Call to Worship*
Come join with your sisters and brothers,
Together in praise to the Lord.
Sing praises to the one who heals,
To the one who makes us whole.
You gather us into your community, regardless of our imperfections. May we be so gracious with one another, showing everyone your heart of mercy, made known to us in Jesus Christ, amen.
Praise with music
Listen with joy to “We Are Not Alone,” by Pepper Choplin, at Sandy Ridge Mennonite Church.
Psalm 116: 1-7
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
6 The Lord protects the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Gospel Reading: Acts 3: 1-10
3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4 Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,[a] stand up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Music and Offering
During this time, or after our prayers, you may make an offering to John Knox by going to our homepage and scrolling to the bottom where you will see a link to online giving. When you give this way, consider giving a little extra to defray the cost of this service. If you prefer, you may mail you offerings to the church directly. Even though we are far apart, the church's expenses remain the same. We give out of pure gratitude for what God has done.
Listen to this offertory music, Soon and Very Soon, by Andrae Crouch, sung by the Barnes Mass Choir, Barnes United Methodist Church, Indiana
Prayers of the People*
Though our lives seem
so lonely and empty these days,
yet there is the sun in the morning,
the moon and stars at night,
the wonder of creation unfolding
before our eyes and hearts, reminding us
that we have nothing apart
from you, God of Easter.
When we need to maintain
boundaries and safe distancing,
when we realize how much
we miss human touch (yes,
even us introverts),
you invite us to touch your
loneliness with our own,
your sorrow and scars
with our own, Brother of our souls.
When we find ourselves huddling
in the locked rooms of our hearts,
the doors and shutters of our souls
securing us from the fears that are outside,
you come, Spirit of hope,
to breathe peace upon us,
to always surround us with hope,
to never abandon us to our loneliness.
God in Community, Holy in One,
remind us we are never, ever, apart from you,
even as we pray as we are taught,
And now with confidence as the children of God, let us pray as Jesus taught his disciples: 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, now and forever. Amen.
Benediction: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, and bring you peace. Amen.
Next week: Acts 17: 1-9 The church at Thessalonica
“We Are Not Alone,” by Pepper Choplin, at Sandy Ridge Mennonite Church
“Soon and Very Soon,” by Andrae Crouch, sung by the Barnes Mass Choir, Barnes United Methodist Church, Indiana.
Today’s prayers are from
—Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church (USA), Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 2018.
—Clergy Stuff Worship Resources, Bloomington, Minnesota, 2016-2019.
--Rev. Dr. Thom Shuman, lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com, April 15, 2020
Rev. Becky Downs, Pastor