A New Great Thanksgiving for Eastertide

Lift up your heads
We lift them up to God
Lift up your hearts
We lift them up to the Lord
Lift up your hands
We dedicate our heads, our hearts, and our hands to the worship of God.

We offer our entire being to the God of Creation,
who made the sun and the moon to govern by day and by night
and hung the stars in the sky.
We offer our entire being to the great God
who hollowed out the valleys and bulged up the mountains,
who spat out the seven seas,
and populated the world with glorious creatures.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
who created us and fashioned us from the dust
and breathed into us the breath of life.

Song of Praise: "Bless His Holy Name," 2015, The Faith We Sing

Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
who came to us in spite of our destructive ways.
He healed the sick,
raised the dead
and cast out demons.
In the brief time that he was with us,
Jesus sided with the oppressed,
had compassion for those who suffer,
and gave dignity to women and children.
He taught us in word and deed about a God we had been unable to understand.

In spite of his glory-revealing presence among us,
we turned him into a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
Jesus was persecuted by certain religious leaders
and betrayed by one of his own.
He was lied about, tortured, and hung on a cross to die.

Yet, even on the day of his crucifixion,
Jesus continued to teach those who would listen.
When evil people came with his betrayer,
Jesus did not respond with violence,
choosing instead to remind us that
those who live by the sword will die by the sword.
When he was falsely accused and condemned to death,
Jesus refused to do harm.
And while hanging on the cross, he prayed:
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

But we give you thanks that nothing ever was,
or ever will be,
able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Early on the morning of the third day
Jesus laughed at death,
shed his grave clothes,
and walked among us alive!
Forty days later, he ascended into heaven,
where he is seated at the right hand of the God of our ancestors.
Our eyes are turned toward the skies looking for the day
when Jesus shall return to a kingdom without end,
where the lion will lie down peaceably with the lamb,
where sickness and disease are not known
where the wicked will cease from troubling
and we will study war no more!

Chorus: "Soon and Very Soon," 706, United Methodist Hymnal

On the night that Jesus was betrayed,
He shared a meal with his disciples.
He took bread from the table,
gave thanks to God,
and gave it to his disciples saying:
"Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."

When the meal was over he took the cup,
gave thanks,
and gave it to his disciples saying:
"Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

Today, Jesus, we remember the bread and the cup.
Today, we remember your life and your death.
We remember your resurrection; we remember eternal life.
As we receive these gifts in praise and thanksgiving we proclaim
the mystery of our faith:

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again!

Holy God,
pour out your Spirit upon these gifts of bread and wine;
make them be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Wonder-working God, pour out your Spirit upon us;
as we offer ourselves to be God's presence in the world
until Jesus returns in glory.

Almighty God,
We your people cry out to you on behalf of our community:

Have mercy upon all who suffer from the evils of poverty.

Have mercy, Lord!

Have mercy upon all who have lost their way.

Have mercy, Lord!

Have mercy upon all who have been offended by the church.

Have mercy, Lord!

Have mercy upon all who feel forgotten and neglected.

Have mercy, Lord!

Have mercy upon us Triune God,
and make us worthy to be called your people
who pray the prayer that Jesus taught to 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 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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Categories: Great Thanksgiving, Lent - Easter - Holy Week, Easter, Liturgy and Worship