United Church of Christ

Online Easter 2 - April 19

Rejoice in God!
Service Prayers for the Second Sunday of Easter
Prepared for an interactive, streamed service
April 19, 2020

Acts 2:14a, 22-32  •  Psalm 16  •  1 Peter 1:3-9  •  John 20:19-31
 

Leader should lead the people’s responses throughout

Call to Worship

Leader: Sing a new song!
People: Said out loud, but muted
A springtime shout-out to life!

Sing praise to our joyful Easter God
People: Said out loud, but muted
Whose power brings new life out of death!

Immerse doubt and despair in the fountain of new birth
People: Said out loud, but muted
Find refreshment and strength for a future of hope!

For God has taken ordinary things
People: Said out loud, but muted
And made them extraordinary:
All Said out loud, but muted
Sing a New Song!

 

Opening Prayer

Holy God,
Nothing is beyond your power to transform!
In a gray dawn, you coax songs of Alleluia!
From the tombs of despair we take refuge in
You call us to wake up and work.
We praise you for this amazing day!

People: Said out loud, but muted
Come, Risen Christ,
in newness and hope in this Easter Season. Amen.

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

  Redeeming God,
with you there is always more life, more hope, more joy.

When doubt assails us, and we fail to recognize you at work in our lives,
People: Said out loud, but muted
Lord, have mercy!

When fear impairs our faith, and our eyes and ears and hearts do not know you,
People: Said out loud, but muted
Christ, have mercy!

When anger and sorrow stop us from doing the risky work of love,
People: Said out loud, but muted
Lord, have mercy!

 

Words of Assurance

Within every kernel of doubt, there is a spark of life and hope.
In those times when our faith falters,
when we cannot recognize the presence of the Holy among us
God takes our faith and transforms it,
patiently showing us the many ways Christ walks among us.
Look around you:
as close as your own beating heart,
and in the eyes of your nearest neighbor,
grace abounds at the heart of all life.
You are all God’s children, loved without condition,
go in that peace. Amen.

Invitations to Ponder for an Interactive Sermon

If a congregation is gathered online via Zoom or Facebook Live, or other interactive setting, a pastor may wish to make some connection between the experience of the Twelve, gathered behind a locked door, in fear of their neighbors, and our own extraordinary situation this Spring, of “sheltering in place”. Into the Disciples’ isolation stepped the risen Jesus, through the barriers they had set up. 

Invite people to imagine what it was like in that locked room so long ago—they had come through the  trauma of the Cross, and the wonderment of the Empty Tomb.

Invite people to explore what they are experiencing this this time of isolation—concerns, fears, worries—

Invite people to imagine what it was for the early followers  to find the Risen Jesus in their midst, offering Spirit, peace, empowerment;

Invite people to explore what may be happening in their own settings:  how is Jesus present, what insights, challenges, questions are being raised; what empowerment may surprise them?

Prayers of the People

For the Prayers of the People, you might use a bidding prayer (“God, we pray today for those who are sick, including ….”) and encourage folk to type in their prayers using Zoom chat or Facebook Live; allow for more time in silence for those prayers to be typed and read. Consider a collective response at the end of each bidding prayer.

Call for Offering

Easter teaches us that generous love is at the heart of God’s work.
Joyfully we are able to give
knowing that our gifts will help others
to see the blessed miracle of God’s creative joy.
Even though we worship at a distance from each other, our church ministries continue in various new ways. 
We invite your support on that on-going ministry
[Invite congregants to give on what ever on-line platform you have set up]

Offertory Prayer

Loving God, can a  generous prayer be lifted up to you this Eastertide?
Can our gifts, given with love,<br/
be further transformed like echoes of grace, delighting all who receive their blessings?
May it be so, through the surprising  power of your Holy Spirit,
and may our lives speak of a loving God,
full of Easter surprises. Amen.

Benediction

Follow God’s lead into new life!
Recognize Jesus in hidden places,
in the solitude of these days,
in the unexpected connections we make with one another
and our world.
Easter!
Christ is Risen!
May you dance an alleluia dance,
and sing a resurrection song.
Laugh with God and let joy reside in your hearts always. Amen.

Rejoice in God was written by the Rev. Susan A. Blain, Minister for Worship and Gospel Arts, Faith INFO Ministry Team.

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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