Monday, April 09, 2012

Second Sunday of Easter - B

Texts: Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; 1st John 1:1 - 2:2; John 20:19-31

Call to Worship
L: The Word of life spoke:
P: so we could hear the angels' 'Alleluias!'
L: The Word of life reached out:
P: so we could touch the hope which heals us.
L: The Word of life walked out of death's dread tomb:
P: so we could follow him into life forever.

Prayer of the Day
Emptier of Tombs:
you raised Jesus
from the grave
so all fears might be banished;
so the locked doors of our hearts
could be flung open;
so our quivering lips
could declare what
we have seen and heard.

Bright Glory of God:
as you stood in the middle
of your friends
on that first Easter night,
come among us now,
in this time and place,
showing us that death and sin
no longer stand in the way
of our life with you.

Breath of Peace:
strengthen us
so we may stand
with all who fear life;
take our hands in yours,
so we may serve all
who are broken with grief;
inspire us to share
the grace which has been breathed
into our very souls.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
How often have we heard the good news of forgiveness and restoration? Yet,
we are still reluctant to believe. God offers us new life, yet we are afraid
to let go of the old. Let us confess our doubts and fears to the One who
waits to make us whole.

Unison Prayer of Confession
We use a lot of words, Gracious God, but do little to turn them into
deeds. Instead of being of one heart and soul, we choose sides and form
groups of folks just like us. Blessed with great grace, we have trouble
sharing it with those who need it the most.
Forgive us, God of love. Forgive us, as we step out of our shadows into
your light. Restore us, as we reveal our brokenness. Hear us, as we proclaim
Jesus Christ as our Lord and our God.

Silent Prayers may be offered

Assurance of Pardon
L: This is the good news we have declare: God leads
us out of the shadows to walk in the light of Christ.
P: This is the word we have heard: our faithful God
forgives our sins and raises us to new life. Thanks
be to God. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L: May the Risen Lord be with you!
P: And also with you!
L: Lift your hearts to God, Resurrection People.
P: We lift our glad hearts to the One who gives us new life.
L: Children of God, sing with joy on this day of resurrection.
P: Songs of joy flow for our very being on this day.

How good and pleasant
it was, Joyous God,
when creation sprang forth:
great power flinging stars
into the blue-black skies;
precious goodness dripping down
the mountains into the valleys.
We were created in your image,
your breath filling us with your Spirit,
but in the evening on that day,
we followed sin and death
on the journey away from your grace.
Your prophets came with great grace,
declaring what they heard and saw,
but we remained determined in our rebellion.
Though the doors of our hearts
were locked for fear you would condemn us,
Jesus came into our midst,
with words of peace on his lips.

So, with those from every time and every place,
with whom we hold faith in common,
we sing your praises forever:

P: Holy, holy, holy, God of grace and hope.
All creation praises your glorious name.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who comes that
       our joy may be complete.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, Ordainer of blessings,
and gracious is your son, Jesus our Christ.
He came, showing us his hands
which were full of your healing.
He lived, to stand by our side
when pain and anger assail us.
He spoke, proclaiming your good news
of salvation for rebellious children.
He died, going deep into death's shadows,
that we might walk in your light.

As we give bear witness to his life and death,
as we celebrate his resurrection and new hope,
we declare that mystery we have heard and seen:

L: Christ went to the cross,
       stretching out his hands to embrace death;
Christ came out of the grave,
       reaching out his hands to embrace your love;
Christ will come, offering us his hands
       so we might go home with him.

Breathe on us, Spirit of God,
as we gather around your table.
Transform this simple bread
into that gift of life which, broken,
can make us whole once again.
Sanctify this common cup
that it might become the grace
for which we thirst in this and every moment.
And when we have been nourished,
may we go forth into the world,
pushing aside the doors locked tight
by the forces of prejudice and oppression,
that all might receive your hope,
that everyone might feel your Breath
bringing them back to life.

And when we have come to the end of our journey,
when we gather with our sisters and brothers
around that feast of wonder and grace you prepare,
we join our hearts and voices in singing
your praises throughout all eternity,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

© 2012 Thom M. Shuman