CELEBRATION OF THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD

Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 17, 2020

Jesus does not abandon his followers. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation. As Pentecost draws near, we are reminded that the risen Christ dwells in us as the Spirit of truth. We receive this Spirit in baptism and pray that the Spirit will transform us to be the body of the risen Christ in the world.

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             “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love”               WOV #765

Text and music © 1969 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission. OneLicense A-701163

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 and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who 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 17:22 – 31

A reading from the book of Acts of the Apostles:

22Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
 ‘For we too are his offspring.’
29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

PSALMODY            Psalm 66:8 – 20

Bless our God, O peoples,
     let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
     and has not let our feet slip.
10 
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11 
You brought us into the net;
you laid burdens on our backs;
12 
you let people ride over our heads;
     we went through fire and through water;
     yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
     I will pay you my vows,
14 
those that my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 
I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings,
     with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
     I will make an offering of bulls and goats.

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for me.
17 
I cried aloud to him,
and he was extolled with my tongue.
18 
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 
But truly God has listened;
he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me.

SECOND READING
      1 Peter 3:13 – 22

A reading from the First Letter of Peter:

13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. 18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

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 14:15 – 21

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

Glory to you, O Lord.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
  18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.  

SERMON                                                                   The Rev. Leslie M. Richard

HYMN OF THE DAY               “Day by Day”                             WOV #746

Tune: Public Domain; Text © 1992 Augsburg Fortress.  All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23793

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.

Abiding God, you have revealed yourself to us in the form of your Son, Jesus Christ. Embolden your church, as your followers, to reveal your love to everyone in our speaking and in our living. Bless the leaders of your church as they guide our congregations through this pandemic. Show our pastors and our church councils the way forward.  

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You are the creator of heaven and earth. In this time when the world is on “pause” may the water and the air be refreshed by your hand and your grace. Help us to work for the care of your creation, that all may have the natural resources they need.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You are the God of all righteousness.  Instill in the leaders of all nations a desire for justice and the will to serve the oppressed. Guide our nation’s governors in their difficult pathway between the threat of disease and the dangers of scarcity and isolation. Bring our legislators into agreement about how to assist those in need. Give us patience in facing our current predicament.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You [invite] all people of the world [to be] your children, and promise you will not leave us orphaned.  You come near to us when we are lost, and you hear our distress. We pray for those who suffer from the coronavirus, those living in loneliness and fear, those without jobs, and those who mourn their dead. Uphold those whose futures have been taken away from them. We pray for health care workers and for the residents in care homes, prisons, and refugee camps, and those who suffer in any way (especially).

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Your commands are good and merciful. Give us courage to take hold of our baptismal promises to work for justice, advocate for the voiceless, and free the oppressed and imprisoned in body, mind, or spirit.

Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

You remain with us always, O God, and your kingdom has no end. We remember the saints who have gone before us, especially those who have died of Covid-19, and all whom we remember in our hearts… Unite us forever in your final victory over death.

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                                “Here I Am, Lord”                            WOV #752

Text and music © 1981 OCP Publications, Inc., 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used by permission. OneLicense A-701163

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 17, 2020 Worship Service