Touch and See

Living the Resurrection

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B

Jesus is trying to ground the disciples’ faith in the reality of his presence, in the concreteness of his being. He told them to touch him; he ate in front of them. He was announcing that he was real. What can we provide, what hands-on proof can we give that Jesus is alive among us? Of course, we have been in a pandemic and touching is still not something we want to engage in. But we can still give examples of lives being touched, hearts being touched.

From seeing, we now move to feeling, to touching as the means by which we experience the risen Christ. With the remnants of the pandemic around us still, touching might be problematic. Perhaps making contact or making an impact would be a way of understanding touching in this new world in which we live. What are the communities around us in which we can make an impact for Christ? Where can we connect with real people with real needs, people who are on the margins of our society? Where can we connect with communities looked down upon by many, but that could be lifted by our attention, our touch?

Native American communities throughout our nation could use our attention. You may not live where there is a strong First Nation presence, but a little research might surprise you and your congregation. The land where your church sits might have been a part of tribal lands at one time.

If you wish to make more of the Native American Ministries Sunday, click here to check out the worship resources.

You might be thinking, however, that the text is more about touching in order to believe. The touching is for me! Here is one of those paradoxes of our faith. The best way to grow in faith is to reach outward and help another grow. The best way to confirm your experience of the risen Christ is to lift another into the light. Acts of mercy are never one way. We are built up as we build up others. That is just how it works.

So, when Jesus tells us to touch and see that he is real and he is alive, we touch those we serve and discover the Christ present in that touching.

Call to Worship: Witnesses

(inspired by Luke 24:45-48)

We are witnesses,
to the love God has poured into us.
We are witnesses of God’s love,
sharing it with each person we meet.
We are witnesses to everyone we encounter,
little children like us,
sisters and brothers in God’s family.

Written by Thom Shuman and posted on LiturgyLink. https://www.liturgylink.net . Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2018/04/call-to-worship-witnesses.html.

Call to Worship

One: When we are confused
Many: Lord, give us peace.

One: When we are afraid
Many: Lord, give us peace.

One: When we are lost in grief
Many: Lord, give us peace.
All: O God, meet us in this room
And grant us peace!

Safiyah Fosua, The Africana Worship Book for Year B, Discipleship Resources, Valerie Bridgeman Davis, and Safiyah Fosua Eds., 2007, p.60.

Prayer of Intercession

(based on Luke 24:36-48)

Lord Jesus Christ, the light of your love shines on, illuminating the places where you are present. As the bewildered disciples pondered the stories of your appearance, you penetrated the darkness of their fear and doubt with your word of peace. You showed them the appalling marks of evil pierced on your hands and feet. You opened their minds to understand why you had to die to defeat such evil and death. Increase our understanding, we pray, and open our minds and hearts to receive you . . .

Lord, hear our prayer . . .

Bring to us O God, the sense of your living presence as we go into this new week. Renew in us the faith you want us to have, the faith that is not afraid to reach out in your name and to share the treasure you have given us, that treasure which is greater than silver and gold . . .

Lord – you know our hearts, you know our needs, and you know the hearts of those around us and their needs. We lift ourselves and them before you at this time . . .

Lord, hear our prayer . . .

Lord, we specially hold before you today . . .
(intercessions are shared)

Lord hear our prayer . . .

Finally, O Lord, we ask that you would bless us at [local congregation] with vision for the future and reverence for the past. Guide us each day as we minister to one another and to world for which you gave yourself. Help us each day to bear witness to your name and to do that which you would have us do. We ask it through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild and posted on his Kir-shalom website. Opening paragraph written by Moira Laidlaw, on Liturgies Online. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/04/prayers-of-people-easter-3.html.

Look at My Hands and My Feet

A Prayer for Luke 24:39-43

When Jesus appeared to the disciples, he offered his nail-scarred hands and feet as proof that he was, indeed, the Risen Lord. Then, he ate in their presence (from Luke 24:39-43).

Lord, we are living in a world that behaves as though you never lived. Our eyes behold atrocities and insults that we never thought possible and that our grandparents thought they would never see again. We live in a world that is longing for proof of the Resurrection, proof of the Living Lord.

Lord, show us how to prove your living through our lives. Put our hands to doing what you would have done were you still on this earth. Place our feet on a path that leads others to salvation. Pull us out of our caves of isolation so that we might be seen as ordinary, living, breathing, caring people of the Resurrection.

When the people of the land cry out for proof that you are alive, or even that you ever existed, may we be able to offer our hands and feet and our lives as living proof. Amen.

Safiyah Fosua, Easter Liturgical Resources from Africana Writers, edited by Safiya Fosua, 2020.

Prayer of Confession

(based on John 20: 24-29; Luke 24:36-43)

Wondrous God, we confess that at times our doubts and fears override our hope and faith. Forgive us when we lose sight of the joy of Your love and instead fall into despair and gloom. Lift up our spirits, Lord, and help us to remember the promise of new life here and now, not just the hope of resurrection for the future. We give thanks for Your Son, Jesus the Christ, who continues to offer us new life, who continues to turn us around and upside down, who continues to break down the walls of death in our own life. Forgive us, restore us and renew us. In the name of our risen Savior, Jesus the Christ, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

The tomb is empty. The stone is rolled away. There is no darkness now, only light. God continues to renew us and restore us. We are forgiven, loved and restored, receiving the gift and promise of new life and resurrection now. Go and share the wondrous news of God’s love in Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell, Rev-o-lution.org: Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/04/prayer-of-confession-doubt-faith.html.

Commission and Benediction for Easter

Go now as God’s chosen witnesses
to testify that Christ has been raised
and that we are raised with him.
Do not look for him among the dead,
but be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

And may God raise you from all that would entomb you;
May Christ Jesus call you by name and go ahead of you;
And may the Holy Spirit empower you for all that is good.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,

. . . In the name of Christ. Amen.

Copyright © 2003 Nathan Nettleton http://www.laughingbird.net/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/04/easter-commission-benediction.html.

In This Series...


Easter Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Gold
  • White

In This Series...


Easter Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes