Worship Connection: April 26, 2020

March 27th, 2020

Third Sunday of Easter

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35


Call to Worship #1:
L: Sometimes good things are right in front of us and we don’t see them.
P: Our fears and our prejudices blind us.
L: Open your eyes this day to see the goodness of the Lord.
P: Open our hearts, gracious God, to receive your blessings.
L: Hallelujah!
P: Hallelujah!

Call to Worship #2:
L: The Lord has heard your voice and the cries of your hearts.
P: Lord, bring us peace and healing.
L: Rejoice, and call upon the name of the Lord!
P: Praise be to you, O God, who has raised us our Savior Jesus Christ.
L: Bring your praises and your songs to the table of the Lord.
P: May our hearts and spirits rejoice in this day. AMEN

Call to Worship #3:
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2068, “I Love You, Lord,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]

Soloist: singing “I Love You, Lord” through one time

L: Come and hear the good news of our Savior Jesus Christ.
P: We thought he was dead, but he is risen from the dead and lives evermore.
L: Let us bow down and worship him.
P: Let us bring our praises and joyful hearts to our Lord.

Choir: singing “I Love You, Lord” through one time

L: We love the Lord, who has heard our cries and healed our souls.
P: We love the Lord, who lives and reigns with God. AMEN

Call to Worship #4:
L: How glorious it is to hear of Jesus’ resurrection.
P: At his death, our hearts cried out and we felt lost.
L: But he comes to us and walks with us, even now.
P: In the holy word, in the music, in the prayers, he is present with us.
L: Open your hearts to the Lord.
P: Lord, help us really be ready to receive you into our lives. AMEN.


Opening Prayer
Loving God, come and speak to our hearts today. May we, like those on the Emmaus Road, find your words burning with hope in our lives. Strengthen us and give us courage for the journey ahead. For we pray in Christ’s Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession
Lord, you are so patient with us. You brought us through Easter when we rejoiced at the news of the resurrection of your Son our Savior. You were with us in the upper room when we remained hidden out of our fears, sharing with Thomas our doubts and anxieties. Now you come to us on the road. You come to us in our everyday lives, moving out of this pristine setting of worship into the work world. But we aren’t always ready for you and don’t always see you or feel your presence. We let so many things crowd in on our lives and these intrusions blot out our awareness of your presence. Forgive our blindness and our stubbornness. Help us keep our hearts open to you, to see and tell the good things you have done in our lives. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance
Even though you have not seen Jesus, one to one, you have assurance of his presence and his love with you. The promises of God are always true. God is with us, in the resurrection of Jesus, in our journeys, in our lives. Praise be to God. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer
We come to the table of the Lord this day, not sure that we dare to believe in his presence with us. We hear the words of institution, “This is my body. . . . This is my blood given for you, poured out for you, that you may find forgiveness,” and we still let doubts and fears enter our lives. We want to believe. We need to believe. For it is too easy for the empty promises of this world to dazzle our eyes. And so we come to you, Lord, with all of our fears and doubts, our joys and sorrows, our longings and dreamings. We bring these things to you in hope that you will hear our prayers and respond to our cries. We bring to you the names of those people whom we love, for whom issues of loneliness, pain, suffering, grief, and loss seem to abound. We bring to you the names of people who have rejoiced in the new found faith, who have reconciled with loved ones, who have survived tragedy and sorrow, who are happy; and we want to dance in celebration for their good fortune. Hear us, heal us, bless us, O Lord. For we ask these things in the name of the One who was raised that we might have eternal life. AMEN.


Reader 1:

What a great day this is!

Reader 2:
You’re happy! What’s got you in such an “up” mood?

Reader 1:
Well, I’m not sure. It’s just that the news of the Resurrection still makes me so joyful. It’s like we have hope. It’s like we can all believe because Jesus said these things would happen and they did, and God raised him. You know, it’s great news.

Reader 2:
Sooner or later you will come back down to earth. Things will get real again, quick enough.

Reader 1:
What makes you so sure that what I’m feeling isn’t lasting or real?

Reader 2:
Nobody can be that happy all the time. It just isn’t humanly possible.

Reader 1:
No problem. It doesn’t have to be humanly possibly; it’s godly possible.

Reader 2:
Cute. Life isn’t a bed of roses, you know. There’s lots of tough stuff out there that we have to deal with. Everyday people are hurting and getting hurt. No one really cares about anyone else.

Reader 1:
Of course, life isn’t a bed of roses. I know that. But I know that no matter what is thrown at me, I will get through it because my Savior got through the worst that can happen. Things will hurt and people will get hurt, but instead of just hanging my head and moaning about the problems, maybe now I can be someone who helps with the solution. I’m not alone; it doesn’t all depend on me. I can be part of the good work.

Reader 2:
I wish I had faith like that.

Reader 1:
You can have that faith. Let your heart open up and see Jesus with you. Listen again to the words of the people on the Emmaus road, and know that he is with you, walking with you on your journey. You don’t have to go it alone. No matter what happens, he will be with you.

People of the Road, rejoice, for God is with you. Bring God’s love and peace to all whom you meet. Go in peace now and forever. AMEN.


The traditional Color for today is: WHITE

[Note: The Emmaus story is such a popular story to use on this day, and to couple it with the communion, that I have chosen the following artistic elements to reflect both communion and the journey on the Emmaus road. The brown burlap fabric is a reminder of the road, and the white fabric of the setting for communion. Large loaves of uncut bread placed in a tipped over basket on the worship center are very dramatic. You may add artificial or real bunches of grapes for effect. The chalice placed on the center of the worship table is a reminder of the sacrament of communion. Even if your tradition is to have the communion elements on a communion table, this setting can be very effective for the visual reminders.]

Place a 6” riser on the worship center, slightly to the right of center. Place a riser in front of the worship center, about 8 to 10” lower than the main level.

Cover the worship area with burlap cloth, making sure that all the risers are covered and that the cloth reaches the floor. Beginning on top of the 6” riser, place a drape of white cloth trailing across the front of the worship area and over the riser in front of the worship table, finally “puddling” on the floor in front of the worship table.

Place a large 10” white pillar candle to the left of the center of the table.

Although no plants are required for this setting, any Easter lilies or other Easter flowers may be placed on the floor in front of the worship area, on either side of the front riser.

None required for this setting.

Place a wicker or woven basket on the 6” riser, tipped over on its side. Have several loaves of bread protruding out of the basket onto the worship center. In front of the cross on the table, place a chalice. You may place some grapes near the bread and some bread and grapes on the riser in front of the worship center.

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