We Long for the Pure, Spiritual Milk: Liturgy for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A
Call to Worship
Leader: Like newborn infants, we long for the pure, spiritual milk,
People: So that by it, we may grow into our salvation, for we have tasted and we know that the Lord is good.
Leader: Come to him, the living stone, and let yourselves be built into a spiritual house.
People: We are called to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Leader: You are the ones God is calling to be a royal priesthood, God's own people.
People: Once we were not a people, but now we are God's people.
Invitation to Confession
We have been invited by God to feed upon the spiritual milk. We have been called to be the spiritual house of God. We have been selected to be God's royal priesthood. We have been named "God's people."
But we know we are in need of forgiveness. Let us approach God in a spirit of contrition as we pray together our prayer of confession.
Prayer of Confession
Leader: We have been invited by God to feed upon the spiritual milk…
People: Yet we have failed to take advantage of the opportunities given us for spiritual growth.
Leader: We have been called to be the spiritual house of God…
People: But we have not grown in depth of discipleship or levels of commitment.
Leader: We have been selected to be God's royal priesthood.
People: But we do not always appropriately reflect the One who selects us.
Leader:We are "God's people,"
People: And we stand in need of forgiveness.
Words of Assurance
O LORD, you are our refuge.
You hear us as we pray and send your Holy Spirit to assure us and rescue us.
Let us know that we are in your hands, that your face is shining upon us, and that we are secure in your steadfast love, now and forever.
The Invitation to the Offering
When Stephen was being stoned for his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, he prayed for the very ones stoning him, saying, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."
May our hearts and spirits be as Christ-like as we present our tithes and gifts for the work of the Lord.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we present these gifts at the altar with the prayer that they will be a source of blessing and benefit upon those whose lives are touched by the generous gifts of these saints. Amen.
Dismissal with Blessing
Do not let your hearts be troubled and neither let them be afraid for our Savior is with us.
He is for us the Way and the truth and life itself.
He will not leave us alone.
He will go with us, granting us his love, his protection and his grace.
Go forth confidently to serve in his name, surround by his peace. Amen.