Watch the 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 (Luke 24:31-32)
When Jesus speaks, our hearts burn within us;
our eyes are opened when he breaks the bread.
Let us pray: Almighty God, through your only Son you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we who celebrate our 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 reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
CALL TO THANKSGIVING
In the season of Easter, we use this time to offer our thanks to God, rather than our confessions, because Christ has died for our sins and has risen to give us new life.
Please join me in the prayer of thanksgiving, followed by a silent personal prayer.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Eternal God, we praise you that your glory has dawned on us, and brought us into this Day of Resurrection. We rejoice that the grave could not hold your Son, and that he has conquered death, risen to rule over all powers of this earth. We praise you that he summons us into new life, to follow him with joy and gladness. By your Spirit, lift us from doubt and despair, and set our feet in Christ’s holy way, that our lives may be signs of his life, and all we have may show forth his love. Praise, glory, and thanksgiving to you, our God, forever and ever. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what are you thankful for this week?
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Let us pray: Gracious God, you hear our voice and supplications, now we ask for your Spirit to help us to hear your voice and instructions. Give to us this day the bread of life, the Logos, your Word that sustains us. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
What shall I return to the Lord
for all God’s bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all the people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of God’s faithful ones.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your serving-maid.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all the people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
1 What shall I render to the Lord;
what shall my offering be,
for all the gracious benefits
God has bestowed on me?
2 Salvation’s cup my soul shall take
while to the Lord I pray,
and with God’s people I will meet,
my thankful vows to pay.
3 Not lightly do you, Lord, permit
your chosen saints to die;
from death you have delivered me;
your servant, Lord, am I.
4 Within God’s house, the house of prayer,
my soul shall bless the Lord,
and praises to God’s holy name
let all the saints accord.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
And Jesus said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’
They stood still, looking sad.
Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’
He asked them, ‘What things?’
They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’
Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then, beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’
So Jesus went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’
That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
- If Jesus were to come alongside you today and ask what you are talking about, what would you say?
- When Jesus appears to his friends, he shares many Bible stories, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets.” Are there particular stories or verses in Scripture that would be helpful for you to remember in this current time?
- When has your heart burned within you? How did you come to recognize that it was the presence of God?
- Why do you think that the two men did not recognize Jesus at first?
Listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “We Had Hoped,” here.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (Slats Toole)
Loving God, you meet us wherever we are on the road: wandering with no signs to guide us, forced to take an unexpected detour, or simply trying to get as far away as we can from the places that remind us of the pain– from the shuttered businesses and quiet houses and empty parks. You meet us here. And so we pour out our hearts to you, bringing to you all of the mess of our lives, our hopes, our fears, our joys, our sorrows, our uncertainty about what has happened and what is still to come.
Stay with us as you stayed with the disciples on the road. Come into our locked homes to be with us, to share our burdens, and remind us of who we are and whose we are. Help us remember the difficult times that we and our ancestors have faced before and remind us that we made it through, and, with you as our rock, we will make it through again.
We share all our anxieties with you now: our worries about our loved ones, our own health, our jobs, our finances, our families, what the world will look like when this has passed, and how long it will be until it is passed.
We share all our grief with you now: the pain of missing the celebrations and rituals that mark time in our lives, the sorrow of not being able to visit loved ones in the hospital, the mourning of those we have lost.
We share all our gratitude with you now: for essential workers who keep showing up, for opportunities for connection amid distance, for the little joys we are able to find throughout our days.
Help us to recognize you still among us. Even as our minds are clouded from stress, and our hearts are weighed down with the heaviness of the world help us to truly feel your presence, above us, beneath us, before us, behind us, beside us, within us, surrounding us, surrounding this crying world. We join our prayers together with the one you taught us to pray, saying together…
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.
1 I want Jesus to walk with me;
I want Jesus to walk with me;
all along my pilgrim journey,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
2 In my trials, Lord, walk with me;
in my trials, Lord, walk with me;
when my heart is almost breaking,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
3 When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me;
when I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me;
when my head is bowed in sorrow,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.
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 the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
Even when hope seems lost,
even when nothing seems certain,
even when despair pulls at your heart,
Christ will come to you.
God has seen us through our fear before, and God will see us through again.
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 at about 11am or a little before 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.