Worship Elements: May 21, 2017

April 20th, 2017

Sixth Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

THEME IDEAS

In Acts, Paul describes God as the source of all creation and the source of life for all humankind. More than this, “we live and move and have our being” in God. Indeed, how can this God be far from us when we are in God? First Peter speaks of our being brought to God by Jesus Christ and describes lives of integrity “in Christ.” John takes this human/divine spatial imagery the furthest in Jesus’ description of himself as in God, while we the disciples are in Christ and Christ is in us. More than this, the Spirit is with us and in us as well. These passages call us to recognize the mysterious interrelationship that undergirds our being; they challenge us to live lives of love and goodness, courage and hope.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Acts 17, Psalm 66)

(This liturgy may be done with any combination of one to four leaders.)

Leader 1: Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and we will tell what God has done for us.
Leader 2: God is the Sovereign of heaven and earth,
maker of this world and all within it.
Leader 3: God has given to all mortals life and breath
and every blessing.
Leader 4: Bless our God, O peoples!
Let the sound of God’s praise be heard.
People: Blessed be God! Blessed be God! Blessed be
God!

Opening Prayer (Acts 17, Psalm 66, John 14)

Source of all creation, maker of the world
and everything in it,
you are never far from each one of us.
We come into your house seeking you,
O giver of life and breath.
Reveal yourself to us; dwell with us;
and abide in us.
We live because of you.
We hope because of you.
In the name of Jesus Christ in whom we live,
and the Spirit of Truth who abides in us, amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Acts 17, John 14)

Maker and giver of all,
forgive us when we are too preoccupied
to notice your presence in our lives:
when we walk through this world
and fail to see the wonder
of you upholding our lives and all creation;
when we walk through our lives
and fail to see you abiding with, within,
and around us;
when we walk through holy moments
and fail to savor your presence,
instead feeling abandoned
in the vast sweep of life
as each day rushes at us
with its demands.
Open our eyes to your presence, God of love,
that we may lean on you—
for you uphold all of creation
in tenderness and power. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Acts 17, Psalm 66, John 14)

When Jesus left the disciples, he gave us a promise:
“I will not leave you orphaned!”
For we, his disciples, live in him and he in us—
the presence of God within and around all.
What a promise! Take courage! Take comfort!
Blessed be God!

Passing the Peace of Christ (Acts 17, John 14)

Because Jesus Christ is in us, and we in him, his peace is a powerful gift that we may share with others. Pass the blessing of this peace to your brothers and sisters in Christ and to all the children of God.

Response to the Word (Acts 17, John 14, 1 Peter 3)

O God,
in you we live and move and have our being!
May we live out this profound truth,
mindful of the beauty, the hope, and the calling
of living in you. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Acts 17, 1 Peter 3)

We are invited to give an accounting of the hope that sustains us, the love and presence of God that upholds all. Out of this sustaining hope, let us give our gifts today for those who also need this hope.

Offering Prayer (Acts 17, 1 Peter 3, John 14)

Giver of all gifts,
we are grateful for your every blessing
and for your presence through all of life—
in our joys and fears,
and in our hopes and dreads.
We pray for those who do not know
the consolation of your presence in their lives,
asking that you reveal yourself to them
through the gifts we have given
and through the lives we live.
Reveal yourself, O God,
that all your children
may find their true home in you. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Acts 17, 1 Peter 3, John 14)

Wherever we are, we are in God.
Wherever we are, we are in Christ,
and Christ is in us.
Wherever we are, the Spirit abides with us and in us.
We go forth in peace and hope,
upheld by God in every way.
Let us go forth in faithfulness and trust.
May all see the Divine in and through us.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Gathering Words (Acts 17, Psalm 66, John 15)

Come into God’s house!
Come and hear what God has done!
God has made the world
and breathed the breath of life into us!
But God hasn’t stopped there. There’s more!
God is still on the scene, upholding all our life,
surrounding us in power and love.
We live, move, and have our very being in God!
Let the sound of God’s praise be heard!
Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

Praise Sentences

Blessed is the maker of the world,
giver of life and breath!
In you, O God, we live and move
and have our being!


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

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