  one week after our Easter celebration!
Many:  Tho’ the flowers have faded and the balloons are deflated, 
                 we’re here to rejoice, for Christ is RISEN!
One:  Christ is risen, indeed!
Many:  Together, we welcome the peace of Christ in our lives
                and in the world.
One: May the peace of Christ be with you!
Many:  And with you, also!

Opening Prayer  

Living, loving God, 
today we come to give you thanks for your presence among us, both in the energetic “high” of Easter day, and in the quieter reality of this “low” Sunday.

Thank you for raising Jesus from the dead.  Thank you for the promise we claim, that you are raising us up, as well.  Encourage us in this hour to receive the peace Jesus offered his disciples long ago.  Help us live in that peace today and through this week which lies before us.

Hear us, for we know we’re like the one who declared: 
  “I believe; help my unbelief!”      AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  

Although the emotional “high” of Easter has ebbed for many of us, the joy of being a disciple of the Resurrected One continues!  

Have you heard this description of joy from Katharine Hepburn, adapted from her own words?

“Once when I was a teenager, my father and I were standing in line to buy tickets for the circus.

There was one other family between us and the ticket counter, with 

eight children, all probably under the age of 12. The way they were dressed, you could tell they didn’t have a lot of money.

The children were well-behaved, all of them standing in line, two-by-two behind their parents, holding hands. They were excitedly jabbering about all they would see that night. By their excitement you could sense they had never been to the circus before. 

Their mother was holding her husband’s hand, looking up at him as if to say, “You’re my knight in shining armor.” 
The ticket lady asked the man how many tickets he wanted? He proudly responded, “I’d like eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets, so I can take my family to the circus.” The ticket lady stated the price.

The man’s wife let go of his hand, her head dropped, the man’s lip began to quiver. Then he leaned a little closer and asked, “How much?” The ticket lady again stated the price.

The man didn’t have enough money. 
Seeing what was going on, my dad reached into his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill, and dropped it. (We were not wealthy in any sense of the word!) Then, he bent down, picked up the $20 bill, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, sir, this fell out of your pocket.”

The man understood what was going on. He looked straight into my dad’s eyes, took my dad’s hand, squeezed the $20 bill, and replied; “Thank you, sir. This really means a lot to me and my family.”

The $20 my dad gave away is what we were going to buy our own tickets with.

Although we didn’t get to see the circus that night, we both felt a joy inside us that was far greater than seeing the circus could ever provide.

Followers of the risen Christ know a deep joy which comes from reaching out with acts of compassionate care for others.  Today, with our offering, we have opportunity to tap into that joy as we not only care for the regular needs in our congregation, but as we ________________ (name what outreach, mission or special need this offering can help meet).

Your gift may be precisely what gives others the opportunity to experience more abundant resurrection life!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

With hearts filled with gratitude, God, we offer these tithes and gifts.  Thank you for the amazing gift you provide each of us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  We rejoice in the ways we can make a difference in lives of those near by and those on the far side of the earth.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  (from I John 2:1)

When we gather around the table, we proclaim Jesus is the host.  All are welcome at his feast.  

The Greek word for this meal we celebrate is “eucharisto”/“thanksgiving”. This is not an annual American holiday, but a weekly world-wide thanksgiving.  This “remembrance” is altogether appropriate in all times and places, for in I John, Jesus is described as an “advocate” for us.

What a gift!  No matter what our sin is, or has been, we have one who pleads for us!  Because we are followers of the Risen Christ, we trust this truth:  Jesus is the one who takes away the sins of the whole world.  
Jesus advocates and takes away MY sin, and yours.  

So hear this: you have a place at this table. Come!  Take and eat, for we do not stand alone.  The resurrected Christ stands with us and for us.

Thanks be to God!