Here are worship materials for the 4th Sunday of Eastertide.
Call to Worship 1 John 3:16-24 adapted
One: We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us.
All: So, we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
One: How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods,
and sees a brother or sister in need, and yet refuses help?
All: Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
One: By this we will know that we are from the truth.
All: By this, we reassure our hearts, not condemning ourselves.
One: Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God.
All: And if we obey his commandments, then our conscience is free.
One: And this is his commandment,
that we believe in God as Jesus reveals, and that we love one another.
All: All who obey his commandments abide in him,
and he abides in them, the proof of which is the Holy Spirit—
One: —this by which we gather and greet one another
that it might be so, “The peace of God be with you.”
All: And also with you.
Prayer of Invocation In unison
Eternal God, Resurrected Lord, we pray that we might be your people. We pray that we might follow you from life, through death, into your glorious reign; and that, like you, we might return to this world so to live out your freedom starting now, a new dispensation that is made possible for such eschatological hope.
We know we will falter at this. We know we will fall short, even fail. Forgive us this, and set us up once again to walk in courage and faith after you.
Like a shepherd, lead us, loving Lord, that by this your promised pastures of green might be for all to enjoy. Amen.
This is a release from South African artist, Nahkane’s, album You Will Not Die, the first album following his being outed as queer to his family who, as religious fundamentalists, eventually disowned him.
I slipped on the pebbles on the way to the gate,
held my balance on the cuff of your shirt.
You were upset.
We were going to the Port Elizabeth* port.
Up on the hill near the point was Frederick’s fort.*
I was upset.
Never live in fear again; no, never again.
And all the seraphim, and all the cherubim
Never knew them before, don’t know them now.
What about my mother and her sisters; what was the name?
I was upset.
Above in the bright New Brighton sky all the suffering
Match the strangled cries of this strange uncovering.
Would they avert their eyes?
* These were built by British colonizers in South Africa in the 19th century. They would later be sites used to imprison and torture Steven Biko during the Apartheid era.