Preparing a place

The Celebration of the Gospel

  May 14, 2017 —Fifth Sunday of Easter

In my Abba’s house there are many rooms.
I prepare a place for you,
and I will come again and will take you to myself,
so that where I am, there you may be also.

 — John 14.2-3

    _______We Gather as the Body of Christ_______

GREETING
PRELUDE   Fairest Lord Jesus   Crusader’s Hymn, arr: Mark Hayes

[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 your house there are many dwelling places—
room for for all your Beloved.
All:    We belong to you.
Christ, you prepare a place for us and come for us and take us into yourself.
We come to you.
We are in you, and you are in us, and we are in Christ.
We worship you. Alleluia!

* SONG     My Life Flows On   Black hymnal # 2212

(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME

____________We Attend to the Word__________

(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG     In Bright Mansions Above    Roland Carter

PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of love, you have called us out of darkness into your divine light.  You have chosen us.  You have done mighty acts in our lives.  We remember with gratitude.  We thank you.  We listen for you life-giving Word, that we might proclaim your good news in all we do.  Amen.

FIRST READING                                                                                                    1 Peter 2.4-10
[We are “living stones, built as a house for the Spirit.”  We are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, so that we might proclaim the mighty acts of God, who called us out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.” ]

Come to Christ, a living stone— rejected by mortals but chosen and precious in God’s sight. And you yourselves are living stones, being built into a house for Spirit.  You are called to become a holy priesthood,  offering spiritual sacrifices, to God’s delight, through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:
“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in it will not be put to shame.”
To you who trust in it the stone is precious;
but not for those who do not believe:
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very cornerstone,”
“A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey God’s word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of the One who called you out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not found mercy, but now you have found mercy.
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GOSPEL          John 14.1-11
[Jesus says there’s room for everybody in God’s house. Thomas asks Jesus the way to God and Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” We come to God “through” Jesus, that is, by participating in his life. Jesus says that we who follow him will do the same things he does. (“No one comes to the Father except through me” does not mean that no one can come to God except by being a Christian.  It means that we can’t know God without living lives of love.) ]

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Abba’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

“You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to Abba God except through me. If you know me, you will know Abba God also. From now on you do know God and have seen God.”

Philip said to him, “Rabbi, show us God, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen God. How can you say, ‘Show us God? Do you not believe that I am in God and God is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but God who dwells in me works through me. Believe me that I am in God and God is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.”
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SERMON

SONG   I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry   Black hymnal # 2051

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

THE WORD IN SONG       Friend

___________We Share at Christ’s Table_________

OFFERING OUR GIFTS   Vater Unser In Himmelreich   J. S. Bach

* COMMUNION SONG
We give you thanks, O loving God, Creator,
for in your house are many rooms to dwell.
Your Christ prepares a place for all your people,
where we belong, are made one, and made well.
Give us your life; make us your holy people,
to shine with light, and your good news to tell.

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to our God.
Let us give thanks to Yahweh our God.
It is good to give God thanks and praise.

In God’s house there are many rooms,
where Christ prepares a place for us.
God, we come to your table, grateful for our belonging.
In God’s house we have many roommates,
siblings who are also God’s beloved people.
We come as one.
Christ, you are the way, the truth, the life.
We come to feast on the truth, to follow the way, to embody the life.
You draw us to yourself, so that where you are, we may be.

[The  Blessing  and  Covenant…]

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.

* GLORIA    Glory Be to the Father    Blue hymnal #70

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 have made a place for us in your heart.   Give us your grace to make a place for others, that they may know their belonging and your love.  We pray through Jesus Christ, your Beloved and ours.  Amen.

______We Are Sent in Ministry to the World_____

THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

*  SONG    Bind Us Together   Black hymnal #2226

*  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    La Réjouissance    Georg Philipp Telemann, arr: Michael Rondeau

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

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