The Celebration of the Gospel
April 8, 2018 —Second Sunday of Easter
“Unless I see the marks of the nails,
I will not believe.”
________We Gather as the Body of Christ______
PRELUDE Rejoice, My Soul, With Gladness Sigfrid Karg-Elert
[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: Christ is risen!
All: Christ is risen indeed!
The Crucified One has been raised from the dead.
The victim of our cruelty and injustice has been given eternal life.
Life has conquered death! Justice has triumphed over oppression!
Forgiveness has wiped away sin! Love has overcome evil!
Alleluia! We thank you, God, with hearts, like graves, newly opened.
Alleluia! We worship you, God, with lives made new. Alleluia!
* SONG Christ Is Risen Black hymnal # 2115
___________ We Attend to the Word___________
(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIM
(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG Trust and Obey Lloyd Larson
God of love, we come to you thankful for the miracle of Christ’s resurrection, and yet confessing our doubt and self-protection, and the harm that we do in our fear. Heal the wounds of our fear, set us free from the armor of our fear, and redeem us from the habits of fear. Speak your Word to us. We reach out for your hand. Come to us, in the risen Christ. We are open. Amen.
FIRST READING Acts 4.32-35
[The life of the early church in the decades after Jesus’ death. They held possessions in common and sold them to give to those who were needy.]
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
* PSALTER Psalm 63.1-8
[The Psalm expresses our hunger for God.]
O God, you are my God,
I seek you, my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
SECOND READING 1 John 1.1-4
[Our faith is grounded in what we have actually seen and heard—particularly in Jesus.]
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. This life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with God and was revealed to us. We declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with God and with the Only Begotten Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that your joy may be complete.
GOSPEL John 20.19-29
[Jesus appears to the disciples, in the flesh, after his death, and breathes on them, giving them his spirit, like God breathing into the dust of the earth to bring Adam to life. We see Thomas’ need, and experience, of the flesh of Jesus.]
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 people. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As God has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin ), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 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.” 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.” 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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
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.”
SONG Let me Feel Your Wounds – Steve G-H
Risen Christ, let me feel your wounds in the heart of the Lord whom I have crucified.
May I feel your forgiving and begin brand new living. May I know your rising there.
Risen Christ, let me feel your wounds in the hands of the lonely and despairing ones.
May I love with your caring. May I hope with your daring. May I know your rising there.
Risen Christ, let me feel your wounds in the feet of the poor and homeless wandering. May I weep with their weeping. May I give without keeping. May I know your rising there.
Risen Christ, let me feel your wounds in the marks of our violence upon the world. May I bless and heal. May your peace be my seal. May I know your rising there.
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
__________We Share at Christ’s Table __________
OFFERING OUR GIFTS O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing – Carl Glazer, arr: Teresa Wilhelmi
* COMMUNION SONG
God, we bring our gifts, rejoicing in your love, your love so great!
For you call us to your table, all as one, to celebrate.
Though we turn away, you hold us. We who once were dead now live.
Blest, received, adored, forgiven, now in gratitude we give
We have hungered, we have longed to reach and touch you in the flesh.
Now you show yourself in glory, risen and made new and fresh.
Here we see and touch and taste you in the wine and in the bread:
in the loving, in the sharing you are risen from the dead.
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
Beloved, God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Faithful One, our God.
It is good to give God thanks and praise.
We delight to praise and thank you, God, and we share this meal in celebration.
For you create us in love and make Covenant to be our God.
You expose the crucifying nails we hold and hammers we wield,
and you judge the forces of oppression.
In love you overcome the power of evil,
and set us free, oppressor and oppressed alike.
In Christ you receive our evil and transform it by your grace;
you raise Christ from the dead, and you raise us with Christ, to new lives.
So we come to this feast, singing your praise with all Creation.
Holy, holy, holy Lord,. God of love and might,
heaven and earth shine with your glory. Praise be to you.
Blessed is the one who comes in your name and in your spirit.
Hosanna in the highest! Praise be to you.
Blessed are all who come in the power of your love, and blessed is Jesus, your Christ.
He taught and healed with love; he gathered the broken and the outcast.
He faced our violence with non-violence and our betrayal with forgiveness.
He bore the marks of our cruelty, and died at the hands of our injustice;
but you raised him from the dead. Your love in him prevailed over sin and death.
[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:
Christ has died and Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
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.
In the Spirit of Christ may we bear the marks of humble obedience,
suffer for the sake of love and justice,
and trust your power to raise us up in victory over all evil.
We pray in the name of the Crucified and Risen One,
Christ our victim, Christ our Savior, Christ our head.
Amen. Our hearts we give you. Praise be to you!
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass 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.
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. As Jesus suffered for the sin of the world, may we offer ourselves in his Spirit for the sake of love, freedom and justice. We trust your power to overcome evil and death, and to raise us up to new life, glorious life, infinite life. Alleluia!
______ 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 Jubilation Jason D. Payne
[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]