Re-Centering

Here are worship material for the 5th Sunday of Eastertide.


"Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch," Boeckl, 20th c.

Call to Worship 1 John 4 Adapted

One: Beloved, let us love one another—

All: because love is from God.

One: Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

All: Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

One: God’s love was revealed among us in this way:

All: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.

One: Beloved, since God loves us so much, we also ought to love one another.

All: No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another,

then God lives in us and God’s love is perfected in us.

One: By this we know that we abide in God and God abides in us,

because he has given us of his Spirit.

All: God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God,

sent as Savior of the world; and they abide in God.

One: So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

All: God is love—

One: And those who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.

All: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear—for fear has to do with punishment.

One: So those who fear await perfection in love.

All: Likewise, those who say, “I love God,” and hate their neighbor are untrue—

One: for those who do not love a neighbor whom they have seen

cannot love God whom they have not seen.

All: No, for the commandment we have from him is this—

That we love God and neighbor alike; for in such love is God.

One: In hope of such gracious perfection we greet one another, “The peace of Lord be with you.”

All: And also with you.


Prayer of Invocation (in unison)

Living God, Loving Lord, in whose name we gather for worship and remembrance, we come as we are though we hope for transformation—that we might be more free, that we might be more true, that we might be more loving, that we might be re-membered to you and not dismembered as so much lifeless kindling. Convict us in your way even if it casts us as strange in the world.


The world would exploit; you would liberate. The world would keep count; you way is to pour forth grace. The world would demand conformity, even if the norms from which to choose grow in number; you allow that we might become ever more ourselves, each of us a manifestation of your creative power and proliferating wonder.


Our joining here only opens that way for us all the more.


Forgive us, then, when we look to the world for how we should be. Forgive us for our shying away from the boldness of your grand truth. Forgive us all our sin, for all the ways we’ve sinned against you and your loving will—in thought, word, and deed; in what we have done and in what we’ve left undone. Restore in us the desire to overcome sin. Renew us for your good purpose in the world, which, though yet unfinished, you do so love and which, by our work and witness, might come closer to your reign.


Grant that this might be so.


We pray this in Christ, your Son, our Savior, and the host at your table in glory. Amen.


Scripture & sermon audio.

Scripture & sermon text.

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Church on the Hill is a congregation of the United Church of Christ. We worship God, rely on Christ, rejoice in the Spirit, serve in hope, and welcome any and all to our common life. Sing, pray, commune, give thanks.  Come and see.

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Lenox, MA 01240

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