Worship Elements: May 10, 2015

March 13th, 2015

Sixth Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17

THEME IDEAS

God’s love creates a generous dwelling place. John writes of Jesus’ love as a reality in which we abide, even as we provide this abode for others. This abode of love is a place of joy as well as of obedience given willingly—not out of the fear that separates servant from master, but out of the understanding
that grows between friends: Jesus and his disciples. First John describes an even closer relationship: believers are born to our parent God. The story of Cornelius’s baptism adds the detail of spaciousness: the abode of love welcomes all peoples. The psalmist expands God’s caring attention beyond the house of Israel to the entire globe!

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 98)

Sing to God a new song,
for God has done marvelous things!
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth,
for God is still doing marvelous things!
Break into joyful song!
Sing praises with lyre and melody
and trumpets!
Let the seas roar and the floods clap their hands!
For God is coming to judge the world
with righteousness.
God is coming to judge the world with equity.
Sing to God a new song!

Opening Prayer (Acts 10, Psalm 98, 1 John 5, John 15)

God of songs and marvels, old and new,
your powerful love for this world
continues to astound us.
In these last days of Easter,
we gather to recall the love
that brought Jesus into this world
and into our lives:
as savior, friend, and brother.
We thank you for welcoming us into your household
and for trusting us with your marvelous work
to draw all people into the spacious home
of your love. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (John 15)

Jesus, friend and brother,
you taught us to abide in your generous love,
for it completes our lives and gives us joy;
you ask us to love others as you have loved us,
for it brings your creation to fruition.
We sometimes struggle
to love the people in our lives
as you have loved us.
Forgive us, we pray,
and teach us your love again. Amen.

Words of Assurance (John 15:15b-16a)

Long ago Jesus said to his disciples,
“I have called you friends, because I have made
known to you everything that I have heard from [God].
You did not choose me, but I chose you!”
Jesus speaks these words to us today.
Jesus forgives us and chooses us to be his friends,
sharing his great work of love. Hallelujah!

Passing the Peace of Christ (John 15)

Meet the friends of Jesus! Turn and greet your brothers and sisters with the peace, love, and joy of Jesus the Christ.

Response to the Word (Acts 10, John 15)

God of Love,
do not let us grow weary of living our lives
according to the example of your child, Jesus.
Loving one another is a great challenge
and a high calling.
We do not want to fail our friend and brother.
Pour out upon us your Spirit
who reminds us that we bear Jesus’ love and life
within our very being—
a powerful gift for our world.
Out of this gift, may we bear the fruit of love. Amen.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Acts 10, Psalm 98, John 15)

We began our worship today with a psalm about the new songs that God inspires us to sing. In our Gospel lesson, we heard Jesus teaching his disciples a new song: a love song about Jesus’ love for his disciples and for the world. Jesus hoped we would all join in singing and living out this new song of love. Today in giving to others, let us join in this song so that the whole world may hear the beautiful
and welcoming melody of God’s love.

Offering Prayer (Acts 10, John 15)

Pour your Spirit upon these gifts, O God.
Send them into the world
as a sign and song of your joyous work of love.
Use them to call and welcome into your house of love
all who are your friends
and our brothers and sisters. Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (John 15:12)

Jesus speaks again today:
“This is my commandment,
that you love one another
as I have loved you.”
Go in joy and faithfulness, knowing that you,
the chosen friends of Jesus, abide in Jesus’ love
and bear the gift of this love to the world. Amen.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 98, John 15)

Are you looking for the joy that completes your life?
Are you hoping for the love that makes a difference
and gives you a great purpose?
Then welcome to the house of God!
Welcome to the love of God!

—OR—

Contemporary Gathering Words (Psalm 98)

Come, sing a new song to God!
Remember all the times full of wonder
God has already saved us!
Plug in the keyboard; tune up those guitars;
try out the drums!
Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth!
Open the windows! Listen to the choirs outdoors,
feathered and furred!
Let the hills sing together for joy!
For God is not done doing wonders!
God is coming to set everything right.
Sing a new song to God!


From “The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012,” edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © 2011 by Abingdon Press. “The Abingdon Worship Annual 2015” is now available.

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