Worship Elements: April 16, 2023

March 3rd, 2020

Second Sunday of Easter

Color: White
Scripture Readings: Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

Theme Ideas

To those who have not seen the risen Christ, the three New Testament readings repeat the bold good news of Easter—that death could not hold Jesus in its power. Like Thomas and the other disciples, and like the readers of 1 Peter, however, we live in the midst of trials and suffering, doubt and fear. Jesus' resurrection invites us to a resilient, specially blessed faith (John 20:29b) that does not end with doubt or fear or suffering. Our readings proclaim that life is our ultimate end and God's aim for us, and we may rejoice even now in this "living hope" (1 Peter 1:3).

Invitation and Gathering

Call to Worship (Acts 2, Psalm 16)

My heart is glad!
My soul rejoices, and my body rests secure!
For you do not abandon me.
You give me counsel.
You are at my right hand.
You show me the path of life.
Your presence is sheer joy.
You are my God; apart from you, I have no good.
Blessed is your name!

Opening Prayer (Acts 2, 1 Peter 1, John 20)

Stand among us once again, risen Christ,
and bless us with your greeting:
"Peace be with you."
Stand among us once again, Exalted Brother,
and breathe upon us your promised Spirit.
Stand among us once again,
You Who Have Escaped Death,
and give us new birth
into your living hope. Amen.

Proclamation and Response

Unison Prayer (Acts 2, Psalm 16, John 20)

Jesus, Savior, Resurrected Messiah,
we come before you from different paths:
some of us certain
of your joyful presence in our lives,
some of us not so certain
of the hope of being touched by your joy.
Yet we are all here,
reaching out to you:
for understanding,
for hope,
for joy,
for all that is imperishable.
Meet us here, today,
in all your power and consolation. Amen.

Invitation to the Word (John 20)

God of sacred texts,
speak powerfully to us today
through what is written in your holy scripture.
Help us hear the witnesses
to Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,
and to the promises of life in his name.

Thanksgiving and Communion

Call to Prayer (1 Peter 1, John 20)

If we are the disciples, locked in a room of fear,
Jesus appears to us.
If we are Thomas, full of doubt,
Jesus turns to us.
If we bear trials and suffering,
God comes to us in power.
If we rejoice,
we do so in the presence of God.
So let us come, whoever we are,
to the God of hope and life.

Invitation to the Offering (1 Peter 1)

May we give out of the love
that we have for Jesus Christ,
so that others may share
in our imperishable and unfading inheritance
of hope and life.

Offering Prayer (1 Peter 1)

God of great mercy,
accept our offerings,
given out of what is more precious than gold—
our faith in you, giver of hope and life.
And through these gifts,
reveal the risen Christ
in acts of mercy, love, and joy. Amen.

Sending Forth

Benediction (Psalm 16, 1 Peter 1, John 20)

In great mercy, God has given us a new birth
into a living hope,
for it is the risen Christ
who stands in our midst and says,
"Peace be with you!"
We go forth to walk the path of new life
and living hope.
And may the peace of the risen Christ be with us!

Contemporary Options

Contemporary Gathering Words (Acts 2, Psalm 16, 1 Peter 1, John 20)

We come as we are:
doubting Thomases, fearful disciples,
sorrowing exiles, rejoicing psalmists!
You come as you are:
Risen Christ, Christ of peace,
Holy Spirit, Spirit of forgiveness,
God of life, God of new birth!
Show us the fullness of your joy!
Show us the path of life and living hope!

Praise Sentences (Acts 2, Psalm 16)

You show me the ways of life.
Your presence fills me full of gladness.
My heart is glad, my soul rejoices,
and my flesh will live in hope!

From "The Abingdon Worship Annual 2008," edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © 2007 by Abingdon Press

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