6th Sunday of Easter

May 25, 2025

Lectionary Texts

Acts 16. 9-15 — Paul’s vision—“come to Macedonia”—and his visit to Philippi. Lydia takes them in.

Psalm 67 — God be gracious to us and shine their face upon us.

Revelation 21.22 – 22.5 — The new Jerusalem. The river of the water of life. The tree of life for the healing of the nations. God is their light.

John 14.23-29 — “Those who love me keep my word…. Abba God and I will come to them and make our home with them. …The Advocate will teach you everything… Peace I give you…. I am going away, and I am coming to you…”

Preaching Thoughts

In his dream Paul is beckoned to Macedonia by a man; but it is a woman who greets him and his crew, and joins in their ministry.Knowing they are on the road, she welcomes them to stay in her home. Hospitality is a work of the Spirit. And here’s another of many glimpses of the importance of women in Jesus’ ministry, and in the early church.

The new Jerusalem is not a vision of the triumph of Christ or Christianity over the world: it’s a vision of healing. The river of the water of life and the tree of life are for everybody, for the healing of the world. This is our vision: not an escape to a nicely furnished heaven, not the spreading of our religion or the success of our church, but the healing of the world.

Jesus offers an image of God not as a king on a far-off throne, but as a homemaker. God comes and “makes a home” with us. In fact God is our home: in v. 20 Jesus says “I am in God and you in me, and I in you.” (Here’s the organic material that becomes the Trinity. And according to Jesus, we are the fourth member of the Trinity.)
       Judas (the other one) asks “How is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus’ answer is indirect (no surprise there) but he says: “Those who love me will keep my word.” When we love, we will see Jesus. Whoever does not love Jesus, that is, love their neighbor, won’t see. You won’t see Jesus through intelligence or skepticism, through religious fervor or pious intent. You’ll see Jesus when you love.
       Jesus promises “the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. The word in Greek is paraclete. It’s a technical term for someone who would advocate for you in court, essentially a defense attorney. We think of God as our judge, but Jesus sees God as our defense attorney, advocating for us against the judgments of the world.
       It’s to people who may well actually be headed into court, people who are being persecuted, or at least meeting resistance from the culture, to whom Jesus says “My peace I give to you.” Take this with you as you work for justice, and confront the powers of fear, greed and control in the world. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Call to Worship

Leader: From the noise and demands of the world,
All: we come to be made alive in God,
to be rooted and built up in Christ,
to be nourished and held together in the Spirit,
united in Christ’s body, the Church,
abounding in gratitude and love.

Leader: Holy One, praise for you rises in our hearts like spring flowers.
All: We sing with gratitude, with awe and joy.
Loving Christ, our hearts bow in thanks; they dance with delight.
Our faithful companion, we open our hearts to your blessing.
Holy Spirit, power of grace in us, we proclaim your mercy; we shine with your beauty.
We worship you. We serve you. We live by your grace. Alleluia!

Leader: God of Love, you come to us.
All: Giver of life, you make your home with us.
Spirit of God, you teach us your truth.
Defender of our Souls, you remind us of all we have heard.
Risen Christ, you give us your Peace.
We receive you. We worship you. We give you thanks. Alleluia!

Leader: This is the day that God has made.
All: We will rejoice, and be glad in it!
God, as the earth blossoms with colors, and the scents of new life,
our spirits show forth the glory of your grace.
For in raising Christ from death you have given new life to us all.
You have brought us to life with one Spirit breathing in us all.
You have brought us out of our solitary tombs,
and made us alive in one body.
You have given us your love,
and with Christ you have come and made your home with us.
Alleluia! Awaken us to your presence, God,
and to Christ who is among us, and the Spirit within us;
transform us by your grace, that we may serve you faithfully
as the Body of your Risen Christ.

Collect / Prayer of the Day

God of love, you have promised to be with us always, and that your Spirit will live within and among us. We open our hearts to be mindful of your presence, to listen for your Word, and to allow you to lead us by your grace. Come and fill us, Spirit of love. Amen.

Life-Giving God, you have planted the Tree of Life in our midst. We are your leaves, bearing our various fruits, each in our season. May your Spirit flow through us, that we may be filled with your love and strengthened for service, and bear the fruits of your love to the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

God, you sent Jesus to be our way, our truth, our life. Help us to listen to him now, to be united in his Word, and to be empowered by his Spirit. He made promises to us. Help us to listen, so that we may treasure them in our hearts, and see their fulfillment in our lives. Gracious God, renew us by your Word. Amen.

Gracious God, Jesus promised that when we love, he and you come to us and dwell with us, along with the Holy Spirit. Come to us now, and prepare a place of love in our hearts. Bless us, that as the scriptures are read and your good news proclaimed we may hear with joy what you are saying to us today. Amen.

Listening Prayer

(suitable as a Collect, preparation for hearing scriptures, or invitation to prayer)

Loving God,
you are our heart, our home.
Your Christ is in us;
and we are in you.
We make a home for you here
in hearts that are still.
Come, be with us
in love.

Christ of love,
we love you, and want to keep your word.
Come to us,
and make your home in us.
Give us your peace.

Response / Creed / Affirmation

      We believe in God, whom Jesus called Father,
Creator of all things, infinite in wisdom, power and love,
who prepares for a place for us to live,
and whose will for us is love and blessing.
       We give our hearts to Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son,
who lives with us in love, who heals and redeems us,
who dies in love and is raised to new life in love.
       We trust in the Holy Spirit, the divine presence in our lives,
who moves us to love in the name of Christ.
We devote ourselves to lives of faith,
serving the world in compassion and humility.
We belong to the Body of Christ;
we seek God’s peace, justice;
we trust in the power of forgiveness and mercy;
and we live by the promise of Resurrection. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer

[The body of the prayer may be read responsively by leader(s) and congregation or by the leader(s) alone.]

God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your heart.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One, our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God our praise.

God of all Being, God of our life, we thank you.
We live within you; you birth us breath by breath.

You make your home with us, present in all our moments.
You overcome oppression and set us free.

You are our safe space, our living room,
our place of intimacy and celebration.
You are our kitchen, our place of nourishment and joy.
Therefore we gather at your table, with al Creation,
singing your praise:


Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ.
He embodied your love; he made your home among us.
He fed the hungry and healed the broken;
he taught those who hungered for mercy and justice.
He opened the door to a new world, the Ream of God among us.
     (The Blessing and Covenant)

He was crucified by the powers of injustice and oppression;
but he was raised by the power of your love.
He gave us your Spirit, and he lives in us:
he is in you and you are in us, and we in you.
As long as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember Christ’s death and resurrection, until he comes again.
Therefore, remembering these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice,
in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

     (Memorial Acclamation)

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
As we receive thee gifts may they fill us with you,
that we may be for the world the Body of Christ,
Christ alive in us, and us in you,
for the sake of the wholeness of the world, to your glory.

Prayer of Dedication / Sending

Gracious God, when we are loving, we become your dwelling place. We seek to become more deeply and freely loving. Therefore we give you these gifts as symbols of our lives. Receive them with love, bless them with grace, and use them according to your will. Through our generosity, by your grace, make your home with us, now and always. Amen.

Suggested Songs

(Click on titles to view, and hear an audio clip, on the Music page)

Communion Songs for Easter set to familiar tunes
Eight songs of invitation to the table, set to these melodies:
All Creatures of Our God and King,
Infant Holy, Be Thou My Vision,
The Gift of Love / Water Is Wide,
Morning Has Broken, Fairest Lord Jesus.

Easter Eucharistic Responses
Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation and Amen set to:
All Things Bright and Beautiful (Includes Preface
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Fairest Lord Jesus
Morning Has Broken
Now the Green Blade Rises

Always New   (Tune: Gift of Love (“Water Is Wide”)
                                    or Tallis’ Canon

O God, you make me always new.
Each breath I breathe is life from you,
a gift of love that sets me free.
Beloved, breathe new life in me.

O Christ, you call me to new birth
like God’s creation of the earth,
to leave the things I’m fastened on
and walk into the rising dawn.

O loving Spirit, live in me.
Forgive my sin and set me free.
Give me new birth, life from above,
that I may live in your deep love.

Christ, You have Gathered Your Children
(Tune: SLANE- Be Thou My Vision)

Christ, you have gathered your children in peace
here at the table of your loving grace,
just as a mother hen gathers her brood,
giving us shelter and your holy food.

Christ, while dark shadows of death yet draw near,
you go on doing your healing work here.
So the good news of your love cannot fail:*
though evil still abounds, your grace will prevail.

Christ, dead and risen, you gather us in,
so that the great Feast of Life may begin.
Spirit, the gifts that you give us we bring,
sharing with joy as your praises we sing.

God, may we dwell in your house all our days,
sharing our gifts as our offering of praise,
humbly beholding your beauty and grace,
and walking with you and learning your ways.

* For communion substitute “So the good news of this feast cannot fail.”

(Original song)

Arms of healing, hands of peace, be my sanctuary.
Heal me, bless me with your grace, in your sanctuary.

All are welcome, all are safe, in your sanctuary.
All are given blessed life in your sanctuary.

May we offer, by your grace, holy sanctuary,
be your loving hands and face, be your sanctuary.

Song of Healing       (Tune: Finlandia)

O God of love, O God of grace unending,
come heal your people, body, mind and soul:
those who know grief, whom sorrow is befriending,
the sick and struggling, who know sorrow’s role.
Heal those whose backs beneath their loads are bending;
come set them free. Come heal and make them whole.

Use us, O God: complete the nations’ mending:
make us your hands; show us our healing role;
make us your eyes, your light in all defending;
let healing flow; O, let your justice roll.
Help us, O God, your Holy Spirit lending,
to heal and bless, to make the dear world whole.

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