Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 14, 2023

Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house through Jesus Christ.
We come to Christ, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight.
O taste and see that the Lord is good.
Happy are all who take refuge in God.
—1 Peter 2:4-5; Psalm 34:8

Everlasting God: In you we live and move and have our being.
You have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.
Make ready our hearts
and strengthen our sense of purpose
that we may hear the word you speak to us today.
And may no selfishness or weakness hinder us from doing your will,
so that in your light we may see the light,
and in your service find perfect freedom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Eternal One, we approach you this morning with humble hearts. We dare to claim knowledge of you as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who is known as love, the God who unites us as one human family. Give us eyes to see your hand at work in the world around us, and to recognize your image in all the people we encounter.

Empower us, O God, to accept that, though we know you in our hearts, and though you have been revealed to us in your word, there is still much that we don’t know. Forbid it, Lord that we should use our ignorance of your workings to stoke divisions or to despise a neighbor. Help us, in your Name and for the sake of our Lord Jesus, to find our common ground in your power and your love.

And it is because of your love for each of us and your power to heal and renew that we bring to you that which weighs on our hearts. In the silence, hear us as pray…

[A silence is kept.]

These prayers we offer in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, God forevermore. Amen.

The table set before us belongs not to this church, 
but to the Lord,
and no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey,
you’re welcome here.
So come, you who have much faith and you who have little;
you who have been here often, 
you who have not been here in a long time,
and you who have never been here before;
you who have tried to follow Jesus and you who have failed.
Come, because it is our Lord who wants to meet you here.

When we were nothing, you made us something; 
when we had no name, no faith, and no future, 
you called us to be your children. 
When we lost sight of you, you showed us the way; 
and when we returned to the path, 
you welcomed us back with open arms. 
And so we thank you, O God, for your love. 
You pour out upon us 
not only manna from heaven and the cup of salvation, 
but your very self. 
May the same Spirit that accompanies us through life 
now settle on these gifts of bread and wine, 
that in them we may experience the body and blood of Christ. 
By eating and drinking together, 
unite us in ministry to one another and to the world, 
for we pray in Jesus’ holy Name. Amen.

Lord, now dismiss your servant in peace according to your word,
for my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the presence of all people:
A light to shine on the Gentiles, and to be the glory of your people Israel.

—Luke 2:29-32

As we part company today, 
 we acknowledge that there is much we do not know. 
 But go forth proclaiming what you do know:
 That God is love, 
and that Jesus Christ was sent to us to show us God.

And so it is in the Name of the + God of love, 
the Christ of grace, 
and the Spirit of unity 
that we are sent into the world. Amen.