Witnesses to Hope
Service Prayers for the 7th Sunday of Easter
May 24, 2020
CALL TO WORSHIP (based on Ps 68, The Inclusive Bible translation)
We shout for joy
to God who rides upon the clouds!
We sing praises to our awe-inspiring God,
before whom the earth quakes,
and whose abundant blessings provide for all in need!
God is Sovereign over the earth,
Defender of the defenseless, and Parent to orphans;
God creates families for those who are alone.
God leads captives to freedom
and breaks the yoke of oppression.
God goes forth before the people,
marching through the wilderness of their lives,
bringing forth restoration and justice.
Sing praise to God,
Rider of the ancient skies,
who dwells in holiness.
Proclaim the power of God!
O God, how awesome you are in your sanctuary!
You give power and strength to your people.
Let us worship God!
God Most High, we gather to honor and glorify you.
Receive our invitation to dwell with us.
Enfold us in your presence and
fill us again with holy awe and mystery.
We are yours and we claim you as our God. Amen.
Blessed One, you created human beings
for your glory and pleasure.
Forgive us for being self-absorbed and
choosing to live solely for ourselves.
Forgive us for ignoring the prompting of your Spirit,
your purpose for our lives, and for placing our will above yours.
Grant us courage to share in Christ’s sufferings, to be his witnesses, and
to carry your loving compassion to a hurting world. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
As the Body of Christ,
we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be Christ’s witnesses.
Each of us has our own story of what Jesus’ life means for us.
Through our life-stories we can convey hope to the hopeless,
joy to the downtrodden, and peace where there is turmoil.
Therefore, let us “clothe ourselves in humility,”
sharing the Good News of Christ, that we “may all be one.”
In this God is well pleased.
CALL TO OFFERING
The author of the First Letter to Peter encourages us
to humble ourselves before God
so that we may be exalted by God on “the appointed day.”
Let us share in today’s offering with humble spirits and generous hearts.
Ever-present and loving God,
your Word tells us to cast our cares on you because you care for us.
In faith and trust we present these gifts, and ourselves, to you.
Bless and multiply them to meet the needs,
both hidden and apparent, of your beloved ones.
Inspire each of us to live as Christ’s witnesses,
today and ever more.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
Continue to be faithful, remain committed, be witnesses for Christ.
For the God of all grace has called you to eternal glory
through Jesus Christ,
and will fulfill, restore, strengthen, and establish you
through suffering and struggle.
Go forth from this place, empowered by Christ’s love,
with Christ’s name on your lips,
the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit in your mind,
God’s love in your hearts,
God’s beloved ones always in your sight, and
God’s still speaking voice in your ear. Amen.
Witnesses to Hope: Service Prayers for the 7th Sunday of Easter was written by the Rev. Renee C. Jackson, Minister for Ministerial Formation, MESA (Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization) Team, UCC.
Copyright 2020 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith Formation 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.