Fourth Sunday of Easter Year C
May 12, 2019
Mostly John 10:22-30 & Psalm 23 but also Acts 9:36-43 & Revelations 7:9—17 7
Call to Worship
One: We are sheep,
Many: Desperately hoping to find a herd.
One: Gathered here on the edge of the wilderness,
Many: We strain to hear our Shepherd.
One: Call to us, O Familiar Voice,
Many: O Guidance, O Holy Presence in whom we trust,
One: So we might dwell in your house,
Many: And follow your voice, your song, your Word.
All: Let us hear, let us follow, let us worship.
Prayer of Confession
Confession is not a ticket to some exclusive salvation. It is a thankful response to a gracious gift. In turning back to God, we confess as a sign of trust in a God that, with full knowledge of our shame and conceit, accepts us and loves us, every time. Let us pray together:
Faithful Shepherd, how good it feels to be a part of your flock. How tempting it is to try to be the only objects of your favor. Forgive us when we try to minimize the expanse of your love. Forgive us when we distort your grace into something that only suits us. Remind us that you choose us, not to just be “chosen,” but to be your very body. Remind us that your body is not whole until no one is left out. Let us see how much good pasture there is for your flock and turn no one away.
Assurance of Pardon
Fellow sheep, fellow goats, let the weight of deciding who is in and who is out fall from your shoulders. We are forever relieved from this duty, for our Risen Lord has changed the subject. Condemnation has become forgiveness, even for us. Amen.
Ideas for Presenting Scripture
Psalm 23, ever familiar, calls out for congregational participation. Perhaps you could sing it antiphonally with a soloist or choir singing portions of the text and the congregation responding with a refrain (check out #475 in the Glory to God hymnal).
Or read it as a call and response. Have someone, perhaps your oldest member has this one memorized, line it out and ask the congregation to repeat. This would be a nice little echo of the John text about the people hearing Jesus’ voice and following.
Faithful Flock, may you know your Shepherd’s voice and follow, through calm and challenge, ever confident in the Love of God, the Grace Of Jesus Christ and the never failing community of the Holy Spirit.