April 21, 2024

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Easter IV

Acts 4:5-12

Psalm 23

1 John 3:16-24

John 10:11-18

Call to Worship  (inspired by John 10)One:  Come!  Let us worship God,
           who provides a shepherd for all the sheep.
Many: We’re here to listen to the voice of One who cares for us
            and for all of God’s beloved.
One:  There will be one flock, one shepherd.
Many:  Tho’ we, like sheep, have gone astray, the shepherd will call us back.
One:  Our shepherd willingly laid down life, itself, for us!
Many:  Let’s rejoice in the shepherd who guards and guides us all.

Consider using one of the settings of Psalm 23
      as an opening hymn: CH #78, #79 or #80.

Opening Prayer 

Holy God, thank you for the ways you provide for us day by day.  Today we
rejoice in the care we receive through your Spirit, and through the Body of Christ which we know as the church.

As we come together to worship you, renew in us an awareness of the good-shepherd-love Jesus poured out for his followers and for the world.  Receive our thanksgiving for the TLC which comes as we connect in your Spirit with sisters and brothers right here, and around the world.  Speak through your servants, that we might hear your voice and respond in love.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship (inspired by John 10:14-16)

We live in a noisy world!  So many competing voices; television, radio, podcasts, parents, teachers, preachers and the cacophony of advertisements.  
What voice takes precedence in your life, over all the others?

Today, let’s take a moment to listen for Jesus’ words from John’s Gospel. Jesus identified himself as “the good shepherd” — willing to lay down life itself for his sheep, and declared “There will be one flock, one shepherd.” 

No other voice carries such authority.  It is Jesus who assures us he is different from the hired hand.  He knows his own and his own know him.
So it is THIS voice which carries precedence for us.

In gratitude for Jesus’ claim on our lives, we respond with generosity!
“Such as I have, I give you, willingly” Peter says in Acts 3. 

This is the time in our worship hour for us to share what we have:  our financial support for this congregation, for our ministries, and for the Good News of Jesus to be shared. 

Listening for the voice of Jesus, grateful for the claim of Jesus on my life, I’m eager to share in our morning offering.  I invite you to join me.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We give you thanks, God of all good gifts, for the life of Jesus as our good shepherd.  Tune our ears to hear his voice, and help us build up our capacity for generosity as we seek to respond in gratitude to our place in his flock.  Receive what has been offered here today, and inspire us to use these resources with care.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion

(you might use a setting of Psalm 23 for communion music)

Psalm 23 reminds us it is God who prepares a table before us.

And here we are.
The table before us is prepared with symbols of Jesus’ body and blood.

Each one of us is welcome here. 
Our cup overflows, as we find our place in the company of the Good Shepherd.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us, and we can live with assurance  for we have a place in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives.