Worship Outline and Sermon

Worship Outline:

Third Sunday of Easter

Service of the Word

Sunday, April 18, 2021


Introduction to the day

The gospel for the third Sunday of Easter is always one in which the risen Christ shares food with the disciples, meals that are the Easter template for the meal we share each Sunday. In today’s gospel, Jesus both shares the disciples’ food and shows them the meaning of his suffering, death, and resurrection through the scriptures, the two main elements of our Sunday worship.

Time for Prayer and Reflection

Gathering Song Alleluia! Jesus is Risen! (ELW 377)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0yYi77K7ik

Alleluia!

Jesus is risen!

Trumpets resounding in glorious light!

Splendour, the Lamb,

Heaven forever!

Oh, what a miracle God has insight!

Refrain:

Jesus is risen and we shall arise.

Give God the glory! Alleluia!

Walking the way,

Christ in the centre

Telling the story to open our eyes;

Breaking the bread,

Giving us glory:

Jesus our blessing, our constant surprise.

Refrain:

(St.1-2. Text: Herbert E. Brokering. Music: David N. Johnson. Text © 1995 Augsburg Fortress. Music © 1969 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)

Greeting

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray.

Holy and righteous God, you are the author of life, and you adopt us to be your children. Fill us with your words of life, that we may live as witnesses to the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

First Reading: Acts 3:12-19

A reading from Acts.

After healing a man unable to walk, Peter preaches to the people, describing how God’s promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Jesus. Through the proclamation of Christ’s death and resurrection, God is offering them forgiveness and restoration in Jesus’ name.

12[Peter] addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

17“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Hymn Take, Oh, Take Me As I Am (ELW 814)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv4f-8L1uk0

Take, oh, take me as I am;

Summon out what I shall be;

Set your seal upon my heart

And live in me.

Take, oh, take me as I am;

Summon out what I shall be;

Set your seal upon my heart

And live in me.

(Text and Music: John L. Bell. © 1995 Iona Community, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Used with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-7

A reading from 1 John.

God has loved us in order to make us children of God. Though we do not yet know the full details of our future existence, we trust that God will reveal it just as God revealed Jesus to take away our sins.

1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Our hearts burn within us while you open to us the scriptures. Alleluia. (Luke 24:32)

Gospel: Luke 24:36b-48

The holy gospel according to Luke.

Glory to you, O Lord.

In this account of an appearance after his resurrection, Jesus opens the minds of the disciples to understand him as Messiah. Jesus convinces them that he has been raised and sends them on a mission to proclaim the message of repentance and forgiveness.

36bJesus himself stood among [the disciples] and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look 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.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.

44Then 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.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things.”

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon – ‘Sharing’ – Pastor Matthew

Hymn of the Day Be Not Afraid (ELW 388)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkP4-8sqE4Q

Be not afraid,

Sing out for joy!

Christ is risen, alleluia!

Be not afraid,

Sing out for joy!

Christ is risen, alleluia!

Be not afraid,

Sing out for joy!

Christ is risen, alleluia!

Be not afraid,

Sing out for joy!

Christ is risen, alleluia!

(Text: Matthew28:5; Taizé Community. Music: Jacques Berthier. Text and Music © 1998 Les Presses de Taizé, admin. GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)

Prayers of Intercession

Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.

Living God, in the midst of Easter joy we are still filled with questions and wondering. Open our hearts and minds as we encounter the scriptures, so that the church embodies repentance and forgiveness in the name of Jesus to all nations. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Creating God, like a master artist you have fashioned the universe out of your love and delight. Heal your creation where it is in need of restoration. Provide all the inhabitants of earth a peaceful and sustainable home. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of all, the nations hunger and thirst for your righteousness. Many call on you for guidance and strength. Answer their hopes with the peace of Christ and give your lovingkindness to national, provincial, and local leaders of people. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Healing God, you hear the cries of those in need and answer them in their distress. Grant to those who are sick and suffering your compassion and nurse them back to health and wholeness. Be close to the hearts of the lonely. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Listening One, you invite us to share our prayers with you, even when we cannot find the words to do so. Bend your ear now to our own prayers….Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

Gathering One, you join us together with other followers in this Manitoba Northwestern Ontario synod. Reveal yourself to us in convention this week so that walking in newness of life we answer your call for mutual love and bold witness. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.

God of all times and ages, those who have died in you now see you as you are. We thank you for their lives among us. Assure us of the peace you have promised, that we may join them in everlasting life. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

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 trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

forever and ever. Amen.

OFFERING PRAYER

God of love, you call us beloved children. Receive our lives and the gifts we offer.

Abide with us and send us in service to a suffering world; for the sake of your beloved Child, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Blessing

May our glorious God grant you a spirit of wisdom to know and to love the risen Lord Jesus. The God of life, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you now and forever.

Amen.

Sending Song On Our Way Rejoicing (ELW 537)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGPzwaRduv4

On our way rejoicing

Gladly let us go.

Christ our Lord has conquered;

Vanquished is the foe.

Christ without, our safety;

Christ within, our joy;

Who, if we be faithful,

Can our hope destroy?

Refrain:

On our way rejoicing;

As we forward move,

Hearken to our praises,

O blest God of love!

Unto God the Father

Joyful songs we sing;

Unto to God the Saviour

Thankful hearts we bring;

Unto God the Spirit

Bow we and adore,

On our way rejoicing

Now and evermore.

Refrain:

(Text: John S. B. Monsell, alt. Music: Frances R. Havergal. Text and music: public domain.)

Dismissal

Go in peace. Share the good news. Alleluia! Thanks be to God. Alleluia!

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.



Sermon:

Third Sunday of Easter

April 18, 2021

Sermon: 'Sharing' - Pastor Matthew

Text: I John 3:4

My first Lutheran campus chaplain at Western was Pastor Carl Onofrio. I will always thank Carl for continuously inviting me, until I visited Luther House, and became part of a wonderful community of faith. Soon I learnt that most times, for example after our weekly suppers, Carl would just sit quietly, puffing away on his pipe. However, once in a while, especially after he took time to relight that pipe, he would throw out a controversial observation, drawing us into a lively debate. I now see that he took great delight in listening to us respond, growing and challenging each other in faith and life. However, at the time, as we shared views with each other, I remember us getting so frustrated when he would egg us on, puffing away.

One of the most heated exchanges that I had with Carl centred on his observation that all of us, as a society, were guilty of a certain injustice. I seem to think it was racism, in the context of violence against blacks in the U.S. Sadly, 40 years later we would be having the same conversation. I protested that how dare he call us all, and, well truth be told, especially me, guilty. How could he take the same brush of judgment and paint us all with the same sin? We were students in the 80s; what possible blame could we share with those of earlier generations? I had enough of my own sins to take care of, thank you very much. I didn’t need to share any more.

Now, I admit my argument likely wasn’t that well expressed all those years ago. Also, it was done without the benefit of understanding the intended audience of our 2nd reading. Many point out that ‘the author of I John was writing from a much more communal society’ than our ‘highly individualized culture’. It message concerns the community of God’s people as a whole, rather than the ‘state of the single, sinless’ believer. If we listen closely, we notice that love is given to ‘us’, that ‘we’ are called children of God, that ‘we’ will be like God, and so on. As forgiven, loved, children of the Creator, we receive the call to live out the Easter vision of new life for all people. This widens our focus to include building up the community of God’s people with the help of the Spirt, and to be part of this same outpouring of love in the wider world. It calls us together ‘in a cooperative relationship to bring God’s kingdom on earth’. (World Hunger)

In the midst of this, the author of I John alerts ‘all’, that is the community, to the dangers of sin which can cause it to fall into disunity/lawlessness. I found this explanation of ‘lawlessness’ helpful: ‘Lawlessness is a state more of a group than of an individual, and if sin is lawlessness, it follows that the sin on which the author is focusing has to do with the brokenness of the social system – its failure to protect and care for all as the Law of God requires’. It follows from this that ‘no one who abides in Jesus will stand by and do nothing about systems of societal evil’. Mindful of our own sinfulness, and of our part in the brokenness of this world, we do not deceive ourselves. Such collective sins as ‘racism, misogyny, greed, and the glorification of violence’ affect us all and infect us all. Each of us receives the call to confess our shortcoming before God, to ask for God’s grace to help us along the way.

Now, it could be argued that I John focuses on loving ‘one another’ in the sense of loving brothers and sisters within the community of faith. ‘Little is said about loving those outside the fellowship of believers’. Author Elizabeth Johnson maintains that ‘one could even ask whether the author shows love for those were part of the community but have left as they imply elsewhere that they are of the world (1), children of the devil (8-10), and even apply the term “anti-Christ” to them’(2:22, 4:3).

In the midst of this quandary on limits to sharing God’s love, we need to be mindful of seeing ‘things in black and white categories and to ‘demonize the other side’. While careful not to do things which are harmful to the community, we continue to find ways to demonstrate God’s love across boundaries, stereotypes, and real or imagined dangers. Sharing God’s grace revealed in Our Saviour, we go out into the wider communities of which we are part, to share this good news.

We hear more about this in the verses which follow our reading. Emphasizing the community focus of the people of faith, the author reminds us, ‘this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another’ (11). Further ‘we know love by this, that he laid down his life for us -- and we ought to lay down our lives for one another’ (16). Together, we are to ‘love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action’ (18). In concrete acts of giving and sharing, we embody the message of Easter.

In our new hymnal supplement, ‘All Creation Sings’, there is an Easter song that speaks of this sharing the grace of Easter. Entitled, ‘Touch That Soothes and Heals’, its author is Mary Louise Bringle. It words form a call to the community to live and love, and also a prayer to God for renewal on the journey. For those watching our YouTube recording, you can find a link to hear this song, and to read its lyrics, on our website’s front page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PNLlfcgso4&t=23s]

Amen.