FOURTH Sunday of Easter 2023

photo of common kingfisher flying above river
Photo by Monique Laats on

With your presence, Lord, our Head and Savior,
bless them all we humbly pray.
Our dear heavenly father’s love and favor
be their comfort every day.
May God’s spirit now in each proceeding
favor them with his most gracious leading
thus, shall they be truly blessed
both in labor and in rest.

Praise be to our Life-Giver! Hallelujah!
O Lord, who shared our flesh, and made for us a way into God’s kingdom. We, your sisters and brothers, praise you; for your life and words among us, and for giving yourself to be broken so that we may be healed.

Praise be to our Life-Renewer! Hallelujah!
O Spirit of God, who re-unites us with our Creator, with each other and with ourselves, we, your people, praise you; for the Living Water that quenches our thirst and for the divine image that you recreate in us and every person.

Praise be to our Life-Energizer! Hallelujah!
God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, love is your nature, and love is your gift. We praise you for inviting us into your family and for igniting your love in our hearts AMEN

Lord God, we have found a home in you. We have found a family in you. We have found a place to belong, to know and be known, to love and be loved and we are so grateful for this awesome gift.

But, too easily, we forget the benefits it brings. We have forgotten our place and doubted your love. Remind us, and all who feel neglected by you, that we are engraved on your hands. We have forgotten who we are and have failed to care for ourselves.

Remind us, and who feel worthless, that you have called us by name. We have forgotten our connectedness and have divided ourselves.

Remind us, and all who would exclude, oppress and condemn others, that we are all made in your image, and we are one body.

Patient God, you know how easy it is for us to stray. We wander off so easily. Forgive us, we pray. Heal our brokenness and our fears. Remind us again that you lead us in gentle paths and by quiet waters, when the paths are stony and the waves tumultuous, help us remember your protection and your care. Help us to extend that same love and care for others, for we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Just when we think we can go no further, Jesus the Good Shepherd calls to us, bringing us safely into the fold of grace and mercy. Rejoice! We are loved completely and forgiven!

Watchword for the Week

Jesus said, “I am the gate. Whoever enters me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. John 10:9

Today’s Watchword

Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it!”
Genesis 28:16

Doctrinal Text

The disciples said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32


Let us savor, mysterious Lord, those sure moments when we clearly feel you comforting us, hear you calling us, feel you leading us. And then, in moments when you seem just beyond our reach, open our hearts. Let them burn with the power of your ever-present love. AMEN.

April 2024

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