Life-giving God, as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we pray that we may be bound together in Christian love and that our faith and fellowship may be a witness through which your spirit will bring others into your church. We humbly thank you for your many blessings you have given us. We ask that we may learn how to truly be Easter people and always remember that we are celebrating resurrection day every day. We pray through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer of Confession:
God of empty tombs: Peter speaks with power and clarity of his faith, while we remain silent. The psalmist speaks of trusting in you, while our doubts overwhelm us. Jesus is ready to come and grace us with peace, but our fears keep our hearts shuttered and locked.
God of full hearts: your love can change us from scared people to children of grace. You can weed doubts from our hearts and plant seeds of joy in their place. You can silence the panic of our souls with the peace Jesus offers to each of us. Transform us into Easter people, through the power of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord and Savior.
Epistle Lesson: I John 3: 1-7 NRSV (source)
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
Gospel Lesson: Luke 24: 36b-48 NRSV (source)
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
- No. 122 – Thine Is the Glory
- No. 121 – That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright
- No. 108 – Christ Is Alive!
“It’s a Love Story” – Rev. Dr. Martha Jordan