April 26, 2020 â€” Third Sunday of Easter
PRELUDE Earth and All Stars! arr. TOM TRENNEY
CALL TO WORSHIP
HYMN NO. 19 God of Great and God of Small GOD OF GREAT AND SMALL
THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM
O Lord our God, we give you thanks for the new life you raise up in us through the mystery of our baptism — the sorrow of the heavy cross, the surprise of the empty tomb, the power that death could not destroy. By the power of. your Holy Spirit, poured out upon us in baptism, fill us with the joy of resurrection, so that we may be a living sign of your new heaven and new earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE OF GOD'S GRACE
CALL TO CONFESSION
This we know: Jesus, who was crucified, is both Messiah and Lord. In this season of Easter, let us turn from ways laden with death and live as people of resurrection.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Living Lord, by the power of your Spirit, you are present among us. Yet, like the first disciples, we fail to see you in our midst. We do not realize you are walking beside us, for we are rushing to meet the demands of hectic schedules and overcrowded lives. We do not notice you in everyday encounters, for we are distracted by daily labors and consumed by our own concerns. We do not recognize you on our streets or at our tables, for our expectations are too limited to imagine all the ways you dwell among us. Open our eyes to perceive you in our midst, so that — seeing you clearly — we might follow you faithfully.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
In these waters, our sins are forgiven; in these waters, the Spirit claims us for good. This promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away — everyone whom the Lord our God calls. Family of God, rejoice! For, in these waters, we are raised to new life! Thanks be to God.
HYMN NO. 20 All Things Bright and Beautiful ROYAL OAK
ANTHEM Take Up Your Cross arr. ANTHONY GIAMANCO
SCRIPTURE Acts 2:14a, 36–41; 1 Peter 1:17–23; Luke 24:13–35
Acts 2:14a, 36–41 (NRSV)
Peter Addresses the Crowd
14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say."
36Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
The First Converts
37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" 38Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him." 40And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.
1 Peter 1:17–23 (NRSV)
17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.
22Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
Luke 24:13–35 (The Message (MSG))
The Road to Emmaus
13–16That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.
17–18He asked, "What's this you're discussing so intently as you walk along?" They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, "Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn't heard what's happened during the last few days?"
19–24He said, "What has happened?" They said, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were eat the tomb and couldn't find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn't see Jesus."
25–27Then he said to them, "So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can't you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don't you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?" Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.
28–31They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: he sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.
32Back and forth they talked. "Didn't we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?"
A Ghost Doesn't Have Muscle and Bone
33–34They didn't waste a minute. They were up and on their way back to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and their friends gathered together, talking away: "It's really happened! The Master has been raised up — Simon saw him!"
35Then the two went over everything that happened on the road and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
Life in Christ is life eternal. The resurrection of Jesus is the sign that God will consummate the work of creation and reconciliation beyond death and bring to fulfillment the new life begun in Christ. Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.26.
MINUTE FOR MISSION
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
INVITATION TO OFFERING
How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need? Remembering God's great love for the world, let us offer our lives to the Lord. 1 John 3:16–17
Your finance committee encourages you to continue your stewardship support by mailing contributions to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 353 E. Pine St, Wooster, OH 44691, Attn: Financial Secretary.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Great God, to you we give our thanks; your steadfast love endures forever. With gratitude we bring our gifts to you. Bless us and our gifts, that our lives and our resources may be a source of healing and hope, of joy and justice in our world. Amen.
HYMN NO. 22 God of the Sparrow ROEDER
BLESSING AND CHARGE
1 John 4:13–16
1 John 3:23
POSTLUDE Variations on Lasst Uns Erfreuen DIANE BISH
Thank you to those who participated in the creation of this worship service: