Worship Elements: May 7, 2023

April 8th, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Color: White
Scripture Readings: Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14

Theme Ideas

Hard as a rock. The psalmist considers God a rock fortress where protection may be found. Peter speaks of a cornerstone upon which the church is built—built of "living stones." The Gospel of John speaks of "my Father's house" where rooms are available and waiting for the arrival of the disciples. The stumbling block of 1 Peter may be tied to the gospel where Jesus says too plainly for some, "No one comes to the Father except through me." These weeks following Easter are a great time to remind our congregations that God is continually at work in our midst and is ever building the character of the church and of the individuals who are followers of the Way. Rock formations could be likened to the transforming work of God in the lives of those we serve. God continually is at work, changing us, calling us to maturity.

Invitation and Gathering

Call to Worship (Psalm 31)

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge.
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me.
Come quickly to my rescue.
Be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
lead and guide me,
for the sake of your name.
Let your face shine upon your servant.
Save me in your unfailing love!

Opening Prayer (Psalm 31, 1 Peter 2)

O God of all creation,
become for us once again
the solid foundation upon which we build
our daily lives.
We gather before you,
this first day of the week,
to align our lives to the strong teaching
and life of Jesus Christ, our Cornerstone.
Receive our praise and thanksgiving
as expressions of faith and love.
We come to you, O Lord,
as people who desire to learn
and serve like Christ.
We are ready to receive your blessing
and direction today. Amen.

Proclamation and Response

Unison Prayer

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth.
We pray this day
that we may come to a clearer understanding
that you have more interest in our character
than in our comfort.
Where we have need of correction,
speak plainly to us and grant us the courage
to make the changes
you would bring in our lives.
May the love we express for you
on this Sunday morning
continue throughout the coming week.
Strengthen this congregation, we pray,
in order that we may become more effective
in our ministry,
in our service,
and in our witness
to the community.
In the name of the risen Christ, amen.

Passing the Peace of Christ

May the peace of the Lord be with you.
And also with your spirit.

Invitation to the Word

Let the one who has ears to hear, listen.
The Word of the Lord speaks to
the living of our lives today.
God's Word is our fortress and strength,
providing shelter and foundation for daily living.
Let the one who has ears to hear, listen.

Response to the Word/Sermon

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
This is the gospel.
Praise to you, Christ Jesus.

Thanksgiving and Communion

Communion Prayer (1 Peter 2)

O Lord,
may we who eat this bread,
become a people of living stones;
may we who drink this wine
become a people of salvation.
Enrich our faith and trust
as we gather together again at your table
for this sacred remembrance.
We confess our broken and sinful behavior
and seek forgiveness for the harm we have done
to others and to ourselves.
In these moments of communion together,
may we experience the confidence of children
who know they are loved and accepted completely.

Unison Prayers of the People

O Lord, our Rock,
we stand upon you alone,
and upon no other.
Build our faith into a house
made of living stones.
We offer these prayers of compassion
for our families and friends.
Teach us anew
that the foundation of life
is love for you and for neighbor.
We pray for the community
in which we live and work and learn.
Offer us, O God,
at least one clear opportunity
to be of service to someone in need.
Hear our prayers for those who are ill
and who struggle to recover health and wholeness.
Let there be peace on earth,
and let it begin with us, today.
In Christ the solid rock we pray. Amen.

Invitation to the Offering (1 Peter 2)

We are better together.
When we join in music or mission,
or ministry or fellowship,
we discover that God makes us better,
being built upon one another
like living stones in the house of the Lord.
Let us join together now
as we receive the tithes and offerings
you have brought.
We have this common faith and common calling
to be in ministry—together.

Offering Prayer

Receive these gifts this morning, O God,
author of every good gift.
Out of the bounty of our hearts,
we respond with faithful generosity and love.
May these gifts become blessings for others
as they have been blessing for us. Amen.

Sending Forth


Go now in peace.
Go now in peace.
May the love of God surround you,
everywhere, everywhere you may go.


May the love of God take away your millstones
and place you high up on the Rock,
that you may see more clearly
the calling of God in your life.
Into the hands of God,
commit your spirit,
in the name of Jesus Christ,
our risen Lord. Amen.

Contemporary Options

Contemporary Gathering Words (John 14)

Come now and see for yourselves.
God is alive in our midst
and begins life anew even among us.
You will see the very nature of God
in those gathered around you.
Get ready to stand firm,
to stand on the Rock that is Jesus Christ.
From there we will feel the confidence
of those who follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Praise Sentences

I will sing of God's love forever and ever!
Glorious things of you are spoken, O God,
for you are trustworthy and true.
We praise you, O Lord, for your steadfastness. You are faithful, and in you, we can surely place our faith. I will sing of God's love forever and ever!

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

comments powered by Disqus