Sixth Sunday of Easter C, May 1, 2016

Acts 16:9-15
Psalm 67:1-7
Revelation 21:10, 21:22-22:5
John 14:23-29 John 5:1-9

CALL TO WORSHIP
One: God is calling us into new and sometimes uncomfortable places.
All: Once there, we find hospitality and friends. 
One: Christ has brought the love of the Father and given us his peace.
All: The Holy Spirit is giving us the strength to go forth and do our work. 
One: The Son has laid out our tasks and given us legs to walk again.
All: May we drink from the waters of your river of life today. Let us worship our Lord. 

OPENING PRAYER
Oh Holy One, we are seeing you lift up your people and give them the courage and strength needed to work with you. Give us the longing in our hearts to want to join them in doing your will. We know that with the Holy Spirit and your peace, great things can be done. Amen.

CALL TO CONFESSION
Let us now come before our God confessing when we have ignored the living waters and walked away from the tree of life. Let us confess our sins.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Gracious God, we forget that in you we have our life and being. We ignore that you also created our brothers and sisters, who seem so different from us. We say that we love you but do not keep your word. We rush by those in need with not even a thought that they could be our friends. Lord, forgive us, and help us focus back on you. And in focusing on you, help us heal the world around that we have been neglecting. Help us learn to walk your way. Amen.  

DECLARATION OF PARDON
Dear ones, the Holy Spirit is with you, surrounding you, strengthening you, and pushing you on. You are always being offered new life. Today I declare to you that, in the name of Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. Live into the fullness of life that comes with that assurance.

CALL FOR THE OFFERING
Lydia, the maker of complicated, purple cloth heard the good news and opened up her house and her life to give back. May we be as receptive to God’s will and as giving today. Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Gracious God, may these offerings before you be like the leaves of your tree of life and be for the healing of the nations and those in them. May we use them to love you and keep your word. Amen.

INVITATION TO THE TABLE
Lydia invited the disciples to her table, and Christ invites us here. This meal is what connects us to that river of living water and the tree of life that never lacks food for bellies or shade for peaceful rest. Come to this table, you who feel worthy and especially you who don’t. This is the Lord’s table. Come laugh with Lydia, dance with the formerly lame man and eat the fruit of the month with our Savior. Come.

______

And a side note, my grandmother Helen taught me to leave flowers at neighbors’ doors on May 1.  To all of my neighbors who visit here both near and far (I love seeing the different flags in my stats!!!), Happy May Day to you:

 

IMG_3909

Note: not my door (though close in age and color) and not my flowers (because I live in the tundra of Wisconsin), but the love is still there.

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