5/12/19 4th Sunday of Easter


4th Sunday of Easter

The Book of Common Worship (2018)



The gift of new life, of eternal life, is the gift of the risen Christ. It is the promise of Jesus. It was true for Dorcas in Joppa. It was true for those “who have come out of the great ordeal” in the Revelation vision. It is true for us and for all the baptized: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.







Alleluia. Jesus says, I am the good shepherd.

I know my own and my own know me. Alleluia.

O God of peace, you brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep. By the blood of your eternal covenant, make us complete in everything good that we may do your will, and work among us all that is well-pleasing in your sight, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


HYMN # 187 Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us


PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION(Rev. 22:17, Acts 2:17, 21)


“The Lord says: Come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.” Amen.


Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin and seek reconciliation between God, neighbor and our very selves.


Silence is kept for reflection.





Almighty God,

in raising Jesus from the grave,

you shattered the power of sin and death.

We confess that we remain captive to doubt and fear,
bound by the ways that lead to death.

We overlook the poor and the hungry,
and pass by those who mourn;

we are deaf to the cries of the oppressed,
and indifferent to calls for peace;

we despise the weak,

and abuse the earth you made.

Forgive us, God of mercy.

Help us to trust your power

to change our lives and make us new,

that we may know the joy of life abundant
given in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord.


Hear the good news of God’s promise:

“I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Friends, in Jesus Christ, you are free! Alleluia!! Amen!!!


Since God has reconciled with us in, with and through Jesus, let us then be reconciled with one another. The Peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.


The people may exchange with one another, by words and gesture, signs of peace

and reconciliation.


OFFERING OF MUSIC:          The Gift of Love             HANDBELLS



ALL SING # 853 We Are Marching in the Light of God



Living God, with joy we celebrate the presence of your risen Word.

Enliven our hearts by your Holy Spirit so that we may proclaim the good news of eternal and abundant life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


FIRST READING: Acts 9:36-43

Dorcas was a faithful and devoted woman of charity in the community of Joppa. Her kindness and her work with clothing was well-known, especially to the widows in town. When she fell ill and died, Peter raised her back to life through the power of prayer.


36Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. 37At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” 39So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 40Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. 42This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.


The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


PSALM 23, Hymn # 801                    The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want


SECOND READING: Revelation 7:9-17

Christ is the shepherd who leads his faithful to springs of the water of life. Christ is also the lamb who vanquishes sin and suffering, in whose blood the saints have washed their robes and made them white.


9After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

11And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12singing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom

and thanksgiving and honor

and power and might

be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

13Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15For this reason they are before the throne of God,

and worship him day and night within his temple,

and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.

                16They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;

the sun will not strike them,

nor any scorching heat;

                17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


GOSPEL: John 10:22-30

Jesus responds to questions about his identity with the remarkable claim that he and the Father are one. Those who understand this are his sheep; they hear his voice, follow, and will never be snatched from his hand.


22At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. 24So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30The Father and I are one.”


The Gospel of Our Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ!





Trusting God’s promise of new life, we pray for the renewal of the church, the world, and all of creation.


A brief silence.


Shine your light through this and every congregation. Reveal to us the light of your salvation in places of hopelessness and decay. Anoint us and make us overflow with goodness and mercy. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


We give thanks for gentle rains that nourish green pastures and rejuvenate rivers and streams. Provide clean water for thirsty people, animals, and crops. Heal places suffering destruction caused by floods, typhoons, storms, and mudslides. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Empower authorities to be faithful shepherds who lead nations in pathways of righteousness and peace (especially). Disrupt and deter the work of terrorists, religious and political extremists, and all who would choose the way of violence over the way of mercy. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Give strength and perseverance to those facing struggles of hunger or thirst, unemployment or homelessness, chronic illness or anxiety (especially). Be our never-failing voice of comfort through all the trials of this life. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Raise up faithful women as witnesses to your strength and compassion. Bless mothers and all who offer mothering care. Protect victims of sexism, abuse, and gender-based violence. Restore dignity to those marginalized because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


Here other intercessions may be offered.


Salvation belongs to you, O God. You promise to wipe away every tear. Give us the assurance that all who live and die in you will rest forever beside the river of life. We commemorate this week: Women of the Church in all places and time;

E-pif-a-ni-us of Sal-a-mis; Julian of Norwich; Hall-vard of Norway; Nicholas the Mystic; Brendan the Voyager; Sandro Bot-ti-chel-li; Res-tit-u-ta of Carthage; Erik of Sweden; and Or-i-gen.

Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


We commend these and all our prayers to you, O God. Come near to us with your saving help, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.



“The Lord prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies; God anoints us with oil; our cups overflow.” Let us offer our lives to the Lord.

Let us offer our lives to the Lord.


During this time of offering you are encouraged to take a moment to be in prayer with God and reflect on what is means to be a student or disciple of Jesus Christ. The Gospel understanding of discipleship is a way of being in the world that affects every relationship. Disciples shape one another according to the action of the Spirit in their lives. The energy of the disciples flows from faith in what is unseen yet believed. At its very core, discipleship is a call to a love so radical that it never gives up on God, one’s neighbor, or one’s self. How is God calling you to use your gifts, talents, time and resources to love radically, especially as a part of this worshipping community?


Offerings and tithes will be collected by the ushers in the Narthex (the great entrance hall) following worship. If you would like to make an offering using your smart phone or tablet, go to www.SouthminsterChurch.org and click on the Donate link.







The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Eternal God,

we praise you that your glory has dawned on us,

and brought us into this Day of Resurrection.

We rejoice that the grave could not hold your Son,

and that he has conquered death,

risen to rule over all powers of this earth.

We praise you that he summons us into new life,

to follow him with joy and gladness.

By your Spirit,

lift us from doubt and despair,

and set our feet in Christ’s holy way,

that our lives may be signs of his life,

and all we have may show forth his love.

Praise, glory, and thanksgiving to you,

our God, forever and ever, as we pray:

Our Father

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our debts,

as we forgive our debtors;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom

and the power

and the glory, forever.


HYMN # 802 The King of Love My Shepherd Is






NOTES: Order of service and content is in accord with the Presbyterian Church’s Directory for Worship. Prayers are from the Sundays and Seasons (Year C), Glory to God Hymnal on-line, and the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018).







12      Women of the Church in all places and time

Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315– 403)

13      Juliana of Norwich (d. 1416)

14      Hallvard of Norway (d. 1043)

15      Nicholas the Mystic (d. 925)

16      Brendan the Voyager (460– c. 577)

17      Sandro Botticelli (1444– 1510)

Restituta of Carthage (d. 255)

18      Erik of Sweden (d. 116)

Origen (c. 185– 254)


Presbyterian Church. Book of Common Worship . Presbyterian Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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