April 26, 2020
Christ is here, ready to be revealed.
Watch and wait for the new growth that is coming.
PRELUDE The Storm is Passing Over
CALL TO WORSHIP
We need your presence on the long road, Lord. The road between fear and hope, the road between the place where all is lost and the place of resurrection.
Like the disciples walking the road to Emmaus, we are in need of your company! Jesus, stand among us, in your risen power, Let this time of worship be a hallowed hour.
*OPENING HYMN Christ Is Alive!
No. 246 (Verses 1, 2 & 5)
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
The cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring. Love, drowned in death, shall never die.
Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
but saving, healing, here and now,
and touching every place and time.
Christ is a live, and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring
with joy, with justice, love, and praise.
CALL TO CONFESSION
As we welcome our loving God as a living presence in our midst, let us share our joy and our need, our hope and our fear, thankful for the life God has given us.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Heavenly companion, we yearn for your love and grace, your wisdom and guidance. We long for the joy that burns within our hearts when you are with us. We cling to you, yet sometimes do not share your love with others.
Forgive us, holy and cherished God. Shine the light of your Spirit through us, so that we may witness to your grace. Remind and help us to show your Way of hope and joy to those who long for peace, and in whom hope has died. Amen.
In humility, let us lift our silent prayers to God for the brokenness of this world and for the needs of our community and our hearts.
(Please refer to the deacon’s prayer list.)
God, in your mercy, hear our prayers & forgive us. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US
God may come to us, unrecognized, as a stranger. The risen Christ reaches out to us in unexpected ways as we travel our own Emmaus roads.
May the Word of our still-speaking God continue to burn in our hearts.
SONG OF RESPONSE No. 240
Give thanks to the risen Lord.
Give praise to his name.
Come let us praise the living God,
Joyfully sing to our Savior. [Refrain]
*SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
There is a peace that comes only from welcoming Christ in a fellow traveler on the journey of life. The peace of Christ be with you all.
And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Jesus our Guide, you explained the scriptures and revealed yourself to the disciples at Emmaus. Now, by your Spirit, enlighten our minds to understand their witness and ignite our hearts to receive you. Amen.
STORY Luke 24: 13-35
Today, we ask that you take a moment to hear where God is calling you in a unique opportunity to share with others and engage in the story from Luke 24.
Discuss the Story: See the video discussion of Luke 24: 13-49.
1. Previously, Jesus said “I won’t eat this again until I eat it in the realm of God.” (Luke 22:16). At Emmaus, Jesus eats. God’s realm has arrived. What does this say to you?
2. When has an experience of the sacred opened the eyes of your faith beyond words?
3. What encounter assures you of the presence of Christ?
Create the Story: The practice of gratitude
1. Think of three people who have walked alongside you on your journey of faith and made a difference, OR, think about one person who shows you Jesus’ way of love.
2. Make thank-you cards to send to each of them. You might like to write how the person helped you. Then mail the cards!
Meditate on the Story: Download the handout here.
Listen to the music and consider:
1. Think about the last time you took a walk. Where did you feel the presence of the Risen Lord? How did God speak to you?
2. How have you walked with someone on their faith journey?
3. During this pandemic, what assures you of the presence of Christ?
*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.
OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING
As we debate and deliberate, discuss and question the current events, pressing needs and confusing circumstances of our time, Christ comes alongside us. He tells us again of God’s goodness and life-giving power, abundant grace and steadfast kindness. In gratitude and trust, let us offer our hearts and the fruit of our labor to God’s service.
Thank you for sending your offerings. They make a great difference to our church’s work in the world.
Thank you, too, for remembering the Two Cents a Meal Offering, which goes toward hunger needs.
Praise God whose breath fills all the earth, whose love reveals our sacred worth, whose Spirit forms one family, whose grace and peace bring harmony.
*Prayer of Dedication
Like the disciples at Emmaus, we offer what we have. They offered their company, their table, their bread. We invite you to be with us, Jesus, as we offer you our love, our devotion and our gifts.
May our eyes be opened to your holy presence among us, now and always. Amen.
WE ARE SENT
*CLOSING HYMN No. 231
Christ Has Risen While Earth Slumbers
Christ has risen while earth slumbers;
Christ has risen where hope died,
as he said and as he promised,
as we doubted and denied.
Let the moon embrace the blessing;
let the sun sustain the cheer;
let the world confirm the rumor:
Christ is risen, God is here!
Christ has risen for the people
whom he died to love and save;
Christ has risen for the women
bringing flowers to grace his grave.
Christ has risen for disciples
huddled in an upstairs room.
He whose word inspired creation
can't be silenced by the tomb.
Christ has risen and forever
lives to challenge and to change
all whose lives are messed or mangled,
all who find religion strange.
Christ is risen, Christ is present
making us what he has been:
evidence of transformation
in which God is known and seen.
*POSTLUDE The Storm is Passing Over
All songs not in the public domain are used by permission of CCLI #1124594.
Centering Words - Scifres, Mary. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2020 . Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.
Call to Worship and Prayer of Dedication - Penner, Carol, Leading in Worship. http://carolpenner.typepad.com/
Stations - Seasons of the Spirit, SeasonsFusion, Lent, Easter 2020 (Columbia: Wood Lake, 2018) 123, 129.
Invitation to the Offering - Duffield, Jill, Order of Service, Third Sunday of Easter, April 26, 2020, in The Presbyterian Outlook.
Thank you to Justin Warner for serving as our liturgist.