The Celebration of the Gospel

April 30, 2017 —Third Sunday of Easter

“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he was talking to us on the road,
while he was opening the scriptures to us?”
 — Luke 24.32

           ________Christ Walks Alongside Us______

GREETING
PRELUDE    Sinfonia In B Flat    G. F. Handel

[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.
]

* CALL TO WORSHIP    Luke 24.13-15
Leader:  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.
+

Christ is Risen!
All:    Christ is risen indeed.
Christ walks among us.
Alleluia!  We give thanks, and worship in awe and wonder, in gratitude and joy.  Alleluia!

* SONG    Christ Has Risen   Black hymnal # 2115

(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME

       _______Christ Opens the Scriptures to Us______

(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG    Worthy Is The Lamb   Pepper Choplin

PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God, on all our journeys,
paths of joy and sadness,
ways of knowing and not knowing,
you walk with us,
and open to us the truth.
Open our eyes to see you.
Open the ears of our hearts to hear you,
singing to us your love.  Amen.

NEW TESTAMENT       1 Peter 1.17-23
[Though the culture trains us in unfruitful ways of living we have been set free from them by the loving self-giving (the “blood”) of Christ.  We are “born anew,” and in this new life we trust God and love one another with God’s love.]

You pray to God, believing God judges all people impartially according to their actions.  So live in reverent fear during your life in this strange world. You have been set free from the futile ways you learned from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a perfect, innocent  lamb.  Christ embodied this divine love for us since the foundation of the world, but now has been revealed for your sake. Through Christ you have come to trust in God, who raised Christ from the dead into glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

Now you have devoted yourselves to the truth, preparing your souls for genuine mutual love.  So love one another deeply from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
+

GOSPEL       Luke 24.16-27

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 glory?”  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
+

SERMON

SONG    On the Day of Resurrection   Blue hymnal # 309

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

__________Christ Breaks Bread with Us ________

OFFERING OUR GIFTS    Luke 24.28-32
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 he 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?”
+

* COMMUNION SONG   Stay with Us   Black hymnal #2199

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
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 good to give God thanks and praise.

God, we give thanks, for in all our journeys
you walk with us.
On paths of joy and of sorrow, when we believe and when we do not believe,
you walk with us.
Though we do not recognize you, though we do not trust your presence,
you walk with us.
You share our journeys; you stay close to us.
You open our hearts, and they burn within us, for it is you—
you walk with us.
So we praise you and thank you.

[sung]
Holy, holy, holy Presence, God of mercy, God of grace.
All Creation shines in glory: you are in each time and place.
Blessed is the one who comes, God, in your name, the name of love.
Sing hosanna in the highest! Sing all earth, and skies above!

Blessed are all who come in your name, and blessed is Jesus, your Christ,
who taught and healed, who gathered the Beloved Community,
who bears your love to us, so that we open our arms to him:
Stay with us.
Jesus was crucified, but you raised him from the dead,
so that still we might reach out to him:
Stay with us.
He is known to us in the breaking of the bread,
so that even now in this meal,
You stay with us.

[The  Blessing  and  Covenant…]

Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
As often as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection until he comes again.
Remembering these, your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a living and holy sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

[sung]
        Christ has died and Christ is risen. Christ will come again in love.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us,
that we may be for the world the Body of Christ.

As Christ is made known to us in the breaking of Bread,
make your love known to the world in our lives.
Take us from our secret places; bless us with your grace;
break us open in grateful trust; and give us to the world in love.
Make your love known to the world in our lives,
to your eternal glory and praise.

                [sung]
        Alleluia.  Amen.  Amen.  Amen.

THE PRAYER OF JESUS
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and forever.  Amen.

SHARING THE HOLY MEAL          [Everyone is welcome at the table of Christ’s self-giving love.
The bread is wheat-, soy- and dairy free.  We dip the bread in the juice.
]

PRAYER OF BLESSING
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us.  You accompany us in every moment.  You feed us your grace.  You make yourself known to us in grateful sharing.  Send us into the world to make your presence known in our love, in the name and the Spirit of Christ.  Amen.

______We Are Sent to Tell the Good News_____

THE GOOD NEWS      Luke 24.33-35
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.
+

THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

*  SONG    Christ Is Alive   Blue hymnal #318

*  THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH
RESPONSE    We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.
POSTLUDE  Holy, Holy, Holy   Tune: NICEA, arr: Humphrey Turner

[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]