May 22, 2022

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Easter 6C

Acts 16:9-15

Psalm 67

Revelation 21:10, 22 – 22:5

 John 14:23-29 

Call to Worship 
(adapted from Psalm 67)One: The Psalmist sings, “let the peoples praise God!” and you reply
Many: Praise God!
One: God judges people with equity
Many: and we rejoice, for God blesses all God’s people!
One:  May God’s face shine on each and on ALL God’s beloved children.
Many: (cong. or choir singing)  CH #446, The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Opening Prayer 

Holy God, we do come to praise you this morning!
You are just and fair.  You bless us with so many gifts, today and every day.
We’re grateful for eyes which allow us to see your saving power at work
  both in our nation and in all the nations of the earth.
May we rejoice when we see your gracious love at work,
   and celebrate when we recognize the ways you guide us.
May your saving power be known among all nations!   AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (inspired by Rev. 22)

John’s Revelation challenges many of us with strange images and what seems like coded messages.  The image of the tree of life, however, can be seen as an image blossoming hopeful and full before us: 
a tree with leaves for the healing of the nations.

In our own nation, we know of tree leaves which are healing
(witch hazel leaves treat sensitive skin and inflammation;
  sassafras leaves, crushed for tea, help heal respiratory ailments;
  hawthorn leaves mixed into medicine respond to help ease cardiac issues.)

In John’s vision, this tree, growing in the new Jerusalem, is a gift for all the nations of the world.  Its leaves are given for individuals and nations to consume in order to repent of their brokenness, allowing them to be healed and made whole/complete.  

While we do not have access to this tree or its healing leaves, we do have opportunity to share what God has given us.  Our offering this morning is one opportunity for each of us to be a healing agent in a hurting world.
Our combined giving allows this congregation to be part of making real God’s intention for a wholly/holy world.

Your gift helps!

With generous hearts and hands, let us share our morning offering.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Good and gracious God, we yearn for a day when the nations of this world are turned to you and your desire for justice and peace.  Please use these gifts, and the lives of each of us, to help move us toward the day when your Realm comes on earth, as it is in heaven.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  (with images from Rev. 22)

(consider singing or playing the video of “I’ve Got a River of Life Flowing Out of Me”.  One possibility is inviting the children or youth to sing, or play this:

John’s Revelation describes in great detail the new Jerusalem.  At its center is the river of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. 

The water supplies life to the tree(s) which produce a different kind of fruit each month.  Such fruitfulness!  Such abundance! 

It’s this image from Revelation 22 which we bring to the Table this morning, recognizing the way in which this simple meal prepares us to feast with God and with the Lamb.  All who have repented (being healed by the leaves), may quench their thirst from the river of life and be filled by the tree’s fruit, bringing salvation as a gift both now and in eternal life. 

Toward the end of the chapter we hear this invitation:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” 
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
Let everyone who is thirsty come!