My husband, Pastor Patrick Sipes, will be our guest blogger with a prayer meditation for the Easter season. He is currently serving as the transitional minister at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Platte, Nebraska, and will be inviting congregation members into these meditations in worship. May God bless you as you explore Scripture through Prayer.
John 20:19-31 NRSV: Jesus Appears to the Disciples
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Jesus and Thomas 24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” The Purpose of This Book 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
On the evening of the resurrection, Jesus visits his disciples in the upper room where they are hiding behind locked doors. As he enters, the room, he greets the disciples with the phrase, “Peace be with you.” Through this prayer, we ask for that same peace in many places of our own lives.
In our lives, we have places of fear, fear of illness, fear of injury, fear of others, fear at times that we simply cannot place a finger on or name but it is there none the less. This morning we take a few moments to bring those places of fear to Jesus.
(Take some time for bringing fears to mind, heart, and body.)
As you bring your fears to Jesus, hear his words, “Peace be with you.”
In our lives we have reason to rejoice. Places where we see new life coming, accomplishments that we have achieved, birthdays, anniversaries of many kinds, small things like simply getting out of bed. This morning, we take a few moments to bring those places of celebration to Jesus.
(Take some time for bringing things that make you rejoice to mind, heart, and body.)
As you rejoice with Jesus, hear his words, “Peace be with you.”
In our lives there are things that make us doubt. There is news that seems to good to be true, there or places where our expectations have not been met, there are lies and half truths that are difficult to sort through. This morning, we take a few moments to bring our doubts to Jesus.
(Take some time for bringing doubts to mind, heart, and body.)
As you bring your doubts to Jesus hear his words, “Peace be with you.”
May this time of worship be a time that fills your whole being with the peace of Christ. Amen.
Tri-Saints provides this resource as a way to help you and those you love to worship on the go, wherever you are. Because in person worship is currently suspended, we will use this site as our order of worship on Sunday morning. You can find the link to the Zoom meeting on our parish website: www.tri-saints.org Please bring a candle to light, a “singing” bowl to ring, your Alleluia banner and/or noisemaker, a small bowl of water, and a coloring devotion, if you wish.
Easter Blessing (Easter Sunday)
We will engage in an Easter season prayer practice led by Rev. Patrick Sipes of The Forming Spirit.
Light Your Candle
Lighting a candle helps us to take an ordinary space and set it aside for a holy purpose. It reminds us of the light of Christ, coming among us. You can use a wax candle, an LED candle, or even a flashlight.
Confession & Forgiveness
Lutheran Book of Worship pg. 77
Ring the Singing Bowl
In worship, we ring a singing bowl to remind us of God’s presence and to help us to take a moment to fully arrive and be present to worship. You can use a metal bowl and a wooden spoon, a bell, or anything else that makes a sustained ringing sound (my favorite was a metal trash can and a rolling pin!). You can also play the video below.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.
Litany: Psalm 95
O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed. O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
We invite our children and youth into a time of interactive storytelling. At the end, they are invited to color their devotion sheet while they listen to the Gospel and the sermon.
Questions for Discussion
If you are accessing this site at a time other than our Zoom meeting, take some time to talk with others in your household or to journal about the following questions. If you get stuck, or want a place to start, you can access Pastor Breen’s weekly Dwelling in the Word devotion at http://tri-saintsworship.weebly.com
ELCA BOOK OF FAITH DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS
What scares, confuses, or challenges me in this text? What do I have questions about?
What delights me in this text? What is my favorite part, and why?
What stories or memories does this text stir up in me? How does this story connect to my life?
What is God up to in this text? What is God calling me to do or to be because of this message?
Worshippers have the opportunity to email Pastor Breen in advance, or to text or chat box their prayers during live worship.
Prayers of the People
The Lord be with you. And also with you. Let us pray for ourselves, the world, and all in need of prayer.
Powerful God, we pray for the church. During this time apart, help us to learn to connect, i n new, old, and surprising ways. Draw us ever closer to you. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we pray for the earth. Give us favorable weather, a safe planting season, and the hope of a plentiful harvest. Bless all those who care for your creation. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we pray for the world. We pray especially for decision makers, health care workers, scientists and factory workers, and all those who are working to provide essential services. Give wisdom to our leaders, safety to those who are vulnerable, and respite to those who are at the end of their strength. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we pray for our Partners in Mission. We pray especially for… Use their hands to do your work. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we pray for those who cannot be here with us today. We pray especially for… Help us to find innovative ways to connect with those who need our presence. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we pray for those in need of prayer. We pray especially for… Heal the sick, comfort the dying, give solace to all who mourn, and give us all a full measure of your grace and mercy, especially as we struggle in the days and weeks ahead. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we pray for those who are celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or other important milestones this week. We pray especially for… You are with us in the midst of our celebrations. Give us your joy, peace, hope, and love. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we pray for ourselves. (Chat box and texting prayers) and for those things on our hearts and minds which are known only to you. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Powerful God, we know that you both hear and respond to the prayers of our hearts. Give us each what we need, this day and always. In your name we pray, Amen.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed! Alleluia! We pray: Lord of All, you are a miracle worker, a healer, and a giver of new life. Open our eyes to see you, our hearts to receive you, and our hands to share the many blessings that you have given us to a world in need. We pray in hope and Easter joy, Amen.
Remembering Our Baptism
During this season of Easter, we conclude our worship by returning to our baptism so that we remember in this physical sign that God walks with us, from our worship and into our lives. We ask God to be present with us here in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Remember your baptism by dipping your finger in your water bowl and making the sign of the cross on your forehead. You may also say, “I am God’s child.”)
You are God’s Child. You are loved. You are forgiven. You have a place in God’s kingdom. Walk wet in this promise of life. Amen
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! Go in peace, strengthened for your journey. Thanks be to God.