Holy God, you are astounding.
At the end of all your surprises,
you send among us the One who
was crucified, dead and buried,
and risen into glory.
He comes now as a living Lord,
defying our locked doors,
banishing our fears,
greeting us with peace,
and overwhelming us with
awe and wondering love.
How paltry is our vaunted knowledge,
how pathetic our cultured doubts,
when our souls are confronted
with the risen Christ!
How blessed are those who believe him,
and how happy are those who receive him.
Receive our gratitude,
our praise and our worship,
and continue to work with us
beyond our deserving, as we
lift up our voices to you.
We ask in the name
of the Father,
of the living Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
whose presence makes
this occasion, amen.
O God, we confess that we are like
Jesus’ disciples in times of fear,
easily reverting back to living behind
closed doors and closed hearts.
Holy God, we confess our doubts.
When our childhood understandings
fall away, we feel naked.
When our long-held beliefs
seem to crumble, we feel lost.
When our convictions are
questioned, we feel ashamed.
Guide us into right paths, O God.
Guide our feet into the way of peace;
guide our hands to care for others;
guide our hearts to love our neighbors.
Call us back to you, Jesus, and renew our faith.
When the ground is unsteady, loving God,
put us back on right paths by doing justice,
loving kindness, and walking humbly with you.
We pray in the name
of the Father,
of the Risen Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Sermon and Reflection
“Peace be with you. As the Father
sent me, so I am now sending you”.
He believes in you. This busy world awaits
your compassion. God believes in you.
Sometimes you will give your best yet fail.
Still, God believes in you. At other times
you will succeed in spite of your stumbling,
for God believes in you.
Go gladly, daring to succeed or fail
to the glory of God, and then at the
very end, nothing shall dismay you.
God believes in us. With Christ’s own
breath within us, we shall travel well.
The help of our saving Christ,
the wisdom of the Living God,
and the support of the loving Spirit
will be with us every step of the way,
now and always.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.