CELEBRATION OF THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD

Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 10, 2020

As we continue to celebrate the fifty days of Easter, today’s gospel includes Jesus’ promise that he goes to prepare a place for his followers in his Father’s house. Our baptism commissions us to share Jesus’ mission in the world. As 1 Peter reminds us, we are a holy people, called to proclaim the one who called us out of darkness into light. In words and deeds we bear witness to the risen Christ—our way, our truth, our life.

GATHERING                  

The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  

Amen.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Silence for reflection

Most merciful God,

we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves.  We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.  We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.  Amen.

In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins.  As a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

HYMN                 “Hallelujah! Jesus Lives!”                         LBW #147

GREETING

The grace of our risen Lord and Savior, 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.      

Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Give us grace to love one another, to follow in the way of his commandments, and to share his risen life with all the world, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

WORD          God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching, and song

FIRST READING    Acts 7:55 – 60

A reading from the book of Acts of the Apostles:

55Filled with the Holy Spirit, [Stephen] gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died. 

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

PSALMODY            Psalm 31:1 – 5; 15 – 16 

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
    do not let me ever be put to shame;
    in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
    rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
    a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
    for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
    you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

15 My times are in your hand;
    deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

SECOND READING       1 Peter 2:2 – 10

A reading from the First letter of Peter:

2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
  4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture:
 “See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
  a cornerstone chosen and precious;
 and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
 “The stone that the builders rejected
  has become the very head of the corner,”
8and
 “A stone that makes them stumble,
  and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
  9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10Once you were not a people,
  but now you are God’s people;
 once you had not received mercy,
  but now you have received mercy.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

In many and various ways God spoke to the people of old through the prophets

But now in these last days, God has spoken to us through his Son.

GOSPEL READING                John 14:1 – 14

The Holy Gospel according to St. John, the 14th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
  8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.  

SERMON                                                    The Rev. Karl M. Richard

HYMN OF THE DAY               “Deep Settled Peace”

1. I found no rest for my soul
Till I heard that story told
Now I am in the shepherd’s fold
And there’s a deep settled peace in my soul

Chorus: There’s a deep settled peace in my soul
I’ve been redeemed and made whole
I’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb
And I know I understand
That deep settled peace in my soul

2.  Let not your heart be troubled so
If to Jesus you will go
And in Him you’ll learn to know
That deep settled peace in your soul   (Chorus)

3.  And when death within you lies
And you must cross that great divide
If you have Jesus on your side
There’ll be a deep settled peace in your soul   (Chorus)

Words & music by Kate Peters Sturgill

PROFESSION OF FAITH                Apostles’ Creed

God has made us his people through our Baptism into Christ. Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

OFFERING

         Those who wish to make an offering to St. Matthew may use the green GIVE button on our website: www.stmattspringfield.org, or mail it to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 400 Lynbrooke Rd., Springfield, PA 19064

         Those who wish to make an offering to Grace may mail it to
Grace Lutheran Church, 2191 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA  19008

THE PEACE

The peace of Christ be with you always.

And also with you.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH

Uplifted by the promised hope of healing and resurrection, we join the people of God in all times and places in praying for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

A brief silence.

Build us up, O God, as living stones united in your spiritual house. Continually strengthen your church as it is sent forth to proclaim your love. While we cannot gather in our buildings, we are your living stones.  Open our eyes to the ways we can serve in your name.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Humble us, creator God, as part of your creation. Fill us with respect and awe for the world you have made, including volcanoes, ocean currents, tropical rainstorms, glaciers, and other forces that both destroy and create.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Align our ways to your love, O God. We pray for all countries of the world, their leaders, and other organizations as they prepare places for those seeking refuge and safety in this time of global pandemic.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

God of healing and rest, help those whose hearts are heavy and weighed down by many troubles. Comfort their suffering, ease their distress, and carry their burdens, especially the following members of our congregations…, and those whom we name before you now, in our hearts, or on our lips… Bless doctors, nurses, technicians, and all who work in the healing professions.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Nurturing God, we pray for those who tend and teach young children, for the safe pregnancies of expectant parents, and for families who struggle with infertility and miscarriage. We give thanks for all who have shown mothering care, and we remember all for whom this day is difficult. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Generous God, you call into your brilliant light all who have died.  We thank you for the love and care we have been able to give and to receive from those who now rest in you, and on this day we thank you especially for Hal Kinsey.  Give us faith to take hold of the promise of your eternal life.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

With bold confidence in your love, almighty God, we place all for whom we pray into your eternal care; through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

LORD’S PRAYER

Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach 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 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.

BENEDICTION

The Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace, In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen. 

HYMN              “Blessed Assurance”                                   WOV #699

DISMISSAL

Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

Go in peace. Serve the Risen Lord.

Thanks be to God.  Alleluia!

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2007 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23793 and OneLicense A-701163

May 10, 2020 Worship Service