Worship Elements: April 17, 2016

March 6th, 2016

Fourth Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30

THEME IDEAS

It would be easy to focus on the words “the Lord is my shepherd” as the central theme of today’s readings. Certainly there is no more beautiful and perfect description of a life lived in harmony with God than Psalm 23. No less important, however, is the passage from Revelation 7, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” The Lord is indeed our shepherd, as Jesus explains in John 10. The
Good Shepherd cares for the sheep, brings an end to suffering, and fulfills the promise of eternal life as described in Revelation and experienced firsthand by Peter in Acts.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Revelation 7)

From every nation, in every language, we cry out:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
and to the Lamb!”
Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving!
Honor and power and might be to our God
forever and ever!
Amen!
Amen!

Opening Prayer (Psalm 23, John 10, Revelation 7)

You are the Good Shepherd, Lord,
we hear your call;
we know your voice;
we follow your paths.
You lead us beside still waters.
You guide us to the springs of life.
You shelter us and restore our souls.
In you we find life everlasting.
We come humbly into your presence this day,
in praise, worship, and adoration.
Our hearts run over
with your unfailing goodness
and never-ending love.
In the name of our Savior, we pray. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Psalm 23, John 10, Revelation 7)

Master, Savior, Shepherd, Messiah—
we know you by many names, Lord.
Your presence fills our lives—
all that we are and all that we have
comes from you;
all that you do declares your love for us.
Yet when trouble comes,
when adversity plagues us,
we wonder where you are;
we even wonder who you are.
How quickly we forget
that you are always with us.
Dispel our gloom and despair.
Change our garments of darkness
into robes of dazzling light.
Spread your table before us,
and feed us from your hand.
Lead us in the paths of righteousness,
for it is in your name that we pray. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 23, John 10, Revelation 7)

Even in the darkest valley,
though death’s shadow may threaten us,
we need not fear, for the Lord is with us.
God will comfort and shelter us.
No harm will come to us.
No one can snatch us out of the Lord’s hand.
God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

Passing the Peace of Christ (Acts 9)

As Peter gave his hand to Tabitha in prayer and healing, so Christ extends a loving hand to us. Share the peace of Christ with your neighbor. Greet one another in the Lord.

Response to the Word (Psalm 23, John 10, Revelation 7)

We have heard your voice, Lord.
You have spoken to us plainly.
We will follow you
as you guide us on the right paths.
We will respond to you,
as you open our hearts and minds
and fill us with life in all its fullness.
Hear our prayer, Lord,
in the name of the Savior. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Offering Prayer (John 10)

Gracious and loving God,
all of your works,
all that you have done for us,
testify to your love.
You gave everything
to bring us the promise of eternal life.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
may all that we do and all that we are
testify to your amazing care and compassion.
In gratitude and love,
we offer ourselves to you. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Psalm 23, Revelation 7)

The Lord is our shepherd; we want for nothing.
We hunger and thirst no more.
The Lord gives rest and comfort to our souls.
God keeps us in perfect peace.
The Lord sustains us in the midst of trouble.
Our lives overflow with God’s love and grace.
Goodness and mercy will surely follow us always.
And we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 23, John 10, Revelation 7)

We come to worship before God’s throne.
The Lamb is our Good Shepherd.
We are the sheep of his pasture.
The Lamb leads the flock in safety.
The Shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
All praise to God and to the Lamb!

Praise Sentences (Revelation 7)

Blessing, glory, and honor be yours forever!
Amen!
Blessing, glory, and honor be yours forever!
Amen!


From The Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2017 is now available.

comments powered by Disqus