April 23, 2023

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Third Sunday of Easter 

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 

1 Peter 1:17-23

 Luke 24:13-35

Call to Worship  (inspired by Ps. 116)One:  Gathered as one part of the body of Christ,
Many: we come to worship the Lord our God.
One:  It is God who hears our prayers.
Many: To God we lift our hearts and voices.  
          To God we raise our songs of thanksgiving.
One:   In the presence of this congregation, let us praise God!
Many:  Alleluia! Praise the name of the Lord! 

Opening Prayer  

Mighty God, 
you breathed your Spirit into a new creation and brought all things into life.  You called your people into relationship with you and created a covenant community.  In time, you sent Jesus to bear witness to your love, even when he was condemned to be crucified.

Thank you for raising Jesus from death into Life.  
Thank you for lifting us into abundant and eternal life as we follow Jesus.
Thank you for this day when we join with believers in recognizing the risen Christ in the breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup of salvation. AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  

(if you have someone who could sing  CH#231, “Sing of One Who Walks Beside Us” – verses 1 and 2 –  use this as an opening to the invitation to the offering.)
Because we hear about so much violence every day, there are moments when we may feel hopeless and near despair.  How grateful we can be for the words of scripture which become rainfall for our desert-like spirits.

Ralph Wright penned the words to the song we just heard, found in our hymnal (CH#231), 
   “We have walked with him as strangers through the journey of the day, 
       and have told him of the violence that has swept our hope away.”

In scripture and in this hymn it is the risen Lord who “offered words of comfort, words of energy and light.”  Jesus Christ offers all that, restoring hope even in the face of violence.

How fitting it is, then, to respond with our gifts!  Your financial contributions come as symbols of the hope we have, that life tops death!  As we receive our morning offering, may each one of us recognize how we are blessed in order to be a blessing in a world yearning to receive life-giving hope.

Come, let our hearts blaze within us as we share our gifts, our tithes and our offerings.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Mighty God, receive our offering this day as a symbol of our gratitude for the gifts you daily pour out through your Spirit.  Help us utilize these gifts to make real the peace you desire for all your beloved children.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

(consider using CH#398 as a communion hymn, 
           “Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread”)

Luke’s telling of the encounter between two travelers and the unrecognized risen Jesus gives us a clue about how Jesus was revealed to his followers after his resurrection.  It happened not in the spoken words on the road, nor in recalling the experience of the women at the tomb, but as they came to the table.

As we came to the table this morning, we sang a prayer, inviting the Risen Christ to “be known to us in breaking bread”.  Why?

The answer comes as Luke reports: “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him…”

May it be so for each of us, and for all of us, as we break bread together.