Worship Service: 6th Sunday of Easter/ Blessing of the Soil: 22 May 2022

Green seedling growing on the ground in the rain

Blessings to you this day and each day you wake to the good and glorious creation God has gifted us!

Peace, 

Pastor Chris Lee

Order of Worship for May 22, 2022:

Prelude: “Prayer of St. Francis,” – Pote; Senior Choir; soloist, Miriam Anderson.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Meditation

Visions abound in the readings for the sixth Sunday of Easter. Paul has a vision about what to do. John has a vision of what will be. Jesus provides visions of peace that surpasses human understanding and power beyond human imagination.

Thanksgiving for Baptism and the Blessing of Water and Soil

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

In the waters of baptism, we have passed over from death to life with Jesus Christ, and we are a new creation. For this saving mystery, and for this water and soil, let us bless God, who was, who is, and who is to come. We thank you, God, for your river of life, flowing freely from your throne: through the earth, through the city, through every living thing.

You rescued Noah and his family from the flood; You opened wide the sea for the Israelites and they walked on dry land. Now in these waters you flood us with mercy, and our sin is drowned forever. In this earth, you promise us growth in you and we are made a new creation. You open the gate of righteousness and we pass safely through. In Jesus Christ, you calm and trouble the waters. You nourish us and enclose us in safety. You call us forth and send us out. In lush and barren places, you are with us. You have become our salvation. Now breathe upon this soil and this water, the stuff of your good creation and awaken your church once more. Claim us again as your beloved and holy people. Quench our thirst; fill our longings; cleanse our hearts; wipe away every tear.

To you, our Beginning and our End, the Earth from which we are made and the dust to which we  return, our Shepherd and Lamb, be honor, glory, praise, and thanksgiving, now and forever.

Amen.

Opening Hymn: ELW 377- “Alleluia! Jesus is Risen!” All verses.

Prayer of the Day

Bountiful God, you gather your people into your realm, and you promise us food from your tree of life. Nourish us with your word, that empowered by your Spirit we may love one another and the world you have made, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

First Reading: Acts 16:9-15

A vision compels Paul to move his ministry into Greece. There he meets Lydia, an important person in the business community, whose heart has been opened by God to receive the gospel. Her conversion and baptism provide the impetus for the founding of the church at Philippi.

9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

Psalm: Psalm 67

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy. (Ps. 67:4)

1May God be merciful to us and bless us;
  may the light of God’s face shine upon us.
2Let your way be known upon earth,
  your saving health among all nations.
3Let the peoples praise you, O God;
  let all the peoples praise you.
4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
  for you judge the peoples with equity and guide all the nations on earth.
5Let the peoples praise you, O Go;
  let all the peoples praise you.
6The earth has brought forth its increase;
  God, our own God, has blessed us.
7May God give us blessing,
  and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe.

Second Reading: Revelation 21:10, 22–22:5

John’s vision of a new Jerusalem coming out of heaven provides continuity with God’s past actions. Yet in this new city, God’s presence replaces the temple, and the glory of God and the Lamb supplants sun and moon.

10And in the spirit one of the angels carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.
22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
22:1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Gospel: John 14:23-29

As Jesus talks of returning to the Father, he promises to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will teach Jesus’ followers and remind them of all that Jesus taught. Even more, those in whom God makes a home will experience a peace that overcomes fear.

23Jesus answered Judas (not Iscariot), “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.
25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 631- “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.”

Prayers of Intercession

Set free from captivity to sin and death, we pray to the God of resurrection for the church, people in need, and all of creation.

God of new life, open your church to the unexpected ways your Spirit is at work. Guide bishops, pastors, deacons, and lay leaders in their visioning, partnership, and planning. Surround us with your peace. God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Give a vision of increase and abundant harvest for farmers, laborers, and gardeners who are beginning their growing season. Join their efforts with the goodness of creation to feed all living things. God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Shine your light of wisdom and peace among nations. When those in power seek to assert dominance over others, confound their ways and make them yield to your humble authority. God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Give safe haven to those who seek healing, liberation, or peace especially Kayte Witten; Ken Bobb; Andrea Bobb; Velma Bingaman; the Family of Lisa Miers Lange; Chris Schaffter; Ruth Mortland; Richard Mowery; Melvin Neu; Gary Berg; Jeanna LaRue; Bruce and Sandy Wright; Betty Lee; Julie Prenatt; David Neu; Sheri Stoutt; Nan Hibbs; Richard Hotchkiss; Charysse and Adean Heritage and Family; Randy McIntyre; Karen Bemowski; Marilyn Hubbard; Helen Schubert, and all those we name before you now, aloud or in our hearts…

Create places filled with hospitality where hurting people find your loving presence and wholeness. God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Uphold the work of ministries and organizations in our communities who assist people experiencing homelessness, citizens returning from prison, and all marginalized people. Accomplish your will through their efforts. God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

Assemble your people at rivers, streams, and fonts, where we remember our baptism and welcome others into the communion of saints. Gather us with those who have died and have been returned to the earth, especially Lisa Miers Lange, when we meet together at your river of life. God, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

In your mercy, O God, respond to these prayers, and renew us by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Amen.

Peace

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord’s Prayer

Communion Hymns:

ELW 785- “When Peace Like a River.”

ELW 646- “The Peace of the Lord.

Prayer and Blessing after Communion

We give you thanks, generous God, for in this bread and cup we have tasted the new heaven and earth where hunger and thirst are no more. Send us from this table as witnesses to the resurrection, that through our lives, all may know life in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

God, the Author of life, Christ, the living Cornerstone, and the life-giving Spirit of adoption, ☩ bless you now and forever.

Amen.

Sending Hymn: ELW 763- “My Life Flows On In Endless Song.”

Dismissal

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Go in peace. Tell what God has done.

Thanks be to God.

Postlude: TFF 258- “I’ve Got Peace Like a River.”

Facebook link to May 22, 2022 Worship Service:

https://www.facebook.com/190629367619921/videos/3624950087827536

Image credits: Soil-Water, morningagclips.com and Soil in Hands, Pixabay

Music credits:

Miriam Anderson: Assisting Minister

Pam Edwards: Music Director; Pianist/ Organist

“Prayer of St. Francis.” Contributors: Allen Pote. Tune: © 1986 Hinshaw Music. One License #93237. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Alleluia! Jesus is Risen!” Contributors: Herbert F Brokering, David N. Johnson. Tune: © 1968, Augsburg Fortress Text: © 1995, Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.” Text: Charles Wesley, 1707 – 1788. Music: Rowland H. Prichard, 1811 – 1887. Public domain.

“When Peace Like a River.” Text: Horatio G. Spafford, 1828 – 1888. Music: Philip P. Bliss, 1838 – 1876. Public domain.

“The Peace of the Lord.” (La paz del Senor). Contributors: Anders Ruuth; tr. Gerhard M. Cartford, b. 1923. Tune: © 1970, Anders Ruuth, admin. Augsburg Fortress Text: © 1970, Anders Ruuth, admin. Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“My Life Flows On In Endless Song.” Text: Robert Lowry, 1826 – 1899. Music: Robert Lowry, alt.. Public domain.

“I’ve Got Peace Like a River.” Text: traditional. Music: African American spiritual.

Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.