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Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Revelation 21:10, 22 – 22:5
John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
17 O worship the King
582 Come Down, O Love Divine
517-Love divine, all loves excelling
699-Rejoice, the Lord is King
241-Holy Spirit, Truth divine
585-What a friend we have in Jesus
453-Called as partners in Christ’s service
404-A hymn of joy we sing
392 Draw us in the Spirit’s tether
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Acts 16:9-15
Come over and help; we long for your word;
the vision comes fair, exposing desire.
In such a provision we answer the Lord
and follow the Spirit who urges our gift.
Come, certain and bold, as open to share,
to answer the urgent desires of hope
and find in the partnership Jesus is come,
enticing in graciousness that we adore.
Come, find in this time the welcome delight
as faith entertains the share of this hour.
Indeed in the welcome we savor the life
that ever prevails by now-sanctified love.
10.10.11.11. Suggested tune: Laudate Dominum (Parry)
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/
This week: See p. 744
Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.
Call to Worship
L: Jesus has passed through the door of death and opened the way to the blessing of life.
P: Still today, his presence can penetrate the barrier of our fears and give us peace.
L: Now we may proclaim the beauty of forgiveness and the strength that community supplies.
P: Christ is risen and he is here. Let us worship God, who blesses us with life.
L: When all seem to have abandoned us and left us to face the world alone, the Risen One comes to us.
P: The Spirit of Truth, our Advocate with God, is here to walk with us and lead us to the truth.
L: This is the One whom the world cannot see, and yet the One who abides with us forever.
P: We are not alone! We are lavishly loved by God, led faithfully by the Spirit, and living fully in the presence of Christ. Thanks be to God!
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
Most precious God, as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we pray that we may be bound together in Christian love and that our faith and fellowship may be a witness through which your spirit will bring others into your church. We humbly thank you for your many blessings you have given us. We ask that we may learn how to truly be Easter people and always remember that we are celebrating resurrection day every day, for we pray through Jesus our Christ (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
We give thanks, O Lord, that Jesus’ resurrection has a meaning for us – that his life can become our life; that his victory can become our victory; that his triumph can become our triumph; and that his joy can become our joy. And so we lift our voices together in praise of you, our life-giving God, in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
Center us now, O God, on your presence in this place among your people, as we lift up our hearts desires, our soul’s deep needs, our hungers, fears and failures.
As we have often failed to be obedient to your will in our lives as individual disciples and as church, we pray that you will forgive us and enliven us to be and to do the gospel of Christ. Open us to your Spirit’s urgings, and awaken us to live faithfully as your people in a changing, often hurting world.
We pray for those around us who need your care, and ask that you would make of us your instruments of healing, peace and redemption. We pray especially for those we have named to you this day, and others we lift to you in the silence of our hearts.
Reveal your presence with them and with us, God of life, that as people of renewed faith and vitality, we may be empowered to serve your world, and so give glory to you; for we offer our prayers and our lives in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Gracious and loving God, we come to you with hearts that need to be opened to your word and your love. There is so much around us that tears at us and causes us to tremble. Keep us ever mindful of your presence and the hope that you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ.
Guide us, we pray, as your church, struggling to spread the good news. Keep us focused on the mission and ministry to which you have called us and lead us forward. We know, Lord, that there will often be bumps and holes in the road along the way. Save us from dwelling on them and make us secure in the goals you have placed before us.
Hear our prayers for all who need your tender touch of healing in their lives—those we name before you each day, and those who are known only to you in the depths of our hearts. Be with those who mourn. May we all remember the love and grace that your faithful people have brought to our world.
We pray for all your creation, always at odds with one another. Guide our leaders and those of other nations that this world might truly be as you created it to be—a world of peace, hope and love.
These are our prayers, together with those that lie on the hearts of all your faithful people, which we offer to you in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who said “not my will, but thine be done.” Amen.
Prayers from Common Worship*
God our redeemer,
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence in us he may raise us
to eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
God our Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life:
may we thirst for you,
the spring of life and source of goodness,
through him who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:
help your Church to obey your command
and draw the nations to the fire of your love,
to the glory of God the Father.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good
things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such
love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above
all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we
can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
In your peace, Lord God,
you grant us savor in the Deep
wherein we know the favor of your arms,
the countenance which garners charms.
Herein, O Lord, we rise to greet,
apprise to own in satiety and joy
the word you plant into our hearts,
the love you rouse in our delight.
Service of Table
While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here. We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future.
Offertory / Invitation to Give
All good things come from God, the giver of life. We are called as stewards of God’s gifts to share in fulfillment of God’s purposes for creation. As stewards of the kingdom of God, let us give from our abundance with thanksgiving.
God has shown us the meaning of generosity in the beautiful diversity of creation, in the overflowing love of Jesus Christ, and in the never-ending gift of the Holy Spirit. God has blessed us abundantly and called us to be a community that blesses others through the sharing of our love, our talents and our material possessions. Let us rejoice now in what we have been given and in what is ours to give as we receive our morning offering.
Receive the offerings we bring, O God, and sanctify them to the holy purpose of extending your gifts to all who are in need and to all who would desire them, even as you sanctify our lives in the presence of the Holy Christ who is in our midst today.
By your goodness, O God, we have received all things, and all that we have and all that we are we offer up to you. May these gifts, tokens of our gratitude, be made complete in our commitment to living transformed lives of service and love.
Invitation to the Table
There are, no doubt, people who wish there was more to our communion liturgy in Disciples tradition—more magic words, more bells and whistles, more special effects, to get us in the mood. But we don’t do that—we simply gather to eat and drink in memory and in love.
There is a story from the 3rd century that may help us here. St. Anthony was a leader among the desert monastics, and the story says that 3 religious men used to go to visit him each year. 2 would discuss their thoughts about the salvation of their souls with him, but the 3rd kept his mouth shut and never asked a question. Abba Anthony said to him, You often come here to see me, but you never ask me anything; and the other man replied “It is enough for me to see you, Father.”
One of the great needs of our consumer-oriented society is a sense of enough. And our time around this table helps us with this. It is enough for us to be here, to know of the sacrifice that brought us here, and of the spiritual resources available to us here. We do not fancy up the service, because we do not need fancying up ourselves—we need simplifying. We need the bread of life and the cup of salvation. And here they are. It is enough.
We are invited by Christ to receive the fullness of faith at a feast prepared for all of God’s people. Open your hearts and minds to the possibilities which this Table presents: of a world at one and in peace, of a people reconciled and loved, of lives made new and grounded in the hope of Christ’s resurrection.
Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
We praise you, Lord, for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us, full of grace and truth. He made you known to all who receive him. Sharing our joy and sorrow, he healed the sick, befriended sinners, and showed us the way to fulfillment in partnership with other people. Two by two he sent his disciples to extend your promise of friendship and love, and two by two he calls us still to work in your spirit of love.
Even having taken up his cross and dying that we might live, he overcame death and is risen in power. He is still the friend of sinners. We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us.
Pour out your Spirit upon us, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us. Fill us with eternal life, that with joy we may be his faithful people until we feast with him in glory.
- O God, whose desire is that all of your children live together in peace, and that none should be hungry, we offer up our thanks to you for the gift of bread. As we break the bread together and share it with our neighbors, may we be nourished by the presence of your Spirit, so that we who claim the faith may be bold to share it in the days that are to come.
- Pour out your Spirit, O God, upon this (bread and) cup. Make it to be for us the (bread of life and) cup of salvation. Renew us in Christ’s love and in refresh us to serve the world in his spirit.
God of life, as we give thanks to you for all of your gifts to us in Christ Jesus, we offer up this bread and wine to you, along with our own lives. Send forth your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts, that as we break the bread and bless the up we may be remade and renewed in Christ’s image. Give us new hearts with which to serve you and the world in his enduring love.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.
Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Calendar for 2019
Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries
using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
NOTE: We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday. We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary. Send your comments or content here.