The Message by: Larry J. Beasley

Utica Presbytery Leader and Stated Clerk

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A)

 

Service of Prayer and Worship for Sunday, May 10, 2020

Opening Sentences

O LORD, Open my lips.

And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

I pray to you, O LORD;
You hear my voice in the morning; At sunrise I offer my prayer
And wait for Your answer.

Morning Psalm: 95:1-7

Come, let us sing to the LORD, let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving And raise a loud shout to the LORD with psalms.

For the LORD is a great God, and a great Sovereign above all gods

The LORD holds the caverns of the earth, And sustains the heights of the hills.

The sea belongs to God Who made it, Whose hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee And kneel before the LORD our Maker.

For the LORD is our God,
And we are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand.

Let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation!

Scripture Reading

First Reading: Acts 7:55-60

Lamentations 3:22-23

Psalm 5:2b-3

But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.

Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10

Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Silence for reflection.

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

For it stands in scripture:
“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,

a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,”

and
“A stone that makes them stumble,

and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy,

but now you have received mercy.


Gospel: John 14:1-14

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Message

What Are We Gonna Do?”

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Mighty God of mercy,

We thank You for the resurrection dawn bringing the glory of our risen Lord who makes every day new. We thank You especially for:

The beauty of Your creation,
The new creation in Christ and all gifts of healing and forgiveness, The sustaining love of family and friends,
The fellowship of faith in Your church.

Merciful God of might, renew this weary world, heal the hurts of all your children, and bring about your peace for all in Christ Jesus, the living Lord. Especially we pray for:

Those who govern the world,
The people in countries ravaged by strife or warfare,
All who work for peace an international harmony,
All who strive to save the earth from destruction,
All who work in the healing arts,
All who work to preserve peace and order in our communities,
All who are finding difficult to cope with the isolation and separation in this time All who are craving to gather once again in holy community

In this moment, we offer to You our personal prayers . . .

You may offer God your prayers of thanksgiving and intercession.

Eternal God,
You call us to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, By paths as yet untrodden, through perils yet unknown.

By Your Holy Spirit, give us faith to go out with courage, Not knowing where we go,
But only that Your Hand is leading us
And Your Love is supporting us.

We make these prayers in the Name of the Risen Christ Who taught us to pray, joining our voices with the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us:

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name,
Thy kingdom come,
They will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us; And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, And the power, and the glory, forever.

AMEN


Dismissal

In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion.

The Grace of God be with us all, now and always.

Amen.

Bless the Lord.

The Lord’s Name be praised.

Go in peace . . .

1 Timothy 6:13-16