Hear what the Lord says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let

Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 17, 2020

WELCOME

Welcome to worship.

If you’re feeling far from God or closer than ever – this time of worship is for you.

If you’re feeling deep loneliness or too much togetherness – this time of worship is for you.

If you’re feeling scattered and scared or hope-filled and holy – this worship is for you.

For it is God who gathers us across time and space to proclaim a truth more powerful than the sway of our daily moods, to speak promises more enduring than the changing daily news, to remind us who we are and Whose we are.

We at Southminster are a caring family of believers who exist to connect others with Christ.

And we believe that Christ is here: in empty sanctuaries and absent-minded hearts, Christ is alive.

So let us quiet our souls to worship this God who is for you. Who is with you.

Who remains no matter what else might change.

Joining me in leading worship today are Conrad, Beth, and Janice Rockey, Christian Payne and Kris Wilcher.  

Let us worship our Living God!

 

MUSIC

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Jesus promised us this:

(All) The Spirit of truth to abide with us.

Jesus promised us this:

(All) The Advocate to be with us forever.

Jesus promised us this:

(All) He would not leave us orphaned.

Jesus promised us this:

(All) He will love us and reveal himself to us.

Jesus is coming to us now in truth, in power, and in peace.

(All) Let us worship the God who loves us!

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Let us pray,

Jesus, you tell us that if we love you then we will keep your commandments.

And though we want to love you more,

we find ourselves fickle and distracted,

fearful and in despair.

Forgive us when our own emotions keep us insulated

from the needs of our neighbors,

from the cries of your children.

Forgive us when our isolation keeps us from acting

to protect the powerless,

and defend the defenseless.

Forgive us when we forget that you are our advocate and our constant protection.

By your grace, grant us the courage to live as your children,

to share our weakness with others and, in so doing,

to discover new ways to care for each other,

just as you care for each of us.

In faith we pray,

All: Amen.

 

ASSURANCE

Hear this Good News: Jesus loves you. Jesus is with you.

Believe the good news of the gospel, in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. You can be at peace. Amen.

 

 

PASSING THE PEACE

In these days of physical distancing,

I’m starting to put greater weight on Jesus’ teaching that where two or more are gathered, God is there.

And I believe we experience that same peace of God’s presence when we reach out to one another in any form.

So, I want you to take a moment now to

ask God who needs a little peace right now and lift them up in prayer.

Perhaps, send that prayer to them in a text, a card, or over a phone call.

Whether you pause this recording to do it now or wait until after the benediction,

I assure you that in offering them Christ’s peace, you too will be blessed.

Children of God, May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

(All) And also with you.

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

God, you are the giver of all good gifts. By the power of your Holy Spirit speak to us with clarity and compassion through your holy Word. Give us ears to hear your voice and the grace to respond with faith. Amen.

 

EPISTLE READING

Out first reading this morning is from 1 Peter 3:13-22. Hear a word from the Lord:

Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you–not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

 

GOSPEL READING

Our Gospel reading for this day comes from John 14:15-21.

Listen now for the words of Jesus to his first disciples:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

The Word of the Lord.

(All) Thanks be to God.

 

SERMON | God Remains

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE WITH THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

MUSIC

 

BENEDICTION