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May 05

7th Sunday of Easter (Year C)

alpha omegaActs 16:16-34
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Did you notice that Paul’s first inclination was not to command the spirit to leave the girl – his first inclination was to ignore it.  When the annoyance was too much, then Paul acted and commanded the spirit to leave the slave girl.  Do we wait until we are personally annoyed with something before we work for justice?  Do we work to set others free only when it will benefit us?
  • Paul and Silas are arrested for casting out a spirit that had been holding a girl in slavery.  Persecution of Christ-followers still happens today.  Pray for those who have been captured and persecuted for living out their faith.
  • While they are in jail, Paul and Silas have a hymn-sing!  Follow their lead, and have a hymn-sing in worship today.  What songs would you sing if you were in that jail cell with Paul and Silas?
  • The jailer’s entire family is baptized when they hear the Word.  Celebrate a baptism or a baptism remembrance during worship.  Be sure to have the font filled with fresh water and part of your worship display.
Psalm 97
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • This psalm is also read on Christmas Day, so you may want to see what has been suggested in these posts: Christmas (Year B) and Christmas (Year C).
  • The imagery used describes the rich variety that exists in God’s creation – from coastlands to mountains, fire and clouds, heavens and earth.  Use pictures and other artwork that features the images described in the psalm in your worship display.
  • What idols are we tempted to worship?
  • They psalmist says that “the Lord loves those who hate evil.”  It is important to note that the psalmist does not say that the Lord loves those who hate certain people or evil doers.  It is vital that we not confuse “evil” with “people” – to do so is to judge, and we are called to love
Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Christ is named as “the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end”.  Those key words (and Greek letters) could be used in your worship display.
  • All people are called to “come” – everyone “who hears”, who “is thirsty”, and “who wishes to take the water of life as a gift”.
  • Bless water (in bottles) and let people take it home.  Or… take the blessed water to the streets and give it away to those in need in your community.
  • Decorate your worship space with water (in a variety of containers).
  • With all of this talk about water, use it as an opportunity to talk about the need for clean water in our world.
John 17:20-26
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Jesus prays that there may be unity among all believers.
  • You could use the word “unity” or “one” in your worship display.
  • Where do we see God’s glory?  Are we aware of how God has given us the gift of glory?

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