Fifth Sunday of Easter C, April 24, 2016

Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 148:1-14
Revelation 21:1-6
John 13:31-35

One: Praise the Lord, all the Earth. 
All: Praise the one who makes us clean and leads to life. 
One: Let all praise the the Lord whose name alone is exalted. 
All: Give thanks to the one who makes all things new. 
One: Today we come to worship the one who brought us a new commandment to love others. 
All: May we hear afresh what it means to live praising the one who first loved us. 

Gracious Lord, we can not fathom the love you have always had for us. We can not help but wonder whether we deserve it. But you decide what and who is clean and pure. Today may we learn to look around us with your loving and accepting eyes. May we understand what you have made clean and where you are calling us to love more. Amen. 

What is unclean and impure to us is still loved by God. Come before the one who brings us living water to wash us clean. Let us together confess our sins. 

Lord God, we do not deserve to be on the white sheet of things you declare to be clean. We have not followed your ways, judged others to be unclean and impure, and dismissed away those brothers and sisters you have put before us. We have not at all loved as you first loved us. Forgive us, we pray. Help us understand your ways and rejoin creation’s chorus singing your praises and doing your will. May we be your disciples once again. Amen. 

Dear ones, hear the good news: you know love, for you have always been loved by the purest, most selfless love of all. Know that even as you are still asking for forgiveness, you are being washed clean and declared forgiven. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, you are forgiven. Receive the repentance that leads to life. 

There are many ways to love, and now we do so with the gifts of our hands. Let us now bring forth our tithes and our offerings. 

Oh Lord, may the fruit of our hands we have brought forth today go towards furthering your path for us and bring life. Amen. 

This is not my table or this church’s table, but this is the Lord’s table. You are invited here by the one who loves you, pushes you, and will never leave or give up on you. Come to this table of the one who sees past our limitations. Come and be nourished and made whole. 

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