Sunday, March 20, 2016

Liturgy w/communion for March 27, 2016 (The Day of Resurrection)

Texts:  Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; John 20:1-18

Call to Worship
L:  This is the day the Lord has made!
P:  We will rejoice in it.
L:  This is the day God has made; and what a day!
P:  When God wipes away our tears so we can see the empty tomb.
L:  What a day! Easter day!
P:  When God opens our hearts' tombs as Jesus calls us by name.

Prayer of the Day
Holy God our Salvation:
you roll away the power of sin,
     bringing forth the One
     who makes everything alive.
Out of the garden
of violence and hate
which evil has planted,
     you bring forth
     a spring harvest
          of love and forgiveness.

Jesus Christ, Creation's Gardener:
you went into the grave
     to drive out the power of the world;
you shut the doors
     of pain and death
and open the gates of glory
     to those who trust in you
     and follow as your faithful servants.

Holy Spirit, Anointer of new life:
you speak
     and open our eyes to faith;
you touch our lips
     with glad songs of victory;
you roll away our fears
     so we can tell everyone
          we have seen the Risen Lord.

God in Community, Holy in One,
on this great day of Easter,
we pray as Jesus taught us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Logically, rationally, we have no need to confess. Our petty sins pale in comparison to the great evils of our time. But this is the day God tossed logic out the window and raised Jesus from the dead. So we must throw out our claims of innocence, and confess how we have not lived as God's Easter people.

Unison Prayer of Confession
     On this first day of the week, Emptier of tombs, we must admit that we have not lived faithfully the last few days. It is not that we have done great evil; we simply have failed to do good. It is not so much that we have caused hurt, but we have not brought healing. It is not that we have trouble believing in the event of Easter, we have difficulty speaking about this day to our friends and neighbors.
     Call us by name, Redeemer of all creation, so we might hear your words of mercy. You have not given us over to despair, but handed us hope. You have not ignored our emptiness, but filled us with the Bread of Heaven. You do not hand us over to death, but raise us to new life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, in whose name we pray.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
L:  What a day! Easter Day! God's dawn of new hope, new mercy, new life.
P:  On this first day and every day, we can walk as God's people, forgiven and made whole. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
On this day of new finery, help us to clothe those who have charity shop outfits.  On this day of family feasts, help us to feed those who stand at the back of restaurant kitchens hoping for the left-overs.  On this day of rejoicing, show us those who need an embrace of compassion and hope.  On this day of new life, let us dedicate not just our material gifts, but our very lives in sharing the great glad news of Easter.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
L:  The Lord is risen!
P:  We have seen the Lord!
L:  Lift up your hearts, people of God.
P:  We lift them to the Risen Lord.
L:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
P:  We offer our thanks and praise to the One who gives us new life.

How good it is on this day of joy
to lift our glad songs of praise to you,
Redeemer of the lost.
You planted your steadfast love
in the gardens of creation,
     but we ate the bitter fruit
     of idolatry and sin.
Prophets came in your name,
bringing your gracious word,
     but we could not hear them call our name.
When we were about to perish,
when we could have died,

you sent the One
who could bear that threat away.

Therefore, on this day and every day,
with those in heaven and those on earth,
we lift our glad cries to you:

P:  Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
      All creation is blessed with new life on this day.
      Hosanna in the highest!

      Blessed is the One who comes bringing your resurrection power.
      Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of Easter,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
sent by you to bring us salvation.
Your right hand,
   he releases us from sin's grip;
walking through the darkness of death,
   he leads us into the kingdom's light;
confounding the practitioners of evil,
   he did good for others;
humbling himself to experience our pain and suffering,
   he is raised to rule over all.

As we believe what we may not understand,
we trust that mystery we call faith:

P:  Christ has died, but death does not have the final word;
     Christ is risen, and Easter begins for us

           when Christ calls us by name.
      Christ will come again and lead us into God's glory.

Pour out your Holy Spirit
upon the Bread and the Cup,
Resurrecting God,
and upon us who seek to be your children.
When we are done
eating and drinking
with the Risen Lord,
   send us forth to feed the hungry.
Served at the Table by the One
who freed us from death,
   we would go out to be servants
   of the poor and oppressed in our world.
Called to proclaim the good news of Easter,
   we would do so with our hands and hearts,
      not just our lips.

Through Christ,
glory and honor,
praise and thanksgiving are yours,
God of new life,
with the Holy Spirit,
in your holy people,
on this first day of the week
and in all the days to come.

L:  This is the day God gives us new life.
P:  We will share it with everyone we meet.
L:  This is the day of Jesus' resurrection.
P:  We will tell this story over and over.
L:  This is the day we are anointed by the Holy Spirit.
P:  We will go to share peace and grace with the world.

(c) Thom M. Shuman