Order of Worship
Third Sunday of Easter
April 18, 2021

Organ Prelude

Call to Worship 
One:   God of the morning is with us as we gather with songs of praise.
 All:     Here we find respite from a busy, frenetic world.
One:   We gather in this place finding the peace that God offers.
All:      We are more at home within ourselves when we find our rest in Christ.
One:   We are witnesses to God’s glory, steadfast love, and faithfulness.
All:      We see the beauty of creation and sing praises of joy!
One: We abide in God’s love and keep God’s commandments.
All:      Today, we awaken to the call, and show up fully to love one another.
One:   Come, let us worship.

Opening Prayer 
God of light and life,
we gather as witnesses to your abundant love.
We are amazed to discover you anew through our prayers, our praise, and our offerings.
God, you encourage us amidst our daily living to become stewards of your love and grace.
We ask you to be here with us as we witness your love made real through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Storytelling          “Learning to Believe”

Sharing of Scripture                         Luke 24:36b–48

Message in Music            “The Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
I’ll bring You more than a song

For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus

I’m coming back to the heart of worship,
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus

Message               “We Are Witnesses”                 Rev. Laura McLeod

Prayer of Dedication
We are here to offer a portion from our abundance – our time, our energy, our resources. May we begin with gratitude, giving thanks to God who is steadfast in love and faithful. God, we give you our thanks for all that we have and all we are. May the tithes, gifts, and offerings we bring be of healing service to our hurting world. May our collective offering be an expression of love and healing through the risen Christ.

A Time of Prayer
Preparation for Prayer
Silent Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
God, we give thanks for your steadfast love abiding presence,
and your creative council and guideposts along the way.
You enrich our lives with a world filled with colours, scents, and tastes that delight our senses.
We see the goodness that surrounds us and give you thanks and praise.
We are witnesses to the world in which we live,
and see injustices and colossal failures.
Sometimes, we close our eyes and wish we could unsee some of what we’ve witnessed.
Witnessing has its own form of pain, but the true suffering we see is incomprehensible.
We pray for those in daily pain, whose bodies and spirits require great effort.
We pray for those who are hungry for food, encouragement, relationship.
We pray for those whose spirits are diminished.
Restore each of these into your attentive care.
What some lack, others have in abundance.
Guide us to know what is ours to keep and what is ours to share.
Help us to loosen our grip on belongings and possessions,
and awaken our hearts so we may live with hearts attuned to the rhythms and needs of our community and our world.
We live from this moment.
We love from this moment.
May we live this day as a gift and move into the days ahead with gratitude and generosity. In Jesus’ name, we pray, using the words that he taught saying, Our Father…
Amen.

Bless
Go now having laid down your burdens.
Go with a freer spirit standing tall.
Go to proclaim God’s message of justice, grace, and love.
Go pointed toward purpose knowing you have a church home
that welcomes you fully and completely.
Go to love deeply and show great care.
Go now in peace and love. Amen.

Organ Postlude

Sharing of Scripture                                 Luke 24:36b–48
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 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.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
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.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

Learning to Believe
Based on Luke 24:36b-48

Disciple 1: Did you hear the news?
Disciple 2: What news? That our beloved Jesus died? Yes. I’ve been so sad. I can’t think. I can hardly eat.
Disciple 1: That’s just it, we’ve seen him.
Disciple 2: What. Are. You. Talking. About?
Disciple 1: Seriously. Listen. We were all gathered talking together. And a voice we didn’t recognize says, “Peace be with you.” Only, it was just like he did. And, it didn’t look like him. We were afraid! We thought a ghost was among us!
Disciple 2: This is unbelievable. Seriously. I don’t believe what you’re saying.
Disciple 1: I’m telling you. Then this ghost man asked why we were afraid – why we had doubt in our hearts. He told us to look at his hands and his feet. He even invited us to touch him. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones.
Disciple 2: You’re right, of course. Ghosts don’t have flesh and bones.
Disciple 1: Yes. Yes. So, I stepped forward, cautiously, mind you. What did I see? His hands. His hands. And his feet. It was him! Amazed, we crowded around. I mean, what can I tell you?
Disciple 2: Was it really him? Truly him? Dare I believe?
Disciple 1: Yes! Yes. Yes! And you know, he wanted something to eat! So, we gave broiled fish, and he ate it. Oh, it was like before.
Disciple 2: I wish I’d been there. Did he tell you what to do? Would he stay? What’s next?
Disciple 1: He said, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” And so much made sense to us. It was like our minds were open!
Disciple 2: Woah. You’re blowing my mind! I wish I had been there. Hearing your story makes me feel like I was there! I feel it inside – I believe you!
Disciple 1: There’s more. Then he said, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance and forgiveness of sins are to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” I cannot wait to tell the others.
Disciple 2: Me, too. I’m telling everyone I know.

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