a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: wailing into dancing

We exalt you, O Lord,
because you have raised us from the grave
and have given us the victory over our enemy Death.
When we called out to you, you raised us up and restored us to life.
We sing praises to you and give you thanks
when we remember the marvelous things you have done.
We pray for your favor, O God,
on those who suffer
and endure the wrath of illness, brokenness, change, or loss.
We pray for those who weep,
that your joy would break forth like the dawn.
We pray for those who are uncertain and insecure,
that you would show your favor, protect your people,
and strengthen those in need.
We pray for those who seek your face,
who have not yet found what they long for,
that you would reveal yourself again.
We pray for those who face death or despair,
that your faithfulness would be known even in the dust.
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on us.
In Christ’s resurrection
you have turned our wailing into dancing;
you have taken off our mourning clothes and dressed us with joy.
Therefore we trust, and our hearts sing unceasingly,
O Lord our God, in the name of the risen Christ,
who taught us to pray as we say:

The Lord’s Prayer

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

communion: feasting on the word

The Lord be with you!
And also with you!
Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give both thanks and praise!

all sing verse 1:
Come, thou Fount of every blessing; tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your grace overflows in your world,
creating and redeeming and sustaining all things.
Your streams of mercy flow from your glory
bringing living water into every place,
nourishing creation, making it bear fruit that will last,
filling our cup until it runs over, spilling out abundant life.
We give you thanks for your generous providing,
and for your call to be your people.
We have wandered in the desert, we have turned our backs,
we have followed the path, we have walked on ahead,
and still your Spirit calls us, tugging us back to your way,
shining your light and singing your grace
so we might follow in faith.

all sing verse 2:
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

It is with gratitude, praise, and hearts lifted high that we come to your table,
calling to mind your Son who walked among us,
who ate with sinners and tax collectors and women
the same as he ate with Pharisees and disciples and neighbors.
As he reached out to touch the sick, may we reach out with healing hands.
As he went to the bad neighborhoods and visited the homes of the poor,
may we go out to where your people long for good news.
As he spread health and holiness with every step, every word, every breath,
may we live as if grace is contagious,
sharing your love with people near and far,
those we meet and those we would rather avoid.

As we meet at the feast of your family, O God,
we carry with us those who hunger and thirst,
who cannot imagine the abundance of this table,
who feel excluded or forgotten,
who live with fear and violence,
who wait for justice, who long for peace,
who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
While we celebrate this day, some in your family see no cause for celebration.
While we have feasted on your word,
some still see reading as an impossible luxury.
While we have learned and spoken and prayed together,
some have been silenced and held aside.
When we break bread together, break our hearts too,
and then by your Spirit bind us together with all your people
to seek your purpose and work your will.
Give us a glimpse of your kingdom, where the whole human family eats together,
and strengthen us with the courage to build your kingdom here on earth.

all sing verse 3:
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

We offer our hearts and lives to you, O God,
praying that you would use grain and grape
to write your covenant of love within us.
until grace overflows.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, host at this and every table, who taught us to pray together… the Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

CTW: do you want to be healed?

Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but there’s too many problems just seems so hopeless
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but I don’t want to do the work
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but someone always seems to be blocking my way
Let us worship the one who makes the path straight, the mountains low, and the valleys high.

Submitted by Rev. Shannon Meacham, Ashland Presbyterian Church, Cockeysville MD

Opening words for Easter 2

Call to Worship

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week,

Jesus came and stood among the disciples and said: Peace be with you!

The Risen Christ is with us now, offering us the gift of peace.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

                We too have seen the Lord. Let us rejoice and give thanks!

Let us worship God!

 

Opening Prayer

Living God,

When our Risen Lord appeared to his disciples,

he greeted them in peace

and breathed the Holy Spirit upon them.

Breathe your Spirit upon us

                as we gather to welcome Christ

                with glad hearts and joyful voices.

Meet us here, we pray;

open our ears to hear you speaking

and our hearts to respond with joy.

Fashion us into an Easter people,

and send us out

to proclaim what we have seen and heard:

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Sudie Niesen Thompson, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, DE

communion prayer: great and mighty shepherd

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

 

It is right and good to give you thanks and praise, Eternal Shepherd,
for walk you with us each and every day,
through green pastures,
beside still waters,
along the summits of our rejoicing
and in the valleys of our uncertainty.
Your presence has sustained us from generation to generation,
in the wisdom of our mothers and fathers,
in the challenges of your prophets,
and most of all in our risen Lord Jesus Christ,
the great and mighty shepherd of all.
So we raise our voices with all our companions on this journey,
giving you thanks and praise now and always:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

Great God of power and might,
you are holy and yet you are present with us.
In Christ you came among us to be our true divine companion,
to know our humanity and to make us whole.
In Christ you suffered even the pains of death,
but nothing could take away the fullness of your life.
In Christ you rose to new life,
breaking the bonds of death once and for all
so that all creation might live in the fullness of hope.
Remembering all that you have done and are doing and will do,
we take these gifts of bread and cup
to celebrate your presence with us in Christ and in one another,
that they might be our holy offering of praise and thanks
and that our lives might always proclaim your life shared with us in Christ.

Great is this mystery of our faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen! Christ will come again.

Gracious God,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon these gifts of bread and cup,
that the bread we break
and the cup we bless
may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ
that we may be one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place.
As this bread is Christ’s body for us,
send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

Guide us as we embody your love and joy
in all our lives and in your world.
Help us to walk with one another in mercy and peace,
in justice and joy,
each and every day,
that your abundant grace and faith might flow in us wherever we walk,
until we dwell secure in your love all our days.
Through Christ, with Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God and Good Shepherd,
now and forever. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, Queens, New York.

confession: we want to do what is right

All:       God, we want so badly to do what is right. In our zeal we forget to listen for your voice, forging ahead on our own way since we cannot imagine another. We close our eyes to your image shining in the faces of the wrong people. We close our ears to your word coming from those with whom we disagree. We close our hearts against those who are different. Instead we offer advice, or ultimatums, or patronizing help, when what you desire is relationship, compassion, and justice.

~silence~

One:     Forgive us, O God.

All:       Heal our hard-heartedness. Shift our thinking. Open our eyes. Turn us to follow your way. 

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

prayer of dedication: abundance

Lord Jesus, we receive abundance from your hand,
and we present a portion of that abundance for your worship.
Be present among us as we share with others,
that all your people may be provided for
and your blessing may be revealed to everyone.
We pray in your holy name. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Marion, Iowa

prayers of the people: lifting us up

We give you praise, O Lord, for lifting us up
from the waters of despair into the dawning of hope.
In Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over all life’s foes;
in his love, we have been healed.

Raise up those who dwell in the pit today,
who face illness or adversity,
those who long for health and success,
especially ______.
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Hear the voices of your faithful ones
who acknowledge your favor in their lives,
and receive our praises for your gifts to your people,
(especially _____).
Sustain those who rejoice today.
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Come especially to those who face death today,
and give your comfort to all who mourn.
You who raised Jesus Christ from the grave,
work your healing even in the midst of loss and grief.
(We pray especially for _____.)
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Open our eyes, transform our vision;
turn our mourning into dancing;
take off our mourning and clothe us again with joy,
that everything we do might become your praise,
now and forever.
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Hear us, Holy One, for we pray in the name of the risen Christ, as we say now together…

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Marion, Iowa

CTW: come in and go out

One:    God invites us to come in and go out and find pasture:

All:     to come into the kingdom, into abundant life, into the light;

to go out to serve, out to live our faith, out to be the Body of Christ.

One:    Christ calls us to hear his voice

All:     and so we come to listen and seek and follow.

One:    We stand at the threshold of God’s future,

All:     the Spirit stands at the door and knocks.

One:    Come, let us worship.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine

confession: obedience, courage, faith

One:    Loving God, you offer us your whole self, and ask us to trust and obey.
All:     We confess that sometimes it is hard to trust and hard to walk your path.
When we ignore your call and follow our own way instead, forgive us.
One:    Lord Jesus, you offer us not just healing, but wholeness.
All:     We confess that we’re often not interested in that inner work, only in just enough to continue on our way without facing those things that keep us from you.
When we allow fear to rule, rather than standing up with courage, forgive us.
One:    Holy Spirit, you bring new life into every place.
We confess that sometimes we like things just the way they are, and the newness is scary.
When we insist on seeing before believing, forgive us.
One:    Holy God, fill us again with your grace, your hope, your peace,
All:     and help us to be your faithful people in the world.

~silence~

One:    We pray in the name of the One who disrupts the world with love, Jesus the Christ.
All:     Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, The Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL.