Sunday Moments

May 3, 2020


Prelude Music

Offered by: Emma Niiler and Craig Niiler

Messiah

1. Someone’s shouting from the desert,
Someone’s shouting from the sea,
Someone’s shouting from the mountains,
Someone’s shouting from the valley.

Chorus:

Messiah, come and be our King.
Messiah, come and be our King.

2. Someone’s shouting from the city,
“I am young, I am cold.”
Someone’s shouting from the country,
“I am lonely, I am old.”

3. Someone’s shouting, “I am broken,”
Someone’s shouting, “Make me whole,”
Someone’s shouting, “Come and change me,”
Someone’s shouting, “Save my soul.”
Words and Music by Larry Olson © 1989 Dakota Road Music CCLI383771

Easter Greeting*

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Prayer of the Day*

Let us pray.
O God our shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Scripture Reading:

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.
The LORD makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
You restore my soul, O LORD,
and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they   comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Thought for the Day


This week while reading the May issue of GATHER, I read a devotional by Angela T. Khabeb focusing on hospitality, using Psalm 23 as one of her texts. Although written months ago, I share a portion of this devotional with you as it applies to all of us right now in the midst of this pandemic.

“Often read at funerals, Psalm 23 may carry a somber or even sorrowful tone for some. Yet the psalmist’s imagery provides the most beautiful description of God’s presence among us. We encounter a tender, compassionate God - a God who lavishes care on us. It’s hard to fathom that God – who is God of the universe – is busy creating safe space for us in lush, verdant gardens. If that weren’t enough, God sets about bringing us to living waters of restoration. God becomes our faithful companion, staying right beside us in the middle of tragedy and heartbreak. We read: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.’” ***

We may not be thinking that there are lush, verdant gardens during these days. But what comes to mind, are the caring and compassionate health professionals who are tending to the sick today and providing comfort to the dying. They are living agents of God’s compassion and care. We hear stories of hospital staff holding tablets and phones so families can see each other although physically separated. Yet we hear news stories of health care professionals crying and completely exhausted at the end of a long and sad shift. Yes, these are tough, tough times but God is there amidst the darkness. God shows up in the hands of caring health professionals, loving family members and concerned neighbors.

These are overwhelming times for sure. Our ELCA tagline is “God’s Work, Our Hands.” Our hands are providing God’s care and compassion to all people. We pray for those who are sick or isolated, probably more than we ever have before. We sew masks and head coverings to give away, we serve as health professionals, store clerks, delivery drivers, civil servants, food bank workers, teachers, bus drivers, scientists, fire and police personnel, worship leaders, and more. We are good listeners to our friends, colleagues, neighbors, children and extended families. We are God’s hands at all times, especially during this crisis and in the restoration to come. I invite you to look for God in our world today, among the many faces you encounter…and I invite you to continue to be God’s hands for all people.

Let us pray,
“Gracious and mysterious God, your ways are above our ways, and your thoughts are higher than our human understanding. Yet you know us better than we know ourselves. When we struggle to recognize your activity in our lives and in the world around us, grant us wisdom to see your presence in unexpected places. Broaden our understanding of the family of God, and give us boldness to venture beyond our assumptions, traditions and comfort zones. Teach us to genuinely welcome all your children. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.” ***
~Judy Hakanson Smith, Director of Family & Adult Programs

Hymn of the Day

Shepherd Me, O God

(Evangelical Lutheran Worship #780)

Refrain:
Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.


1. God is my shepherd, so nothing I shall want,
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace.

2. Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul,
you lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth, my spirit shall sing the music of your Name.

3. Though I should wander the valley of death, I fear no evil, for you are at my side, your rod and your staff, my comfort and my hope.

4. You have set me a banquet of love in the face of hatred, crowning me with love beyond my pow'r to hold.

5. Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of my God forevermore.
Text & Music: Marty Haugen ©1986 GIA Publications One License #A-700246

Prayers of Intercession**

Penned up in our homes but united in the one flock of believers, we pray for the church, the earth, the world, and all in need.

A brief silence.

For the church, O God, we pray: that we will hear and follow your voice calling to us in the word; that bishops, pastors and deacons be sustained for their shepherding tasks; that churches devastated by the virus be upheld; that in this time churches find ways to continue their ministries of education and service:

A brief silence. O God, faithful shepherd of the church, restore our life.

For the earth we pray: that lands and waters be renewed; that animals and plants enjoy safe growth; that rain and soil nurture the fields; that drought and floods in Yemen be averted and locusts of Kenya cease their frenzy:

A brief silence. O God, steadfast gardener of the earth, restore our life.

For the nations of the world we pray: that heads of state and legislators cooperate for the good of all; that medical experts be heeded; that government moneys serve the nations’ greatest needs; that during Ramadan Muslims are granted release from prejudice:

A brief silence. O God, fearless peacemaker of the nations, restore our life.

For a world so economically divided, we pray: that the millions of those unemployed be given food and shelter now and jobs in the future; that children find a fruitful means of education; that refugees be safeguarded from violence and prejudice; that, inspired by the early Christians, those who have means become ever more generous to those who endure great want:

A brief silence.O God, just protector of the poor, restore our life.

For all in need we pray: that those afflicted with the coronavirus be cared for; that the sick be healed; that those in despair find hope; that those who are lonely be comforted; that medical workers be safeguarded; that those we name here receive the best possible care:

A brief silence. O God, mighty healer of the sick, restore our life.

For our own desires we pray: that like the shepherds Rachel and David, each tending their father’s flocks, that you hear the cries of our hearts:

A longer period of silence. O God, tender shepherd of each of us, restore our life.

We praise you for those who have died in the faith, remembering this week: Monica, Julian of Norwich, Nicholaus Zinzendorf, and those we name before you here. . . We pray that at our end, as sheep of your own fold, as lambs of your own flock, we will be gathered into your mercy, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

A brief silence. O God, gateway to life, restore our life.

Into your everlasting arms we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your care for us, through Jesus Christ, our guardian and friend.
Amen.

Benediction**

The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.
The God of all grace ☩ bless us now and forever.
Amen.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Amen.
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
*From sundaysandseasons.com.
©2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies
Annual License #SAS006505.

**Worship in the Home https://blogs.elca.org/worship/2147

***GATHER © 2020 by Women of the ELCA; Volume 33, Issue 4, May 2020, p. 22-27.

previous sunday moments:


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