You can watch today’s service here.
If you are watching our live stream this morning, you are invited to find a candle, so that we can all light candles at the same time.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 4)
God has been gracious to us and heard our prayers.
God has put gladness in our hearts.
We shall live in peace;
for God alone is our dwelling place.
OPENING PRAYER (PRESBYTERIAN BOOK OF COMMON WORSHIP)
Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we who celebrate out Lord’s resurrection may, through the renewing power of your Spirit, arise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and signs with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
CALL TO THANKSGIVING (Psalm 4)
The Lord hears us when we call and the light of God’s face shines upon us.
In the season of Easter, we use this moment in the service to offer up prayers of thanksgiving instead of prayers of confession. I invite you to join with me in our unison prayer of thanksgiving, followed by a time either for silent personal thanksgiving or to name your blessings out loud at home.
Let us pray. . .
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what are you thankful for this week?
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING (WRITTEN BY John Birch)
Your light is the only light we need
as we travel through life’s mystery
Your word the only voice we hear
that still small voice that leads us
to the place where we should be
Your presence is the only company we need
as we walk this narrow road
Your fellowship the warmth we crave
to help us on our way
May the truth of Easter
The joy of Easter
And the blessings of Easter
Be with us this day and all days
PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING (ROGER GENCH, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
God of the Word, open our hearts and minds,
and give us the courage to hear your Word
as we read the words of Scripture today.
By the power of your Spirit, illuminate our paths. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
Psalm 4 (NRSV)
Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause;
You set me free when I was in distress;
have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory;
how long will you love illusions, and seek after lies?
Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful;
the Lord will hear me when I call.
Tremble, then, and do not sin;
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
Offer the appointed sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord.
You have put gladness in my heart,
more than when grain and wine abound.
In peace, I will lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me rest secure.
HYMN Christ is Risen! Shout Hosanna!
lyrics by Brian Wren, 1984
music by Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824
© 1986 Hope Publishing Company
Used by Permission. CCLI License #3456351 and ONE LICENSE # 738214-A
1 Christ is risen! Shout Hosanna!
Celebrate this day of days!
Christ is risen! Hush in wonder:
all creation is amazed.
In the desert all-surrounding,
see, a spreading tree has grown.
Healing leaves of grace abounding
bring a taste of love unknown.
2 Christ is risen! Raise your spirits
from the caverns of despair.
Walk with gladness in the morning.
See what love can do and dare.
Drink the wine of resurrection,
not a servant, but a friend.
Jesus is our strong companion.
Joy and peace shall never end.
3 Christ is risen! Earth and heaven
nevermore shall be the same.
Break the bread of new creation
where the world is still in pain.
Tell its grim, demonic chorus:
“Christ is risen! Get you gone!”
God the First and Last is with us.
Sing Hosanna everyone!
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 24:36-48 (NRSV)
While the disciples were talking, 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.”
Luke describes the Christian life as a journey. How would you describe your post-Easter journey?
What difference does the presence of a risen Christ make in your journey? And how will we recognize him when he appears?
How have you experienced the risen Christ by extending or receiving hospitality?
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “You Are Witnesses to These Things,” here.
HYMN Mighty Is the Power of the Cross
music and lyrics by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, and Shawn Craig
© 2004 Ariose Music, PraiseSong Press, sixsteps Music, worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. Capitol CMG Publishing)
Used by Permission. CCLI License #3456351
And raise him up to life again?
What can heal the wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness? Brokenness?
Is the Holy cross
Where the Lamb lay down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross
What reveals the Father’s love?
What can lead the wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones?
What can save and overcome? Overcome?
Is the Holy cross
Where the Lamb lay down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (ROGER GENCH, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
God of grace, our journeys have taken many twists and turns. To be sure, we have not traveled on the same roads. Some of us have taken the main road, others have taken the back road, and a lot of us have gotten stuck on the road. But our risen Lord has journeyed in our midst unbeknownst to us. He has journeyed in the stranger that we didn’t recognize — the one who asked us many questions about our faith; questions that challenged us to grow deeper. Then as we got to know the stranger, we were awakened to the fact that they were the risen Christ in our midst and our eyes were opened. Help us, O God, to be ever attentive to welcoming the stranger who invites us along the road less traveled — the road of love, justice-seeking, and peace.
Liberating God, in our post-Easter journeys we are reminded that you saw, knew, and experienced the suffering of enslaved Hebrews in Egypt and you summoned Moses to liberate your people. We are also reminded of Isaiah’s poetry about the servant who suffered unjustly, but whose suffering awakened the pursuit of justice. Through these stories we see the crucified and risen Christ who enters into our enslavements of the world in order to bring liberation and awaken people to the way of justice.
God of resurrection, in our post-Easter journeys we have encountered Christ when we have extended and received hospitality amid the crises of the pandemic, the racial reckoning, and ongoing economic disparity. We’ve also encountered Christ when white privilege has been challenged and new ways of being your community have emerged. Empower us to become your beloved community and enable us to welcome the stranger to the table so that we can break bread together. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying,
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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 Be Still and Know that I Am God
words and music by John L. Bell
© 1989 WGRG, Iona Community (admin. GIA Publications, Inc.)
Used with permission under ONE LICENSE # 738214-A
be still and know that I am God…
INVITATION TO OFFERING (ROGER GENCH, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
God has given us the gift of our lives and the resources for living. Most important of all, God’s grace sustains us in life, death and everywhere in between. Let us celebrate God’s life-giving presence by bring our gifts in joyful response to the many gifts that we have been given.
If you are able to, please consider mailing your offerings to the church (210 Smith Street) or dropping them off in the mail slot. Alternatively, there is a link at the top of this page that will take you directly to a secure page where you can make a one-time donation. We appreciate your generosity as we seek to continue our mission and ministry throughout the community during this difficult time.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (ROGER GENCH, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
O God, giver of all good gifts, these gifts are a symbol of our lives dedicated to you and your ministry in our midst. May we be ministers of your peace, love and justice in our community and our world.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from “A Brief Statement of Faith”)
We trust in Jesus Christ,
Fully human, fully God.
Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:
preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives,
teaching by word and deed and blessing the children,
healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted,
eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners,
and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition,
Jesus was crucified,
suffering the depths of human pain
and giving his life for the sins of the world.
God raised this Jesus from the dead,
vindicating his sinless life,
breaking the power of sin and evil,
delivering us from death to life eternal.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
God has loved us from the beginning
and because God’s love will never end,
we are called to share that love.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
If you are using this page to follow along with today’s worship service while it is being live streamed, please join us for virtual coffee hour! Turn on your video camera and join us after the benediction with THIS LINK. You could also join over the telephone by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering the meeting code 146 874 134, followed by the password 075003. You can find other events throughout the week on our CALENDAR.