Fourth Sunday of Easter
Christ is the vine. We are the branches.
Abide in the vine, and you will abide in love.
WELCOME AND CALL TO WORSHIP
Come to Christ, the true vine, and bear much fruit. We have come to abide in the vine,
and to bear the fruit of salvation.
Come to love one another, for love is of God.
We have come to the household of love,
for God is love.
Come to set aside your fears, for perfect love drives out fear.
We have come to love one another,
as God has loved us.
Come! All are welcome here.
OPENING HYMN I Danced in the Morning No. 157 (Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.)
I danced in the morning when the world was begun, and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun, and I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth. At Bethlehem I had my birth.
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
and I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
and I'll lead you all in the dance, said he.
I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame.
The holy people said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high, and left me there on a cross to die. (Refrain)
They cut me down and I leapt up high.
I am the life that will never, never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. (Refrain)
CALL TO PRAYERS
The seeds of grace, hope, joy, and love are planted deep within us, so they can bear fruit in our lives. But we resist staying connected to the Vine, thinking we can flourish on our own. Let us open our hearts to God in prayer, so we can once more feel God abiding deep within us. Let us pray:
PRAYERS OF APPROACH & CONFESSION
Divine Vinegrower, the soil of your love nurtures the roots of our lives each and every day.
As we consecrate ourselves into your loving care, plant us in the soil of your love, that we may abide in Christ, our true vine, and bear the fruit of your love and grace. Give us rain in seasons of doubt and nourish our growth, that our harvest of love may bless the world.
Source of love and life, your glory knows no bounds. We yearn to set aside our fears, but we are often afraid. We long to love our sisters and brothers, but we often feel alienated from them. We desire to abide in you as you abide in us, but we can’t seem to figure out how.
Show us once more how to love, for only love can cast out our fear.
Show us how to love one another well, for only then can we truly know you. Show us how to abide in your vine, for only then can we bear the fruit that glorifies your name. 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 in your bulletin.)
ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US
When we abide in Christ, we abide in the vine of love and grace. Abide in the vine, and receive mercy beyond measure.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
As we abide in Christ, our vine, we bear the fruit of God’s love. Let us share the joy of our fortune by exchanging signs of Christ’s peace with one another.
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Holy Spirit, as we prepare to read today’s scriptures, we ask you to be our guide. Help us to listen for the word of God. Amen.
SCRIPTURE LESSON 1 John 4:7-21
GOSPEL LESSON John 15:1-8
SERMON Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro Fruit Depends on the Vine
CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
Come to the table of grace,
for Christ is the vine, and we are the branches.
Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Come to the table of love,
for whoever does not love, does not know God.
Come, Holy Spirit, come.
Come to the table of blessing,
for Christ is here to abide in us, as we abide in him. Come, Holy Spirit, come.
The Words of Institution
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.
Prayer following Communion
God of glory, in this holy meal you show us your will for every meal. In Christ’s strength, let us live and work for the day when all tables are filled with your abundance and surrounded by your people in peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING Invitation
Today we are invited to become deeply attached, close, and loyal as branches who are connected with Jesus Christ, our vine. We are to bear fruit with a spirit of love by helping each other, reaching out to each other, and encouraging each other in our daily faith pilgrimage. Let us offer ourselves in gratitude, with
generosity, as fruits representing the abiding goodness of God.
(Thank you for sending your offerings.
They make a great difference to our church’s work in the world. First Sunday loose plate offerings benefit the Deacons Fund.)
Prayer of Dedication
Bountiful God, you fill the poor with good things and cause the hungry to be satisfied. May these gifts be instruments of your grace and may our very lives be the means of spreading your blessings. Make these gifts a sign for the world of your boundless love and your overflowing abundance. Amen.
We Are Sent
CLOSING HYMN Where Charity and Love Prevail No. 316
(To access the music for this, please refer to the pdf version of the worship bulletin at the bottom or top of this page.)
All songs not in the public domain are used by permission of CCLI #1124594.
For references please see the bulletin here