April 11, 2021 Liturgy

Preparation for Worship

Songs: Ask yourself and the people who will be worshipping with you (kids included), “What are some of the songs we sing about peace and unity?” Play them on Spotify, sing them acapella, or create your own instrumental arrangement.

Bible: You will need a Bible to read from the scriptures.  You can use this doc or your phone as well…but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.

This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts:

Acts 4:32-35, Psalm 133, 1 John 1:1-2:2, John 20:19-31

You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering.  It would be great for every person to have a part.

Gathering

Call to Worship

Leader: Though we may be inclined to brag, let us come together with humility.

All: How good a thing it is when all of God’s people live together in unity.

Leader: Though we may be tempted to use harsh words, let us come together with gentleness.

All: How good a thing it is when all of God’s people live together in unity.

Leader: Though we may want everything to happen quickly, let us come together with patience.

All: How good a thing it is when all of God’s people live together in unity.

Leader: Though the world around often encourages division, let us come together in love.

All: How good a thing it is when all of God’s people live together in unity.

Leader: In humility, gentleness, patience, love, and unity,

All: Let us worship the God who has called us together.1

Song of Praise

Sing one song that focuses on God’s love and God’s call.

Some suggestions:

It is Well 

Still, My Soul, Be Still

Bless the Lord 

My Life is in Your Hands

He’s Alive He’s Alive (for kids) 

I’ve Got Peace Like a River (for kids) 

For other song ideas click here.

New Testament Reading

It says in 1 John chapter 1, We announce to you what existed from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have seen and our hands handled, about the word of life. 2 The life was revealed, and we have seen, and we testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. 3 What we have seen and heard, we also announce it to you so that you can have fellowship with us. Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy can be complete.

5 This is the message that we have heard from him and announce to you: “God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.” 6 If we claim, “We have fellowship with him,” and live in the darkness, we are lying and do not act truthfully. 7 But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we claim, “We don’t have any sin,” we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. 10 If we claim, “We have never sinned,” we make him a liar and his word is not in us. My little children, I’m writing these things to you so that you don’t sin. But if you do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. 2 He is God’s way of dealing with our sins, not only ours but the sins of the whole world.

Prayer for Illumination

Living God,

You call us to be your light in the darkness,

your voice in the wilderness,

your hope for the hopeless.

You give us strength in our weakness,

peace and gentleness, words and boldness,

to proclaim your life, your love and your power in this world.

Give us eyes to see and ears to hear what you have to say to us today.

We pray in Christ’s name.

Amen.

Listening

(The time of listening is a series of reading the scripture, re-telling the story, and paying attention to where God is stirring your hearts as you listen.  Invite everyone to listen to the words of the scriptures and to be ready to re-tell the story.)

A reading from John 20 (NRSV).

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Re-Telling

Let’s remember together what was said in these readings.  What was said first?  What happened next? (go around the circle and tell the story to each other.  Try to remember as many details as possible.).

Paying Attention

What part of the scripture grabbed your attention? Why do you think that part stood out?

Let each person in the circle take a turn to wonder about something in this text…a word, a phrase, something that happened in the text, something that you’re thinking about…  Start out by saying “As we read these texts, it made me wonder…”

How do you think you would have responded to Jesus appearing to you?

How can we be praying this week? 

Responding

Prayers of the People

Living God,

We welcome you, into our lives.

We welcome your resurrection for it is

life-changing, life-giving and life-sustaining.

We welcome the hope that your resurrection brings to our world.

We welcome the joy it brings to our darkness.

We welcome the empty tomb for we know that it means that you are on the loose.

Lord, may your resurrection give life to those who feel lifeless,

those who are just going through the motions,

and those who have had endured great loss.  (pause for prayers)

Lord, may your resurrection give hope to those who are in despair,

who feel hopeless,

and who have given up all hope. (pause for prayers)

Lord, may you be on the loose in this world as the risen one!

May we be empowered to be the people you have called us to be.

And now we pray together the prayer you taught us to pray

saying,

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 sins, 

as we forgive those who sin against us. 

And lead us not into temptation, 

but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, 

and the power, and the glory, 

forever. Amen.

Sending

Benediction

Dear Friends,

Go with this blessing.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1 written by Joanna Harader, and posted on her Spacious Faith blog.

PDF for print version HERE. For permission to print and redistribute, comment below.

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