April 26, 2020 — Third Sunday of Easter

 

PRELUDE                                                            Earth and All Stars!                                          arr. TOM TRENNEY

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

As the sun set over the village of Emmaus, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to his friends.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
Today we gather around table, font, and pulpit — hoping, trusting to behold the risen Lord.
May our eyes be open to recognize Jesus in our midst. 

 

HYMN NO. 19                                            God of Great and God of Small                     GOD OF GREAT AND SMALL

1 God of great and God of small,
God of one and God of all,
God of weak and God of strong,
God to whom all things belong,
alleluia, alleluia,
praise be to your name.

 

2 God of land and sky and sea,
God of life and destiny,
God of never-ending power,
yet beside me every hour,
alleluia, alleluia, 
praise be to your name.

 

3 God of silence, God of sound, 
God by whom the lost are found,
God of day and darkest night,
God whose love turns wrong to right,
alleluia, alleluia, 
praise be to your name.

 

4 God of heaven and God of earth,
God of death and God of birth,
God of now and days before,
God who reigns forevermore,
alleluia, alleluia,
praise be to your name. 

 

THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

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

"Take up your cross," the Savior said,
"if you would my disciple be;
forsake the past, and come this day,
and humbly follow after me."

 

Take up your cross; 
let not its weight pervade
the soul with vain alarm;
his strength shall bear your spirit up,
sustain your heart, and nerve your arm.

 

Take up your cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let your foolish heart rebel; 
for you the Lord endured the cross
to save your soul from death and hell.

 

Take up your cross, and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down; 
for only those who bear the cross
may hope to wear a golden crown. 

 

 

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. 

 

SERMON

 

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

We offer our prayers through Christ,
who lives and reigns forever,
and prays for us in heaven.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for the church...
Teach us again how to love one another.
Let us be born anew this day
through your living and enduring Word. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for the earth...
Bring about your new creation —
eternal and imperishable — 
destined from the foundations of the world. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for all nations...
Save us from our own corruption;
speak your live-giving promise 
to all your children, near and far.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for this community...
Be present with us, in word and in action,
as we seek to follow Christ's way,
sharing the amazing joy of resurrection.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for loved ones...
Hear the voices of those who cry
for salvation, life, healing, and peace.
Surround them with your goodness and grace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

God of all power and glory, receive these prayers,
and continue your mighty work among us,
through Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Amen. 

 

 

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

 

OFFERING 

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

1 God of the sparrow
God of the whale
God of the swirling stars
How does the creature say Awe
How does the creature say Praise

 

2 God of the earthquake
God of the storm
God of the trumpet blast
How does the creature cry Woe
How does the creature cry Save

 

3 God of the rainbow
God of the cross
God of the empty grave
How does the creature say Grace
How does the creature say Thanks

 

4 God of the hungry
God of the sick
God of the prodigal
How does the creature say Care
How does the creature say Life

 

5 God of the neighbor
God of the foe
God of the pruning hook
How does the creature say Love
How does the creature say Peace

 

6 God of the ages
God near at hand
God of the loving heart
How do your children say Joy
How do your children say Home

                                       

 

BLESSING AND CHARGE

May the love of the holy triune God —
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit —
abide with you forever. Alleluia! 

1 John 4:13–16

 

Now go forth in Jesus' name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another, just as he has loved us. Amen. 

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:

Joel Chupp
Gracie DeLollis
Juli Douglass-Gillespie 
Josie Drushal
Ken Shafer
Rev. Chris Stewart 
Katelyn Tackett
Barbara Tartir
Pong Thiemmedh 

 

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