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April 2022

Apr

We Are Witnesses

We Are Witnesses

Second Sunday of Easter, Year C

Now is the time to decide how you’re going to invite the worshiping community to make the commitment to become witnesses for the kin-dom. It might be at the end of series or it might be here.

This could be your starting place for this series, if you decided to let Easter stand on its own. But here is where the disciples take up the challenge. When Peter declares, “We are witnesses,” he is taking up the mantle of being the church, the proclaimers of the good news of Jesus Christ. Likewise, our worship today needs to help us understand that to witness is not simply to observe, but to proclaim. We are called to bear witness, to be a witness, to live as a witness to the kin-dom of God every day of our lives.

Worship points beyond the moment toward living a life out loud. How do we bear witness to the good news? This is why we practice telling our story in worship, so that when the opportunity arises, we can tell it to our neighbors or even strangers. Is there space in worship for testimony? Is there a way to instruct worshipers on shaping their story or how to recognize an opportunity to share? Granted this might better be a class or seminar than an act of worship, but worship can open the door or suggest the possibility.

Worship could also invite us to be thankful to those who told us the story, the ones who brought us here—whether that is a parent or a teacher or a pastor or a friend. Someone witnessed to the good news in a way that we heard it and came to be a part of the family. When we remember that we once heard, we might learn how to be the ones speaking.

Call to Worship

One: Somebody said that if I talk too much about Jesus, people will call me a Holy Roller. But because Jesus was on my side, I am here today, and I will talk about his goodness ‘til the day I die.

Many: Let the people keep on calling us Holy Rollers, but if it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would we be today?

One: In this place, we have permission to speak freely about what the Lord has done for us. Yes, many of us came up short on the rent this month, but somehow God saw us through. Tests came and tests went this week, but we passed the most important test of all: the test of faith. In this house, there is no gag order against testifying to what great things God has done.

Many: Let the people keep on calling us Holy Rollers, but if it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would we be today?

Sherrie Dobbs Johnson, The Africana Worship Book, For Year C, Valerie Bridgeman Davis, PhD and Safiyah Fosua, eds., Discipleship Resources, 2008, 68.

Opening Prayer (Acts 5, John 20)

We hear your calling, Lord;
how can we keep from singing?
How can we keep our lips
from proclaiming the good news,
that Jesus Christ is risen,
bringing healing and forgiveness to all?
From the life in his blood he has freed us,
making us a royal priesthood.
Whether we have seen or believe without seeing,
we have found life in his name.
In Christ’s name, we give thanks and praise. Amen!

Bill Hoppe, Ministry Matters, https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/3714/worship-elements-april-28-2019.

Prayer

O living Christ, as the good news of Easter energized your first disciples to establish dynamic Christian communities, so energize us to dynamic life within our congregation. As your Spirit gave them courage to stand tall before the powers of this world, so empower us to proclaim your gospel and struggle for justice and peace. By your presence with us now, make us one in love and mission. Amen.

Ruth Duck, Bread for the Journey, Ruth Duck, ed., (Pilgrim Press, 1981), 47.

Benediction

Go from here as witnesses of what you have seen and heard.
Share God’s love with those you meet.
Bring hope to those who are in despair.
Live lives of gratitude and praise.
And may the love of God,
the peace of Jesus Christ,
and the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit
be within you and among you until we meet again.
Amen.

reWorship, https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/03/benediction-witnesses.html

In This Series...


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

Colors


  • Gold
  • White

In This Series...


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