Easter Sunday – April 9

Resurrection Sunday
April 9, 2023
“Toward the Tomb”

Call to Worship
One: Give thanks to our Good God whose unfailing love lasts forever!
Many: Give thanks to our Risen God whose unfailing love lives forever!
One: We gather together in the dawn of a new day. We look toward the tomb to seek the Enfleshed Word.
Many: The stone has been rolled away. The tomb is empty! Alleluia!
One: We find God alive in the searching, in the garden, in our hope-filled spaces.
Many: Alleluia. Christ lives and finds us with unfailing love!

Resurrected God, you are the God of new beginnings, of new dawns and new mercies. Enter into our presence again. When we move toward the tomb, remind us that you come with life. When we despair at the world unfolding around us, assure us of your redemptive power. When we long for your voice, speak a word of hope, encouragement, and peace. May we reflect your image as resurrection people in covenant with you. Amen.

Prayer for Transformation and New Life
Amazing God, we know there is nothing you cannot overcome. We confess to our profound need of your love, strength, and mercy. Too often, we come toward the tomb resigned to the status quo. We anticipate the worst even when you are the provider of every good and perfect thing. We allow despair over the condition of our world overwhelm us when you call us to follow you. Fortify us to live abundantly in your kindom on earth. Transform us and breathe new life into us.

Words of Grace
The One who transformed death can and will certainly transform our lives. Jesus welcomes us on the journey to new life. No matter how many times our steps stray, we hide from hard things, or we betray the good news, God’s grace meets us with an unfailing love to guide us on the path of life abundant and everlasting. Receive the resurrection power of the One who was and is and is to come.

Invitation to Generosity
Colossians 3:1-2 states, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” In the giving of our gifts, we seek the kindom, we trust in the Provider, and we follow in the way of Jesus.

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving
Giving God, receive this portion of the gifts you have given to us. May our time, treasure, and talent be magnified and multiplied for your glory. Amen.

Like the disciples on the day of Resurrection
May we go toward the tomb
A place seemingly devoid of life
May we find life in all its glory
And spread the news
That life prevails
That life redeems
And that love never fails.
God in peace with resurrection purpose to love God, God’s children, and God’s creation. Amen.

Toward the Tomb: Service Prayers for Resurrection Sunday was written by The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Minister for Worship and Theology, United Church of Christ.