Easter Call to Worship

Here’s a call to worship for Easter.  Biblical text from the CEB.  This responsive reading and the prayer following are intended to open a worship service on Easter Sunday and/or for use during the Easter season.

Easter Call to Worship: Based on Psalm 118:1, 15, 17, 22-24

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his faithful love lasts forever.

Christ is risen!  Praise the Lord!

The sounds of joyful songs and deliverance are heard in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s strong hand is victorious!”

Christ is risen!  Praise the Lord!

I won’t die—no, I will live and declare what the Lord has done.

Christ is risen!  Praise the Lord!

The stone rejected by the builders is now the main foundation stone! This has happened because of the Lord; it is astounding in our sight!

Christ is risen!  Praise the Lord!

This is the day the Lord acted;

we will rejoice and celebrate in it!

Prayer

Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, this is a great day: the day of your creating and saving work through the resurrection of Jesus Christ!  By faith, we too have died with Christ and have been raised with Christ so that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us.  So we have come to celebrate your life, declare your praise, and glorify your name, through Christ, the Risen One.  Amen.

 

 

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Call to Worship: Rock & Refuge

Here’s a call to worship based on Psalm 18, a great prayer of David, that emphasizes God as rock, refuge, and savior.  Biblical text from the CEB.  Following are a couple possible prayers to pair with the responsive reading.

Responsive Reading: Psalm 18:1-2, 27-30, 46

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer.

My God is my rock— I take refuge in him!— he’s my shield, my salvation’s strength, my place of safety.

You are the one who saves people who suffer and brings down those with proud eyes.

You are the one who lights my lamp— the Lord my God illumines my darkness. With you I can charge into battle; with my God I can leap over a wall.

God! His way is perfect; the Lord’s word is tried and true. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

The Lord lives! Bless God, my rock! Let the God of my salvation be lifted high!

Prayer

We sing your praise, God, for you are our protection and our freedom.  Only you.  By the power of your Spirit, may your strength enable our strength and your Word shape our words.  Enable us to love you, serve you, and follow you so that our lives may demonstrate the redeeming love of Jesus, in whose name we pray and come before you in worship.  Amen.

Alternate Prayer

God, there is you, and there is everything else.  Nothing compares to you.  No one comes close.  In agreement with David, we say with confidence and praise, “With you we can meet any challenge and overcome any obstacle.”  As you were for David then, be for us today a solid rock, a safe fortress, a strong rescuer.  For this, we worship you—the living, saving God who rules over all.  In the name of Jesus we pray and come before you in worship.  Amen.

Call to Worship: Desire for God

Here’s a responsive reading for use as a call to worship based on Psalm texts that express a deep desire for God.  The prayer following may be paired with the reading.  All texts are quoted from the CEB.

Call to Worship: Based on Pss. 27:4, 42:1-2a, 63:1-2, 84:1-2

God! My God! It’s you— I search for you! My whole being thirsts for you! My body desires you in a dry and tired land, no water anywhere.

Just like a deer that craves streams of water, my whole being craves you, God. My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.

I have asked one thing from the Lord— it’s all I seek: to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, seeing the Lord’s beauty and constantly adoring his temple.

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of heavenly forces! My very being longs, even yearns, for the Lord’s courtyards. My heart and my body will rejoice out loud to the living God!

Come, my heart says, seek God’s face.

Lord, I do seek your face! 

Prayer

God, you have called us to come to you.  You have brought us here – to this place, this hour, this act of worship.  And we have come.  We come to know you and love you, and to experience your love that is better than life.  Our hearts are open to receive, our hands our lifted to bless, and our lips are parted to praise you.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.