Worship Resources

Presbyterian Church

Of

Muskogee

Third Sunday of Easter

4-18-21

 

Prelude

 

Praise & Worship Red Hymnal # 9 Glorify Thy Name

Father, we love you, we worship and adore you,

Glorify thy name in all the earth.

Glorify thy name, glorify thy name,

Glorify thy name in all the earth.

 

Jesus, we love you, we worship and adore you,

Glorify thy name in all the earth.

Glorify thy name, glorify thy name,

Glorify thy name in all the earth.

 

Spirit, we love you, we worship and adore you,

Glorify thy name in all the earth.

Glorify thy name, glorify thy name,

Glorify thy name in all the earth.

 

Greetings & Announcements

 

Thanksgiving for Baptism

One: In baptism God claims us, and seals us to show that we belong to God. God frees us from sin and death, uniting us with Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection.

All: Almighty God, your power makes the lame walk and the dead rise to new life. We give you thanks for the love poured into our world through Christ Jesus, who opened our minds to understand what you have made, whose appearance among his followers brings peace, and who creates faith through touch and taste. Show us Jesus, even now, through you threefold presence, one God, abiding now and forever. Amen.

 

Call to Worship

One: The bread of life opens our eyes.

All: The word of life opens our ears.

One: The risen one shows us God’s own brokenness,

All: and by those wounds we are healed.

One: Let us worship the Lord.

 

 

 

Hymn Blue Hymnal # 113 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!

Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!

All creation join to say; Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high; Alleluia!

Sing of heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

 

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

Fought the fight, the battle won; Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids Him rise; Alleluia!

Christ has opened paradise. Alleluia!

 

Lives again our glorious King; Alleluia!

Where, O death, is not your sting? Alleluia!

Jesus died, our souls to save; Alleluia!

Where you victory, O grave? Alleluia!

 

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven! Alleluia!

Praise to you by both be given; Alleluia!

Every knee to you shall bow, Alleluia!

Risen Christ, triumphant now, Alleluia!

 

Call to Confession

The one who calls us to repent, hears us and loves us. In trust that our Creator knows us through and through, let us open our hearts to the healing of God’s forgiveness.

 

Prayer of Confession

Good and gracious God, we are creatures of dust, ignorant of your revelation, misunderstanding your life, death, and resurrection among us, needing forgiveness. We repent of our failure to give as you have given to us. We beg your mercy for our fallen world. We seek your Word, that we may live with the faith of Jesus. Be our solace in this life and always. We ask this as your own children, holy and incomplete. Forgive us and lead us. Hear now our silent personal confession.

 

Assurance of Pardon

One: In the name of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit your plea for absolution has been heard. God’s promises are sure. Friends, believe and live the good news.

All: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

 

Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son,

and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning,

Is now and ever shall be.

World without end.

Amen. Amen.

 

Scripture Reading

Unison Reading Psalm 71
1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;

incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my

mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

7 I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me,
and those who watch for my life consult together.
11
They say, “Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken,
for there is no one to deliver.”

12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed; let those who seek to hurt me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all day long,
though their number is past my knowledge.
16 I will come praising the mighty deeds of the Lord God,
I will praise your righteousness, yours alone.

17 O God, from my youth you have taught me,

and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I

proclaim your might to all the generations to come.
Your power 19 and your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens.

You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me

again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again.

22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will

sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you

have rescued.
24 All day long my tongue will talk of your righteous help, for those who tried

to do me harm have been put to shame, and disgraced.

 

Gospel Reading Luke 24:36b-48

Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”[a] 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.[b] 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah[c] is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses[d] of these things.

 

Sermon “A Tangible Reflection of Light”

When my children were little, I did a disappearing coin trick. I hold the coin in my hand and make it disappear. Then I would find it behind their ear. They loved the trick and asked me to do it over and over again. As each of them grew older and wiser they learned that I am not very good at doing magic. They figured out the gag. They learned the trick and began to perpetrate it on their younger siblings.

 

I wonder if the church is perceived this way. People are fed a story that hardly seems possible. And after time they figure out the gag. The hype is to encourage giving which pays the minister’s salary. Or it is just a way for us to feel good about ourselves. Or it is the opiate of the masses, used to subdue and control its adherents. These are common attitudes shown by critics of religion.

 

I don’t think we feel this way, at least I hope not. But many look to the church and see only our missteps, only our failings, only the times when our words and our actions display a less than Christ like way about us. And I suppose that we give them plenty to look at, don’t we? Too often the Christ we reflect is far less than the Christ we actually serve.

 

You see, we reflect Christ’s light to the world. The light we shine in not ours, but that of God’s Son; like the moon reflects the light of the sun. No matter how bright it shines, the moon never shines as bright as the source of its light, the sun. And we can never shine as bright as our source, the Son of God. The problem for us is that, like the moon, people only see us at our brightest once in a while and even then it is all too obvious that the light we shine is borrowed.

 

But we have to be more than that, don’t we? The reflection of Christ’s light has got to be more than smoke and mirrors. Our reflection of Christ must be real, it must be tangible. Our actions and words mustn’t be like Jesus’, they must be Jesus’ words and actions. It must be Christ within us. Our words and actions must be filled with compassion and offered in genuine love. The purpose of the church is not to revel in the glory of Christ – “Look what Jesus has done for us!” Instead, we, the body of Christ, are to be a tangible reflection of Christ’s light, speaking and doing for others as there is need.

 

And the Holy Spirit strengthens us in that purpose. In every circumstance in which people find themselves, the church is to welcome and journey with the other. When people are joyful the church rejoices with them. When one is distraught, the church consoles. When one is mournful, the church mourns with them. When one is hungry, and church prepares food and eats with the hungry. When one is sick, the church gathers to care for and pray for the sick one. When people are oppressed, the church works for release and freedom. When one is separated from another, the church works for reconciliation.

 

And in walking these journeys with others, we offer all that is necessary to build up faith and foster a growing relationship with God, just as Jesus did with all his followers. None of them believed when the women gave their witness. None of them. It wasn’t until Jesus appeared to them that they believed. And that is the good news of the gospel. It is not about unbelief. It is about Jesus’ willingness to seek us out and give us all that is necessary to live as obedient disciples. In Luke’s gospel we read many stories of Jesus’ intimate relationships with his followers. He meets them where they are – in their grief, in their sorrow, in their ailment, in their sin, in their unbelief. In each relationship, Jesus desires to strengthen their faith and ours that we might better live the lives of disciples in obedience to God, that we might fully and completely reflect the light of Christ into each life we meet.

Affirmation of Faith from The Confession of 1967

To be reconciled to God is to be sent into the world as his reconciling community. This community, the church universal, is entrusted with God’s message of reconciliation and shares his labor of healing the enmities which separate people from God and from each other. Christ has called the church to this mission and given it the gift of the Holy Spirit. The church maintains continuity with the apostles and with Israel by faithful obedience to his call.

 

 

Hymn Blue Hymnal # 344 Christ of the Upward Way

Christ of the upward way, my guide divine,

Where you have set your feet may I place mine;

And move and march wherever you have trod,

Keeping face forward up the hill of God.

 

Give me the heart to hear your voice and will,

That without fault or fear I may fulfill

Your purpose with a glad and holy zest,

Like one who would not bring less than the best.

 

Christ of the upward way, my guide divine,

Where you have set your feet may I place mine;

And when your last call comes serene and clear,

Calm may my answer be, “Lord, I am here.”

 

Offering

 

Doxology

 

Prayer of Dedication

Lord God, we offer to you only a portion of what you have given us. All that we have is from your creative hand. All that we can give away we do through Jesus’ love. All our renewal comes from the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. Deal graciously with these gifts so that others may have joy; in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Prayers of the People & the Lord’s Prayer

God has made the One who was rejected the cornerstone of a new community. In the name of Christ Jesus, let us pray for the needs of the world, saying, “Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Holy One, as the risen Christ opened the minds of the disciples to understand the Scriptures and gave them power through the Holy Spirit to walk boldly in this world, open your people today to the healing, wisdom, and faith given in your Word. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Prince of Peace, as Christ Jesus showed his wounded hands and feet to the terrified apostles, reveal to your church, and to the people of prayer in every faith, the wounds of our neighbors, the fears of individuals and families, and the avenues toward healing. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Author of life, we beg for peace among nations, peace throughout communities, peace within families. Guide leaders and voters, legislatures and parliaments, judges and juries. Teach diplomacy and let our ways be formed so that all creatures, plants, and people may have plenty. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Light in our darkness, let your brightness burn in places shrouded in violence. Reveal the pains that are hidden in secret. Unveil the needs of our own hearts so that we may know the power of vulnerability. Your Son was raised to life even from the grave. Show us again that life comes from death. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Healer of our every ill, we pray for all who are in need, for refugees of war and all who are displaced by storms, for rescue workers and medical teams, for those whose bones are weary, for those who show us the power of community to give hope to the frightened, and for all who have asked for our prayers. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

You command us to bring to your our deepest desires, O God, and we pray now for those persons and concerns that lie on our hearts, spoken aloud or in silence…. Hear us, O God, your mercy is great.

Trusting in your abundant mercy, O God, we commend into your care all for whom we pray, and our own lives, also. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray:

 

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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

 

Hymn Blue Hymnal # 343 Called as Partners in Christ’s Service

Called as partners in Christ’s service, called to ministries of grace,

We respond with deep commitment fresh new lines of faith to trace.

May we learn the art of sharing, side by side and friend with friend,

Epual partners in our caring to fulfill God’s chosen end.

 

Christ’s example, Christ’s inspiring, Christ’s clear call to work and worth,

Let us follow, never faltering, reconciling folk on earth.

Men and women, richer, poorer, all God’s people, young and old,

Blending human skills together gracious gifts from God unfold.

 

Thus new patterns for Christ’s mission, in a small or global sense,

Help us bear each other’s burdens, breaking down each wall or fence.

Words of comfort, words of vision, words of challenge, said with care,

Bring new power and strength for action, make us colleagues, free and fair.

 

So God grant us for tomorrow ways to order human life

That surround each person’s sorrow with a calm that conquers strife.

Make us partners in our living, our compassion to increase,

Messengers of faith, thus giving hope and confidence and peace.

 

Charge and Benediction

 

Postlude

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