The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, April 28, 2019 - Second Sunday of Easter
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
Call to Worship
God’s strong and loving hands are outstretched to all Creation.
Let the world stretch forth and grasp God’s hands with joy.
God’s open hands are as the gate of righteousness.
Let us enter in to God’s abundant life and give thanks.
In God’s hands are new life, strength, and salvation.
Let us be thankful and sing unto our God with gladness.
Prayer of Invocation
O Risen Christ, be with us this day. We recognize your wounded hands; they tell us that you know what it is to struggle and suffer, and to prevail in the power of love. We grasp those hands, that they may lead us together into a deeper place of peace. Our week has left worries, answerless questions, blatant injustices, and unexpected disappointments. We are weary. Come, O Risen Christ and receive our burdens as we empty our cares into your loving hands. Extend to us your joy. Give us imagination enough to pursue your abundant life! Pour into us the freshness of your new life; for you are our strength and our might. How wonderful you are for your loving-kindness toward us.
The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
In the time that has passed since Easter Sunday, have we become a changed people? Have we lived with hope and promise, trusting in the Risen Christ? Or have we been more like the earliest disciples, still gathered behind locked doors out of fear? Trusting in a second-chance God who meets us as dedicated yet doubting followers, let us confess our sins in the presence of Christ and one another.
Most gracious God, the Earth is yours with all of its fullness. Your Creation is beautiful and complex in ways beyond our imagination. If we follow its magnificent design, it leads us to You.
Yet we have been so distracted following wrong directions of the contaminated hands of the world—hands that have cut off, torn down, burned up, dug under, held back, built around, and moved out the gifts of the Earth, created for blessing.
We have lost our way and your Creation groans for us to turn back to You. We have been too complacent as we have witnessed the covetous few control too much at the expense of the desperate hungry multitudes.
Forgive us for not exercising the strength of our hands for the good of your Creation. Give pardon for allowing our hands—gifted by You—to rest idling by our sides. We seek the guidance of your hands to point us to your brightest light, salvation, and new life for your suffering Earth. Through your Son, Jesus Christ, the Way. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Risen Jesus, You are our salvation. Your forgiveness causes us to rejoice in your glory. Your nail-scarred touch has endowed within us fullness of grace. We lift our hands in thanksgiving, strong as the upraised branches of your majestic trees. Praise You for the power of your mighty hands upon us, for they reach into the depths of our hearts. You are marvelous!
The Lord's Prayer
"How We Worship" - New Hope Oahu Music
Featuring Jana Anguay Alcain & New Hope Halau
5:27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God, I will extol you.
29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Praise for God’s Surpassing Greatness
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Improv on Psalm 150
Praise God on every platform!
Praise God with the teen’s newest app
and the grandmother’s desktop monitor!
Praise God in the Cloud!
Praise God whose search knows
anyone who is running away from life.
Praise God whose browser
retrieves every doubter’s prayer.
Praise God with the trumpet of social media!
Praise God with LinkedIn and Foursquare,
for we are connected and found.
Praise God with creativity on Tumblr
toddler pictures on Facebook,
selfies on Instagram,
with the playlist of Pandora,
and thought-posts of Wordpress.
Praise God with Twitter’s tambourines,
eastering it away from those
who use it to crucify.
Praise God with GroupMe that gathers,
with Gofundme, Kickstarter, Patreon
that shift power,
and with Freedom giving hope
to those who have become addicted.
Praise God with arts on YouTube
from garage band garage or concert hall,
from church camp and refugee camp!
Praise God with flash-mobbing Vimeo
and the little church’s prayer chain.
Let everything that has code – Praise God.
Praise God. Send.
1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
20:19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Jesus and Thomas
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
The Purpose of This Book
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
Here ends the Lessons
Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
By the power of your Spirit, O God, imbue us with the power of the Risen Christ’s wounded hands. May that power make us one in You. May that unity cause us to love as mightily as You. May your love move us to use our hands as You do--to do works of care and justice for your beloved Earth and all its people—works that heal, free, plant, hug, write, show, speak, and grow. Give us grace and strength for abundant life! For this is the day that God as made, let us go forth, rejoice, and be glad in it!
Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
“... If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” ~ Jesus, John 20:23