Please contact Rev. Tim at email@example.com or 226-218-3322
Music Director: Simone Caruso
April 18 – 3rd Sunday of Easter
April 18, 2021 – 3rd Sunday of Easter
Words of Welcome
Lighting of the Christ Candle
Call to Worship
Sing praises to our Lord, who heals us and makes us whole. Sing praises to our Lord, faithful children of God, whose joy rises in our lives each and every day. Sing praises to our Lord, faithful children of God; give thanks to God’s holy name, God’s Kingdom is near to us; God’s peace resides in our hearts.
O Living God of past and future, we praise you for this present moment. Fill us with your joy and empower us with your Holy Spirit, that our strength may be renewed to sing a new song of your glory in a world which longs for your justice and peace. All this we ask in the name of Jesus, in whom we become your new creation. Amen.
Hymn: #560 – “O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee”
1st Scripture: Acts 9:1-20 (NRSV)
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’ The men who were travelling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He answered, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’ So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’
A paraphrase of Psalm 148:1-14 (Jim Taylor)
Jubilation, exaltation, celebration, one and all! Within the womb of the heavens, the orb of earth leaps to praise its Creator. As the pearl necklace of the planets swings around the glittering sun,
as the shining oceans embrace the continents, so do all living things praise the giver of life. For God expressed a thought, and the thought took life. God struggled to communicate, and the Word of God became flesh and lived among us. In that Word was holiness, the spirit that makes every life more than the sum of its chemicals. From the tiniest plankton in the sea to the great whales, from the ants that burrow in the dust to the eagle that soars in the heavens, all owe their existence to God. Fire and hail, snow and frost, sun and drought, wind and rain, in God, all things work together for good. The mighty mountains compost into rich soil; fruit trees and cedars aerate the atmosphere. The dung beetle depends on the wastes of cattle; birds and currents carry seeds to plant new orchards. No one is cut off from the energy of God, neither presidents throned in offices nor derelicts huddled under bridges. For in God there is neither male nor female, old nor young, black nor white. All have been equally created by God; their lives all witness to God’s grace. With profligate generosity, God scatters new life among weeds and thistles. And all of creation responds with rejoicing.
Hymn: #563 – “Jesus, You Have Come To The Lakeshore”
2nd Scripture: John 21:1-19 (NRSV)
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’
Sermon: “So It Was You All Along”
Hymn: #567 – “Will You Come And Follow Me”
Prayer of Joys and Concerns and Lord’s Prayer
You break in, O God, on the road. You break in, O God, exactly the way we do not believe.
You break in, O God, and change everything. Why are your stories never mundane. Why can you not just leave us alone and go and transform somewhere else that is not as certain and sure of you? You just disrupt us and cause anxiety. We are not people of change. You break in, O God
with a call. You break in, O God with an invitation. You break in, O God with the truth. Why do you wait for us to respond and never give up? Why do you speak into our souls the truth of how we live? Why do you keep goading us, provoking us disturbing us with the truth? You break in, O God with a new realm. You break in, O God with a new world. You break in, O God
with your intent for the future. You always are a challenge to us and we dream of that realm of yours we speak of so often, but what disturbs us most is how you want to get there through us, your partners and companions, with space enough for everyone, even those who persecute you
by doing nothing. God, break in again and call us to be your workers. God, break in again and use the gifts we are to build your realm. God, break in again and change our world once more.
Just as you change everything with Christ in our world and who taught to pray together: 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 trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Hymn: #589 – “Lord, Speak To Me”
Commissioning and Benediction
As we go out into the world seeking justice, may the words sung and spoken today fill our hearts with new life. As we go out into the world seeking love, may we find the love that passes all understanding. May God, who comes to us in the things of this world, bless your eyes and be in your seeing. May Christ, who looks upon you with deepest love, bless your eyes and widen your gaze. May the Spirit, who perceives what is and what may yet be, bless your eyes and sharpen your vision. May the Sacred Three bless your eyes and cause you to see.
Choral Closing: #958 – “Halle, Halle, Halle (repeat twice)
Halle, halle, hal-le-lu-jah!
Halle, halle, hal-le-lu-jah!
Halle, halle, hal-le-lu-jah!