April 11, 2021 THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
Illustration above: “Christ Cares for All” 20th century stained glass in the Church of the Natividad in Pangasinan, Philippines.
Call to Worship Hymn #240
Refrain Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord. Alleluia, alleluia! Give praise to his name.
Jesus is Lord o’er all the earth. He is the King of creation. Refrain
Text/Music: Donald Fishel ©1973. International Liturgy Publications. Used with permission. CCLI #1200092. All rights reserved.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
And also with you.
Together we worship God and together we pray:
Creator of the universe, you made the world in beauty, and restore all things in glory through the victory of Jesus Christ. We pray that, wherever your image is still disfigured by poverty, sickness, selfishness, war and greed, the new creation in Jesus Christ may appear in justice, love, and peace, to the glory of your name. Amen.
Hymn # 254 “That Easter Day with Joy was Bright”
That Easter day with joy was bright; the sun shone out with fairer light when,
to their longing eyes restored, apostles saw their risen Lord.
He bade them see his hands, his side, where yet the glorious wounds abide,
the tokens true which made it plain their Lord indeed was ris’n again.
From ev’ry weapon death can wield, your own redeemed forever shield;
O Lord of all, with us abide in this our joyful Eastertide.
These Eastertide stanzas are derived from a longer 5th c. Latin text, translated by John Mason Neale (1852), that was one of the earliest hymns written especially for a season of the church year. They are set here to a 15th c. tune, PUER NOBIS NASCITUR, with a Christmas association, thereby linking the two great festivals of the Christian year.
A Litany of Supplication and our Prayer of Confession
We join together in a litany of supplication from Psalm 4.
Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?
How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?
But know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
There are many who say, "O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD!"
You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety.
Trusting in God’s grace, we confess our sins.
Holy and merciful God, in your presence we confess our failure to be what you created us to be. You alone know how often we have sinned in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, in forgetting your love. Hear our individual prayers of confession…
By your loving mercy, help us live in your light and abide in your ways, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen
Hymn #722 “Lord, Speak to Me that I May Speak
Lord, speak to me that I may speak in living echoes of your tone.
As you have sought, so let me seek your erring children, lost and lone.
O lead me Lord, that I may lead the wandering and the wavering feet.
O feed me, Lord, that I may feed your hungering ones with manna sweet.
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach the precious truths which you impart.
And wing my words that they may reach the hidden depths of many a heart.
O fill me with your fullness, Lord, until my very heart o’erflow
in kindling thought and glowing word, your love to tell, your praise to show.
O use me, Lord, use even me, just as you will, and when, and where
until your blessed face I see, your rest, your joy, your glory share.
Two great truths inform this text by Francis Havergal, 1872: that the testimony of experience is powerful and persuasive and that no one should venture to minister on one’s own strength rather than God’s. The tune CANONBURY reflects the 19t c. practice of adapting piano pieces, this one by Robert Schumann, 1839, as hymn tunes.
When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, "You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
"And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,..."
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
Meditation “The Good News of God’s Love for ALL of Us?”
An Affirmation of Faith from I John 3:1-3
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. -
Our Offerings of Time, Talent and Treasure
Offering Music “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” Stuart Townend
Prayers of the People
O God, your Son remained with his disciples after his resurrection, teaching them to love all people as neighbors. As his disciples in this age, we offer our prayers on behalf of the universe in which we are privileged to live and our neighbors with whom we share it. Open our hearts to your power moving around us and between us and within us, until your glory is revealed in our love of both friend and enemy, in communities transformed by justice and compassion, and in the healing of all that is broken. Hear us as we pray…
Almighty God, whose Word we trust, whose Spirit equips us to pray, we continue to pray saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Hymn #295 “Go to the World!”
Go to the world! Go into all the earth. Go preach the cross where Christ renews life’s worth,
baptizing as the sign of our rebirth. Al-le-lu-ia. Al-le-lu-ia.
Go to the world! Go struggle, bless, and pray; the nights of tears give way to joyous day.
As servant church, you follow Christ’s own way. Al-le-lu-ia. Al-le-lu-ia.
Go to the world! Go as the ones I send, for I am with you til the age shall end,
when all the hosts of glory cry “Amen!”. Al-le-lu-ia. Al-le-lu-ia.
Text: Sylvia G. Dunstan, 1985 Music: Ralph Vaughn Williams, 1906.
Text ©1991. GIA Publications, Inc. Used with permission. ONELICENSE #A-716826. All rights reserved.
Sharing of the Peace and the Sending
Peace be with you. And also with you.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.
Resources from the Book of Common Worship and Glory to God Hymnal, PCUSA.
The Prayer of the Day and the Prayers of the People reprinted from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts
Texts for next Sunday April 25: Psalm 23, Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10: 11-18
Sermon Summary and Questions
Luke’s Jesus is clear on the fact that “repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” This is the hinge that connects the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. We must remember that the good news of Jesus Christ is universal in its scope. The Church today must remember that the blessings of God in Jesus Christ transcend racial, ethnic, gendered, and heteronormative prejudices. It is good news for everyone without exception.
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