I Have Seen the Lord! A 21st Century Africana Worship Resource for Easter Sunday, Year A

by The Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman Davis
Call to Worship (Based on Acts 10:34-43)
Come from every nation! See that God has pardoned! See that God shows no favoritism and accepts all who reverence God's name and do what is right! Come, God's witness to the world is risen indeed! Come! He lives! And everyone who believes in him will receive grace! Come, let's worship the Resurrected One!

Alternate Call to Worship (Based on Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24)
Come let's shout to God, for the victory over death is won! Hallelujah! The stone the builders rejected has become the steadying force in the building of God! The Lord has done this thing, and it easy on our eyes! God made this day of salvation, and we're glad about it! Come, let us enter in and give thanks!

Prayer of Thanksgiving
How awesome are your ways, O God! With thanksgiving, we offer praise for the work you brought in Christ. In gladness we thank you for hiding us deeply into his sacred life. We bless you for raising us in and with Jesus Christ, giving us the power to proclaim — with Mary Magdalene — the Risen One, not only with our voices, but with our lives. In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.

Litany (Based on John 20)
Many Voices: I have seen the Lord!

One Voice: What was Mary to think when she saw the empty tomb? We would have been just as frightened, just as confused; how could she expect to proclaim:

Many Voices: I have seen the Lord!

One Voice: Yes, the disciples had been told to expect some radical oh-my-god-what-in-the-world-is-this happening, but an empty tomb? How could they expect to hear Mary proclaim:

Many Voices: I have seen the Lord!

One Voice: We would have run with Peter, skeptics that we are, eyes and hearts searching for a body instead of empty burial cloths. How could any of us expect to hear Mary proclaim:

Many Voices: I have seen the Lord!

One Voice: We would have cried, too, forlorn and feeling forsaken. We would not have known the familiar stranger asking us, "Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" How could Mary expect to proclaim:

Many Voices: I have seen the Lord!

One Voice: We would not have recognized his voice, or his body; we often don't recognize Him now in the world, so how do we expect to proclaim:

Many Voices: I have seen the Lord!

One Voice: But see! He goes before us, leading us into his world, up from the grave and bondage; and he invites us to proclaim:

Many Voices: I have seen the Lord!

Offertory Prayer
Wonderful God: we come bringing ourselves as gifts in gratitude for the gift you gave in Christ Jesus and for the gift he gave in his life and Resurrection. These gifts of money represent for us our heart's thanks and our commitment to live as Resurrection people. Amen.

Benediction
Go gladly into this world, raised with Christ, hearts lifted by his love. Live as though dead to all that keeps us from a life hidden with Christ in God. Amen.

Alternative Benediction
Run with the news, my sisters and brothers! Run into a world that needs to know: Christ is risen indeed! Go, sure and filled with grace, knowing that you will see Christ again!

• • • •


Valerie Bridgeman Davis, Ph.D., Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible), teaches preaching and worship at Memphis Theological Seminary. Dr. Bridgeman Davis is a consultant for the 21st Century Africana Worship Resource Project.

"21st Century Africana Worship Resource for Easter Sunday" Copyright © 2005 The Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman Davis. Used with permission.

Categories: 21st Century Africana, 21st Century Liturgy, Lent - Easter - Holy Week, Easter

Download Now Add to Downloads Folder