United Church of Christ

Easter 3 - April 26

From the Heart
Service Prayers for the Third Sunday of Easter
April 26, 2020 

Call to Worship (inspired by Acts 2: 14a, 36-24; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; Luke 24:13-35)

Leader:Travelers on the Way, what shall we do?
People: We shall praise God
who hears our prayers, 

who draws near to us, 
and brings new life out of death.

Dear Ones, how shall we live? 
With the confidence of God’s beloved children, 
with security and joy of God’s saving grace.

Friends old and new, what is the promise?
New life, forgiveness of sin, the Spirit as gift!

Beloved Siblings, how shall we praise? 
We lift our voices and our hearts in love, thanks, and praise!
We will praise the Lord as long as we live!

Invocation

Loving God, we welcome your living presence in our midst. 
Share our joy and our thanks for the life you give us. 
with us! Dance among us! Pray with us! 
Shower us with your love! Amen!

Prayer of Confession (Luke 24:13-35)

Heavenly Stranger, our Companion on the Way,
we yearn for your love and grace. We seek your wisdom and guidance. 
We relish the joy which burns within our hearts when you are with us. 
Yet, sometimes we would cling to you, 
hoard the blessings of relationship with you,
and not share your love with others. 
Forgive us, Dear One. 
Remind us that your love is to be carried throughout the world. 
Press us to share the hope and joy of your love, 
so that someone who hungers for spiritual food 
may be filled by our witness to your grace.
Shine the light of your Spirit through us, 
so that we may show your Way those who long for peace
and help to revive those in whom hope has died.                          Amen.

Words of Assurance

God may come to us, unrecognized, as a stranger. 
The Risen Christ reaches out to us in unexpected ways 
as we travel our own Emmaus roads. 
May the Word of our Stillspeaking God 
continue to burn in our hearts.

Invitation to the Offering (1 Peter 1:22-23)

The author of 1 Peter implores us to love one another deeply from the heart, 
and assures us that we have been born anew 
through the living and enduring word of God. 
In our giving today, let us give, not out of obligation, but from the heart. 
Let our gifts be seeds of the living and enduring word of God, 
that will sprout in abundance of justice and hope all that is necessary for life, 
for sisters and brothers here at hand, and around the world. 

Prayer of Dedication

Jesus, God has made you both Sovereign and Christ. 
Therefore we pray your blessing upon these gifts, upon us, 
and those whose lives will benefit from them. 
May your victory over death 
empower all whom you call to trust in God. 
In faith and hope we pray. Amen.

Benediction

Friends, rejoice in the mothering and fathering love of God!
Rejoice in the victorious life of our Risen Savior!
Rejoice in the power of the Spirit!
Go, living in the love of Christ!
Go, serving in the name of Christ!
Let your love of God embrace 
Your children
Your family
Your enemies
Those who are afar off
Those who are strangers met on the road
May your lives praise the Lord!

From the Heart: Service Prayers for the Third Sunday of Easter was written by the Rev. Renee C. Jackson,  Minister for Ministerial Formation, MESA Team, United Church of Christ

Copyright 2020 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

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