Worship Guide - Fourth Sunday of Easter

Worship Guide

April 21, 2024

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Creating Disciples of Jesus who Transform the World






Minister: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

People: And also with you!


Special Music:  “Your Great Name” Stefanie


Centering Words:


Be bold before God, for Christ, the rejected one, has become the cornerstone of our faith. Through the Good Shepherd, you are found, comforted, and loved.


*Call to Worship:


Leader:    The Lord is my shepherd, I will fear no darkness.

People:   We will love one another, as Christ loves us.

Leader:    Christ, the Good Shepherd, has compassion for all.

People:   We will love one another, as Christ loves us.

Leader:    Open your hearts to goodness and mercy today.

People:   We will love one another, as Christ loves us.

Leader:    Love, not merely in thought and word, but in truth and action.

People:   We will love one another as Christ loves us

Leader:    Let us pray.


ALL: Shepherding God, guardian of our souls, you offer us rest in the safety of green pastures. Shower us with your love, and offer us fullness of life in your name. When our spirits are parched, you lead us beside still waters and quench our thirst for righteousness; you restore our souls and heal our battered spirits. Touch our hearts and minds, that your goodness and mercy may follow us every day of our lives. May we abide in your love and grace for all eternity. Amen.


Hymn: In Christ Alone”  


In Christ alone my hope is found,

he is my light, my strength, my song.

This Cornerstone, this solid ground,

firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,

when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My Comforter, my all in all,

here in the love of Christ I stand.


In Christ alone, who took on flesh,

fullness of God in helpless babe.

This gift of love and righteousness,

scorned by the ones He came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died,

the wrath of God was satisfied;

for every sin on Him was laid.

Here in the death of Christ I live.


There in the ground His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain.

Then bursting forth in glorious day,

up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory,

sin's curse has lost its grip on me.

For I am His and He is mine,

bought with the precious blood of Christ.


No guilt in life, no fear in death,

this is the power of Christ in me.

From life's first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme or plan

can ever pluck me from His hand.

'Till He returns or calls me home

here in the power of Christ I'll stand.




Words of Assurance


You are welcome at the table of the Lord.

The Good shepherd beckons all to come and be restored.

We rejoice in the knowledge that we are loved!


*Gospel Reading: John 10:11-18


11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”




Time with Young Friends: “Jesus Loves Me


Children’s Message: “Show Love”


Hymn: “Light of the World”  


You are the Light of the World, O Lord,

and you make your servant shine.

So how could there be

any darkness in me

if you are the Light of the World?

You are the Light of the World.


You are the Bread of Life, O Lord,

broken to set us free.

So how could there be

any hunger in me

if you are the Bread of Life?

You are the Bread of Life.


You've overcome the world, O Lord,

and given us victory.

So why could I fear

when trouble is near

if you've overcome the world?

You've overcome the world.


Sermon: “We Abide in Christ” 1 John 3:16-24


15 All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. 16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?


18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.


23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.




Prayers of the People: Joys and concerns

   Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer




Invitation, Prayer of Confession and Pardon:


    Christ our Lord invites to his table

       all who love him,

who earnestly repent of their sin

and seek to live in peace with one another.

Therefore, let us confess our sin before God

and one another.


Merciful God,

we confess that we have not loved you

with our whole hearts.

We have failed to be an obedient church.

We have not done your will,

we have broken your law,

we have rebelled against your love,

we have not loved our neighbors,

and we have not heard the

cry of the needy.

Forgive us, we pray.

Free us for joyful obedience,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Hear the good news:

Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;

that proves God's love toward us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!


In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

Glory to God. Amen


 The Great Thanksgiving  


    The Lord be with you

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing,

always and everywhere

to give thanks to you,

Father Almighty, creator of

heaven and earth.

You formed us in your image and

breathed into us the breath of life.

When we turned away, and our love failed,

your love remained steadfast.

You delivered us from captivity,

made covenant to be our sovereign God,

and spoke to us through your prophets.

And so,

with your people on earth

and all the company of heaven

we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


Holy are you, and blessed is your Son

Jesus Christ.

Your Spirit anointed him

to preach good news to the poor,

to proclaim release to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

and to announce that the time had come

when you would save your people.

He healed the sick, fed the hungry,

and ate with sinners.

By the baptism of his suffering,

death, and resurrection,

you gave birth to your church,

delivered us from slavery to sin and death,

and made with us a new covenant

by water and the Spirit.

When the Lord Jesus ascended,

he promised to be with us always,

in the power of your Word and Holy Spirit.

On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Take, eat; this my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."


When the supper was over, he took the cup,

gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Drink from this all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

poured out for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it

in remembrance of me."


And so,

in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,

we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving

as a holy and living sacrifice,

in union with Christ's offering for us,

as we proclaim the mystery of faith


Christ has died;

Christ is risen;

Christ will come again.


Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,

and on these gifts of bread and wine.

Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,

that we may be for the world the body of Christ,

redeemed by his blood.

       By your Spirit make us one with Christ,

one with each other,

and one in ministry to all the world,

until Christ comes in final victory,

and we feast at his heavenly banquet.


Through your Son Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,

all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,

now and forever.   Amen


And now with the confidence of children of God, let us pray:


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.



Sharing of the Cup and Loaf


Moment of Prayer and Meditation  


Prayer of Thanks


Eternal God, we give you thanks

for this holy mystery

in which you have given yourself to us. 

Grant that we may go into the world

in the strength of your Spirit,

to give ourselves to others,

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. 





Hymn: “Bind Us Together”  


Bind us together, Lord,

Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord,

bind us together in love.


There is only one God,

there is only one King;

there is only one body,

that is why we sing.


Bind us together, Lord,

Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord,

bind us together in love.


Bind us together, Lord,

Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.

Bind us together, Lord,

bind us together, Lord, bind us together in love.


There is only one God,

there is only one King;

there is only one body,

that is why we sing.


Bind us together, Lord,

Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, Lord,

bind us together in love.