Second Sunday of Easter

April 16, 2023

The Lord is our chosen portion and our cup; let us bless the Lord who guides us.
Because God is ever before us, we shall not be moved.
Therefore our hearts are glad and our souls rejoice.
God’s word shows us the path of life.
In his presence there is fullness of joy—
And eternal happiness is in his right hand.
—based on Psalm 16
O God of grace, when we gather together, 
our hearts are cheerful and our souls are glad, 
for we feel your presence within and among us. 
In this worship service, may your word show us the path of life, 
that we may follow you in the fullness of resurrection joy. 
We pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ, your risen Son. Amen.

Loving God, faithful in all generations, you are the strength of all who believe, and you are the hope of all who doubt. We come to you in prayer this morning, overjoyed at the good news of your resurrection. Because you are alive, our lives are given meaning. Help us to live as you intend: sharing your love with those who are on the margins, sharing our blessings with those who worry about tomorrow, sharing your courage with those who experience fear. As you are present with us, inspire us to be present in a troubled world—heralds of your peace and messengers of your grace.

Yet, for all our confidence, we confess to you that there are times when we yet doubt, when our trust in you fails, when our hearts are overcome by negativity. Come to us then. Break down our barriers and open doors that are closed. Make yourself known to us as the One who is victorious over the powers of death, in whom our confidence is not wasted. 

Because you show us the path of life, hear us as we entrust to you our deepest needs. As we gather up our longings and lay them at your feet, remind us of your power to heal, to comfort, to create justice, and to end strife. May our petitions rise up as sweet incense. Hear our prayers and come quickly to help us, for we offer them in the Name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, God forevermore. Amen.

Show us the path of life, O Lord, for in your presence there is fullness of joy, 
and in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Amen.

In Christ, God shows us the path of life, and in his presence is the fullness of joy. 
It is his will that we meet him at this table. 
So no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here. 
Come: Eat, drink, and experience the wholeness of God.

Gracious God, during this beautiful Easter season we give you thanks for all your gifts— especially the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. As we present to you our gifts, we pray that you will accept these offerings. Use them, we pray, to strengthen your church, that we may support one another and serve our neighbors in Christ’s Name. Amen.
Eternal God, we are sometimes overwhelmed by a chaotic world 
or constrained by what others think. 
And yet, in Jesus Christ, you come to us through the closed doors of our hearts, 
breathing peace and filling us with boldness. 
We thank you for your presence among us, 
and pray that your Holy Spirit 
will settle now upon the gifts we have placed on the table, 
that in the bread we break and the cup we share, 
we will taste and see your goodness. 
Unite us in that same Spirit to minister to one another 
and to share the good news with the world that Christ is risen. 
In his Name we pray. Amen.

Go forth in freedom, for Christ is risen! 
The death grip of pain and fear has been broken! 
Live with integrity in the sight of others 
and show to the world the image of the One who created you,
share the grace of the One who redeems you,
and be filled with the Spirit of the One who empowers you. Amen.