Third Sunday of Easter

April 14, 2024

The Lord is our light and my salvation; whom shall we fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of our lives; of whom should we be afraid?
Teach us your way, O Lord, and lead us on a level path.
And we will sing and make melody to God.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.
We will wait for the Lord!
—from Ps. 27

We pause in our journey this morning, O God of our lives, seeking direction from you. Shine a light upon us and set us on the right path. Open our hearts to your Word, that our eyes may open upon the future you intend for us. Draw us closer to one another and strengthen us for your work in the world, we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

[A silence is kept.] 

O God, our Creator: You are the source of all life! We are awed by the richness of your word and the vitality of your truth. Through your Holy Spirit, we are ever connected to your inexhaustible energy. May we never cease to recognize you in the happenings of each day. And may we rejoice in the varying ways your grace makes itself known to us and to our brothers and sisters.

As we glorify you for all things magnificent and pleasurable, we acknowledge that you walk alongside those who suffer and embrace those who are downtrodden. And so we pause now to offer to you our prayers for the sad and the depressed: May they draw comfort from your presence. There are those whose world is collapsing at this very moment due to warfare or violence, illness or painful farewells. May they feel your salvation, and may they know the support of your servants. We lift up those who are full of hatred, those to whom nothing is sacred, those whose passion is to cause others hurt. Bring them to their senses, Lord, and turn them from their evil ways.

Protect the lovers in this world, O God of strength, and empower the peacemakers, for it seems we need them now more than ever. Bless your church: Bind us together and strengthen our ministry to the world around us. For we pray in the strong Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, God forevermore. Amen. 
—adapted from Reformed Liturgy (Germany)

This table belongs not to this congregation, but to our Lord. And no matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here. So come, taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are all who take refuge in God.

Thank you, Lord, for all of your blessings. As we offer you our gifts and our lives, we pray especially that your Spirit will settle on these offerings of bread and wine, that in them we may discern the body of Christ, even as we are redeemed by his blood. May that same Spirit empower us to reach out to the world in his Name. Amen.

As we part company this morning:  
Be of good courage and face the future unafraid, for you can go nowhere Christ has not already been. 
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. 
And be filled with hope, for I am certain that God, who began a good work within you, will bring it to completion. 
Go forth, then, in the Name of God + Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit. Amen.