Submitted by Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies. Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! We have not seen the risen Christ, But we see him in the lives of those transformed by grace. We have not seen Jesus face-to-face, But we have seen him in the faces of everyone whose love encourages us. We have not touched the wounds from the cross, But we have been called to bring healing to the scarred of the world.
The following Call to Worship is from the United Church of Christ. God’s strong and loving hands are outstretched to all Creation. Let the world stretch forth and grasp God’s hands with joy. God’s open hands are as the gate of righteousness. Let us enter in to God’s abundant life and give thanks. In God’s hands are new life, strength, and salvation. Let us be thankful and sing unto our God with gladness.
The following Call to Worship is from Martha Spong. One: Christ is risen! Many: Now what? One: The disciples clung to each other. They huddled in the upper room, waiting. Many: Would the authorities come to take them, too? One: Instead, Jesus himself appeared, despite the locked door. Many: What next? One: Next came doubts and questions, assurances and instructions, and a last word: Many: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” One: Christ is risen! Now what? Many: Now we come together to wait for him. One: May the risen Christ bless us as we worship what we have not seen, yet believe.
Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, First Congregational Church, North Yarmouth Maine via LiturgyLink.Net.
This is the day:when tears are wiped away; shattered hearts are mended; fears are replaced with joy. This is the day the Lord: rolls away the stone of fear; throw’s off death’s clothes; goes ahead of us into God’s future. This is the day the Lord has made: death has no fear for us; sin has lost it’s power over us; God opens the tombs of our hearts to fill us with life. This is the day - Easter Day! Christ is Risen! Hallelujah!
Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.
The following Call to Worship is from the Mennonite Church of Canana. We are here today because the weeping Mary of Magdala once said: “I have seen the Lord!” We are here on this Easter morning because Jesus still comes into our locked spaces and says: “Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit.” We are here today like doubting Thomas who finally cried: “My Lord and my God” We are here like Peter, tempted to forget the call of Jesus: “I’m going fishing.” We’re here this morning because of Jesus, who asks us face-to-face: “Do you truly love me?” We gather here to whisper timidly. “Yes, Lord, you know that we love you.” We are here as a congregation only because many faithful disciples have listened to Jesus’ words: “Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid! Go and tell, ‘Jesus has been raised!”
The following Call to Worship is by Nathan Decker. Morning has broken, but this morning is different. The birds are singing tunes of joy in the trees surrounding the graves. The flower buds are bursting in colors vibrant around each stone.
We've come to visit the grave of a friend, but "he is not here."
The Sun is rising in the East; the shadowed grays turn bright! The Son is risen in our Hearts; darkness and death end in defeat.
Now we understand what Christ said, what God did.
Now we can proclaim, CHRIST IS RISEN! HALLELUJAH!
The Rev. Nathan Decker is the pastor of the South Sussex Charge of the James River District of the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. His great love is the diversity and inspiration of God's creative nature in worship.
I found this liturgy by Thom Shuman and I had to share! What a brilliant representation of the absurdity of the cross and the defiance of the empty tomb. It reminds me of the reason why I prefer to call Easter Sunday "'Suck it, Rome!' Sunday." May we all continue to preach the joke that God has forever played on death! One: This is the time to rejoice! All: What better time than now! One: This is the day to laugh: What did the cabbage pastor say to the people? Pastor: Lettuce pray! One: How many choir directors does it take to change a light bulb? Choir: No one knows, because no one ever watches the director! One: How many Presbyterians does it take to change a light bulb? All: Change? Presbyterians don't believe in change! One: What's the greatest joke ever? All: The one God played on death on Easter morning!
The following call to worship is by Thom Shuman via LiturgyLink. In remembrance, we gather: to be with the One who teaches us the meaning of faithfulness. In remembrance, we worship: lifting our voices to the One who calls us to love one another. In remembrance, we feast: breaking the Bread which makes us whole, drinking the Cup which fills us with grace.
On this dark night, as the shadows deepen,We come to be present with Jesus. With the glory of Palm Sunday behind us and the victory of Easter not yet come, We will sit together in this space with our breaking, our broken hearts. In this world that is at once beautiful and holy and tragic, We seek to be present with all who suffer. In the dark valleys of life, when sorrow threatens to overwhelm, We long for a safe and sacred space to sit with our grief and our questions. Jesus Christ, holy friend, we know that you are here with us. Let us be here with you. Amen.
Submitted by Joanna Harader via SpaciousFaith.com.
The following Call to Worship is by Thom Shuman, submitted via LiturgyLink. We come to prepare for the holiest of weeks. We will journey through praise, with joy on our lips; we will travel through betrayal and death, cradling hope deep in our hearts Jesus leads us through this week, and we will follow, for he is the life we long for, he is the Word who sustains us. We wave palm branches in anticipation, we lay our love before him, to cushion his walk Setting aside all power, glory, and might, he comes: modeling humility and obedience for all of us. Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is the One who brings us the kingdom of God.
Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.
Though we could be resentful,we come to give thanks. Though we could be complaining, we come to offer appreciation. Though we could be upset about what we lack, we come in gratitude for what we have. We enter now into this time of worship carrying seed to sow, singing songs of joy, rejoicing together.
~ written by Joanna Harader, and posted on the Spacious Faith blog. http://spaciousfaith.com/
Leader: Return to the Lord your God, People: for God is gracious.
Leader: Confess to the Lord your God,
People: for God is merciful.
Leader: Repent to the Lord your God,
People: for God is slow to anger.
Leader: Praise the Lord your God,
People: for God abounds in steadfast love.
Leader: Worship the Lord your God.
All: Together, let us worship God!
Submitted by Rev. Daniel Commerford, Bethany Presbyterian Church, Covington, GA
Leader: We are here. Side 1: In this place where we experience God’s love.
Side 2: In this place where we practice loving each other.
Leader: We are here.
Side 1: Some of us have returned from a distant country.
Side 2: Some of us have snapped out of our own petty preoccupations.
All: At least for now.
Leader: We are here.
All: We are home.
Submitted by Rev. Joanna Harader.
We are gathered as people created by Godto sing, to praise, and rejoice. We are gathered as people redeemed by God to confess and be embraced by mercy. We are gathered as people sustained by God to listen, proclaim, and to follow.
From Feasting on the Word - Worship Companion, edited by Kimberly Bracken Long. As people formed by God, we give praise to God: Dry ground in the sea, rivers in the desert, Christ among us - God is doing a new thing!
As people restored by God, we give praise to God: Dry ground in the sea, rivers in the desert, Christ among us - God is doing a new thing!
As people pressing on in faith, we give praise to God: Dry ground in the sea, rivers in the desert, Christ among us - God is doing a new thing!
One: Come, you people, before your God!Many: We are gathered to seek and to thirst. One: Come, you people, and follow our Lord! Many: We will follow with praise and with courage. One: Come, you people, and be sent in the Spirit! Many: We will turn to the path laid before us. One: Come, you people, to lift up God's name! Many: We will remember, rejoice, and be renewed. One: Come, let us continue our Lenten journey to which we are called...
The following Call to Worship is inspired by the text of Psalm 27. One: Who is the Lord? Many: The Lord is our light and our salvation! One: Again, I ask you, who is the Lord? Many: The Lord is the stronghold of our life! One: But evil assails you and temptations abound. What gives you such confidence? Many: We believe that we shall see the goodness of the Lord! One: And what are you here to do? Many: To wait for the Lord, to be strong, and to let our hearts take courage! One: Let us worship and wait for the Lord!
One: The Lord has called upon usMany: and we will answer! One: The Lord is our refuge and our stronghold; Many: in God we will place our trust. One: Do you dwell in the shelter of the Most High? Many: We abide under the shadow of the Almighty. One: Let us continue our Lenten journey; Many: Let us depart for it is Christ who leads the way!
The following Call to Worship is inspired by Psalm 103 One: We are gathered to begin a holy journey; Many: a long, long road to the cross. One: We are called to follow our blessed savior; Many: to trust in his steadfast love. One: We are commissioned to follow our God of grace; Many: who walks with us each step of the way. One: We are marked as mere mortals by ashes and dust; Many: but our hope is in God who redeems.
Leader: Come to the mountain, you people of God.All: We come to hear God's Word. Leader: Come, you sisters, to proclaim God's greatness, Women: for the Lord is righteous and just! Leader: Come, you brothers, to proclaim God's goodness, Men: for the Lord is the Holy One! Leader: Come, you youth, to proclaim God's brilliance, Youth: for the Lord is clothed with light! Leader: Come, you people, to the mountain of God All: for we are gathered to worship our Lord!