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Easter

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March 27, 2005 – Easter Day

        Revised Common Lectionary Readings

        Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6

        Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

        Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43

        John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10

Easter Day

*Call to Worship

Rise up and live!

Life out of death is given to the world.

Thanks be to you, O Christ.

Christ is risen, alive in overflowing grace.

Thanks be to you, O Christ.

Christ is risen,

alive in the determined survival of good.

Thanks be to you, O Christ.

Death is overcome forever.

 

 

*Prayer of Invocation          

As we wait in awe this day,

we pray that the signs of the risen Christ

will be made real among us.

Be present with us in ways

that go deeply into our life, O God,

that we may find the passion of your life

within us and around us.

This we pray in faith because

we believe that you are indeed alive.

Amen.

*Prayer of Confession       

Living God, even as we announce your rising,

we confess that hidden within our lives

lie questions that challenge our faith.

Doubts beset us

as we look at the world around us,

fears that we may be wrong in holding to faith

when your life among us seems so often

to be defeated.

 

Forgive our doubts, O God.

Spring forth in truth before us, we pray.

Then there are the times, O God,

when we choose to stay with our own deaths,

rather than accepting your gift of life to us.

We hold onto our old guilts.

We stay paralyzed before our fears.

We are stricken by events long past

that you call us to leave behind us.

Forgive our doubts, O God.

Spring forth in truth before us, we pray,

that we may share more fully your risen life. Amen.

*Words of Assurance       

On this day, the day of the risen life of God,

we affirm that God loves us

and will never bow to our deaths,

not even the deaths of guilt and shame.

We are forgiven.

The offer rings through the clouds of life

and into the sunshine of this moment.

Receive the life of Christ!

Thanks be to God.

*Prayer of Thanksgiving   

What words will ever be enough, O God?

What songs can we sing

to shout aloud our praise?

The universe springs up in joy

at the sound of your voice,

assuring the world that the winter of death

gives way to the summer warmth of life.

We thank you that we cannot destroy you.

We thank you that you give us this living

sign that the Christ will be among us forever.

Amen.

*Stewardship Thought

Easter Day is the celebration of the freedom to leave the past behind, no matter how wounding it may be, or how full of failure. It is the day when God enacts the foundation of our faith – that we are liberated from all this, that we are called to live as victims of no one, not even of ourselves and that there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from the life that God offers to us. It is not simply the risen life of God that we lift up today. It is what it says about our own lives. If we do not receive the gift of life that God gives to us in the risen Jesus, then that death and rising will be in vain. It is for us, not for God, that Jesus rose. How many of us live as though that is so? How many of us simply sit before the risen Christ and worship rather than getting up and following this Christ into the offered life before us?    

*Offertory Sentence                           

Let us bring our offerings in celebration

of Easter Day.

*Offertory Prayer                                

We give you all that we have at this moment, O God.

What less can we offer

in the face of your abundant life for us!

Receive all that we bring in faith, loving Jesus.

Amen.

*Prayer of Intercession      

On this day when we celebrate your risen life, O Christ,

we think of all the places and people

who rarely share in that joy

because their own lives are bowed down

with the weight of war, of want,

and the domination of oppressive powers.

We remember them before you now.

The people pray.

Lift up your risen life among them, we pray.

Rise in righteous indignation,

rise in courage and strength,

rise in justice that knows no end.

And then emerge as risen life in our lives,

O Christ,

for we are always part of the future

of others who suffer.

Silent reflection.

Show your life in our life, O God.

Rise as clear commitment

to those who struggle.

Rise as daring to face the truth about ourselves

and the society in which we live.

Rise as brave, standing

for peace and compassion,

and as faithfulness, never giving up on

ourselves and others.

Rise in an end to apathy and hopelessness

and in celebration of your vision

for a world we have not yet seen.

Be alive in us this day and every day,

Jesus Christ,

for we long to be

the people of the living God. Amen.

*Commissioning                                 

Let us go with a song in our hearts,

bringing to all we meet the melody of love

which has been given to us in the rising

of the Christ.

*Benediction                                       

And may the power of life in Christ

lift up the life of the world,

the power of love in the creator

swing wide above us like the blue of the sky

and the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit

raise our faith to the heights of hope. Amen.

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