The Third Sunday of Easter
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God of life, in your risen Son you reveal your abiding presence among us and summon us to lives of worship and service. Fill us with reverence as we come before you today. And grant us courage and enthusiasm in bearing witness before the world to your Son, Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, who lives and reigns with you now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
“”The Lion and The Lamb”” – Big Daddy Weave
A Reading from the Letters: 2 Corinthians 1:15-22 (NLT)
Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a double blessing by visiting you twice — first on my way to Macedonia and again when I returned from Macedonia. Then you could send me on my way to Judea.
You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
A Reading from the Gospels: John 21:1-14 (NLT)
Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
Almighty God: You claim us as your own and rescue us from all distress. Pour out your Spirit on your people, as we confidently approach your throne of grace. We pray especially –
+ That all believers may hold onto your promises….
+ That believers who are wavering may stand firm….
+ That believers who are suffering may have courage….
+ That missionaries may serve with conviction and enthusiasm….
+ That those working the sea may receive protection….
+ That those working the land may receive just reward….
+ That those who prepare and serve food may themselves be sustained….
Almighty God: Hear our prayers and the cries of our hearts, and have mercy us. Guide us through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may love and serve you all the days of our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Stand In Your Love” – Josh Baldwin
Closing Declaration: Psalm 33:3-5
Sing a new song of praise to him; sing with joy. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good, and the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen