The Celebration of the Gospel
May 21, 2017 —Sixth Sunday of Easter
I will ask God, who will send you another Advocate,
who will be with you forever.
— John 14.16
________We Gather as the Body of Christ______
PRELUDE Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown?
[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
Leader: God, in you we live and move and have our being.
All: We are your children, and we praise you.
You do not leave us orphaned, but Christ comes to us and dwells with us.
We are your Beloved, and we thank you.
You are in us, and we are in you, and your Spirit works through us.
We are your Body, and we worship you.
* SONG Sweet, Sweet Spirit Blue hymnal # 334
(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME.]
___________We Attend to the Word___________
THE WORD IN SONG
8:15: Be Still My Soul Sandra Eithun (Ringtones)
10:30: America the Beautiful arr. Arnold Sherman (Bells of St. Matthew’s)
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Loving God, you have created us to reach out to you.
So we reach out, in love and need.
Speak to us, so we may find you and know you. Amen.
FIRST READING Acts 17.22-31
[Paul mentions an altar he has seen in Athens, dedicated to “an unknown God.” But God can in fact be known, if we “search for God, and perhaps grope for God and find God.” After all, we are the very offspring of God, “in whom we live and move and have our being.” Faith is not superstition in some unknown heavenly force, but a seeking, loving relationship with God.]
Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “People of Athens, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ Now what you worship in ignorance, I will make known to you.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, the One who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, and is not served by human hands, as though God needed anything, since God is the One who gives to everyone the gift of life and breath— indeed, everything. From one ancestor God made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for God and find God. But, you see, God is not far from each one of us. For ‘In God we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are God’s offspring.’
“Since we are God’s children, it would be wrong to think of the Divine Nature as made of gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the work and thought of mortals. God has overlooked our ignorance about this in the past, but now God commands all people everywhere to change our way of thinking and living, because God has fixed a day on which God will have the world judged in righteousness by a human whom God has appointed, and God has given assurance of this to everyone by raising this judge from the dead.”
GOSPEL John 14.11-21
[Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit, an “Advocate” (the word refers to a defense attorney), and promises his presence: “I will not leave you orphaned.” “I am in God, and you in me, and I in you.” The risen Christ lives in us: “Because I live, you also will live.” Therefore we will live with the same love Jesus had.]
Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to God. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that God may be glorified in me. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the One who sent me, who will give you another Helper, an Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees her nor knows her. You know the Spirit, because she abides with you, and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in God, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me;
SONG You Are Mine Black hymnal # 2218
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
RESPONSE: This is my prayer. All: This is our prayer.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
__________We Share at Christ’s Table__________
OFFERING OUR GIFTS 8:15: Balm in Gilead arr. Sandra Eithun (Ringtones)
10:30: Tis So Sweet Wm. Kirkpatrick, arr: Tedd Smith
* COMMUNION SONG Come, Share the Lord Blue hymnal #2269
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING Black hymnal # 2257
Creator God, you are the love that breathes us into being.
We live in you, and your “Yes” lives in us.
You are in Christ, and Christ is in us, your Spirit flowing through us.
You create us; you set us free; you walk with us into new life.
So with all Creation we sing your praise.
[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.
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,
and do the work of Christ, to your eternal glory.
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. We have feasted on the Body of your love: you are in us, and we in you, one in Christ. Send us into the world to love, as the body, the healing hands of Christ. Amen.
_______We Are Sent in Ministry to the World____
THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD
* SONG Lord of the Dance Blue hymnal #261
* 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 Fanfare Dale G. Rider
[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]