Easter 5B – April 28

Sunday, April 28, 2024 | Easter 5B
“Waiting for the Feast Lenten Series: Much Fruit”
John 15:1-8

Call to Worship
One: We delight ourselves in the presence of Christ and his love for all creation.
All: Let us open our hearts to receive Christ’s abundant love.
One: Christ calls us to see him as the vine and for us to become the branches.
All: Let us seek to produce much fruit in God’s Garden where all are welcome.
One: Come, let us worship the Master Gardener, Creator of all that was, is and forever will be.
All: Amen and Asè (pronounced “ah-shay” and is Swahili for Amen).

Living God, we embrace your presence in our lives. Help us to grow stronger together in your garden of love. Plant us together in your peace. Root us together in your hope. Transform us together by your equal justice for all. In your loving presence, we pray. Amen.

Prayer for Transformation and New Life
Creating God, we are grateful for the hope that you offer to us and all creation. Prune us so that we may have a cleansed heart. Help us to grow your garden of love. Water our despair so it can be transformed into your hope. Feed our minds so that all may glean from your wisdom. Nurture our spirits so that we can become more fruitful in our lives. Give us new life, we pray. Amen.

Words of Grace
Merciful God, your love for us grows deep and wide. We ask for your forgiveness in those times when we fail to follow your example; when we choose greed over advocating for human rights; and when we choose silence over speaking truth to power. Create in us your power to change our hearts and minds from earthly scarcity to your divine abundance. Renew in us the courage to get into “good trouble” even when the arc of peace and justice is long. Strengthen us to be branches so that all might know of your garden of forgiveness and love. In your mercy, we pray. Amen.

Invitation to Generosity
One: Cultivating God, in your generosity, we receive new blessings with each passing day.
All: Great is your faithfulness, O God.
One: You offer us light from the sun, moon, and stars to guide, nurture, and lovingly shine upon all creation.
All: Great is your faithfulness, O God.
One: Your loving generosity is more than we could ever hope for and beyond imagination.
All: Great is your faithful abundance, O God.
One: Let us give our offerings with a heart of gratitude for God’s Garden of blessings and love.

Prayer of Thanksgiving and Dedication
Compassionate God may these gifts be blessed by your light that cultivates love for all creation. As our gardener, O God, sprinkle water on our dry branches of despair to bring us hope. Shine your light of peace on our weariness to bring us justice for all. With Christ as our vine, save us from all that seek to bring us harm. May these fruitful gifts be a blessing in your garden of love. Amen.

Great is your faithfulness, O God, our strength and our Redeemer. Without you, nothing would be possible. Without you, there would be no light in the darkness. But, in Christ, we see that all things are possible. In Christ, we are the branches on his vine living according to your divine purpose. Creating God, help us to see your faithfulness as we leave this place of worship. Let us grow in your mercy. Strengthen us as we seek to produce much fruit for the harvest of your love here on earth as it is in heaven. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Hymn Suggestions
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
The Jesus in Me, Loves the Jesus in You
Standing on the Promises

Much Fruit: Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday of Easter was written by The Rev. Dr. Sheila Harvey, Pastor of Union Congregational United Church of Christ.