Lectionary - Easter 3 Year B
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Acts 3:12-19 The author of life whom God raised from the dead
Psalm 4 You alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety
1 John 3:1-7 What love, that we should be called the children of God
Luke 24:36b-48 Jesus appeared to his disciples and taught them.

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)

Acts 3: 12-19
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing TIS.387 SA.18
O for a thousand tongues to sing TIS.210 AHB.141
To the name of our salvation AHB.127
When love is found and hope comes home TIS.654

Psalm 4
Sometimes a light surprises TIS.128 AHB.55
When I call, answer me, O God of justice TIS.2
When trouble strikes, and fear takes root TIS.184

1 John 3: 1-7
Behold the amazing gift of love TIS.115 AHB.36
I need you, Lord, for I have seen TIS.625
Jesus the very thought of thee AHB.126
O love how deep, how broad, how high TIS.194 AHB.6
Yours be the glory, risen, conquering Son TIS.380 AHB.303

Luke 24: 36b-48
Alleluia, Christ is risen! TIS.395
Christ the Lord is risen today TIS.370 AHB.290
Come God's people, shout for joy TIS.391 SA.26
Come ye faithful, raise the strain AHB.278
I know that my Redeemer lives TIS.376 AHB.299
Jesus Christ is risen today TIS.362 AHB.280
My daughters and my sons hear tell TIS.363 AHB.281

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia, with TIS equivalents.)
SA 40 (TIS 99) God, we praise you, God we bless you
75 (TIS 139) O love of God how strong and true
238 (TIS 313) Good Christians all rejoice
277 (TIS 361) The day of resurrection!
282 (TIS 365) Christ the Lord is risen again
291 (TIS 369) Hail the day that sees him rise
310 (TIS 398) Come down, O love divine
476 (TIS 568) O for a heart to praise my God

Sermon summary [Click here for complete sermon]

The Servant of Life

Jesus is the servant of God through whom God gave new life to the world. All that was old, sinful and decaying in human life was capable after God raised him from the dead of being refreshed and restored. The servant who went in obedience to his death was the Prince, the Leader, the Pioneer, the Author of life whom God raised from the dead. He who had been the Lord of life from the beginning of creation, became the servant of life.

That is the message for which the disciples were commissioned to be apostles (Luke 24:46-48). And it is what they did indeed make known (Acts 3:15,19-20a, cf Psalms 68:9-10), and they looked forward to the completion of the promises of God in the universal restoration of a broken world (Acts 3:20-21).

His bodily presence
It was Jesus the man in his complete personal identity who stood among them and spoke of himself. That completeness of his identity as a man is what is brought out by Jesus when he said (Luke 24:39) "Look at my hands and my feet." At first they had be terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost, as on a previous occasion (Mark 6:49-50), but here now as then he was more than a ghost or spirit, and no mere apparition, no chimerical fantastic conception lacking reality. (Cf also Acts 12:14-15). Different though it was, his body still bore the marks of the nails in his hands and feet. It was essential to his identity as the one who had suffered (Luke 24:46). So he taught them, with reference to scripture (Cf. Luke 24:21,25-27, Hosea 6:2)

The witness of the apostles to the suffering servant
Following his example in these resurrection appearances, it was common practice of the apostles to teach similarly from scripture (Acts 28:23; 8:32-33). The apostles undoubtedly referred also to how the prophet speaks not only of his death, but how God would honour him for his suffering for the sake of others (Isaiah 53:5, 9, 11-12). Jesus taught the disciples then to relate this meaning of his death to their ministry of reconciliation (Luke 24:46-47), which we find Peter proclaiming (Acts 3:13-15). The same servant of God was the Author or Pioneer of life (See also Hebrews 2:10).

The call to repent and believe
That belief of the apostles, to which they witnessed with such power that the world was indeed transformed was not presented simply as an abstract theory, but with a sense of urgency.(Acts 3:18-20a) .The same challenge, urging and appeal comes to us today.

Summary of alternative sermon [Click here for complete alternative sermon]

Baptism, resurrection and new life

It is especially significant to have a baptism in the Easter season. Baptism marks the beginning of a new life of belonging to Christ and being a member of his body the church. Just as Christ was raised to a renewal of life, so as we are made members of his body we too may have our lives renewed. [Romans 6:3-4]

Baptism is the rite of initiation into the fellowship of Christ, whatever the age or the situation of the person who is beginning the life of faith in Christ. "Christening" is simply the old English word that was often used for Baptism: it meant making someone a Christian, and that was done by baptising the person whether they were young or old.

It is a gift of God
Firstly, we are related to Christ, and to God through him, because he took the initiative and reached out to us. [John 3:16] A great new beginning is possible for us because God in Christ put an end to the old ways and opened up a new way when Christ died and rose again. [Romans 5:8]. It is a free gift for renewal. [2 Corinthians 5:17-19]

We are joined with Christ in faith
The second important thing about our relationship with Christ, after the fact that it is a gift of God, is that it is a relationship of faith. Baptism properly marks the beginning of faith in Christ. There are two important things to think about here: faith itself is a gift of God; and faith is a matter of trust which even little children can have. [See Ephesians 2:8; 4:4-6].

Order of Service - Easter 3 Year B (with baptism) | DB Home | RCL Resources Index |

[Note: this order of service was prepared for the occasion when the alternative sermon on baptism was preached]

The Gathering of the People of God

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -- Romans 1:7 In the name of Christ. Amen.

HYMN O love of God how strong and true TIS 139 AHB 75


Jesus said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.(Luke 24:46-48).

Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad; you restored your heritage when it languished; {10} your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. (Psalms 68:9-10)

We praise and adore you Almighty and Loving God. You refresh the earth with rain and you refresh our lives with your presence when we turn to you. Grant us now the living presence of our Saviour Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS ... Your sins are forgiven. Thanks be to God


Sacrament of Baptism

SCRIPTURE READING Romans 6:1-5 United with him in a resurrection like his.
PRESENTATION ....N daughter of N and N .... Introduced by an elder ... N.

THE MEANING OF BAPTISM The minister explains the purpose and asks the parents:
N and N what do you ask of God's church for N?
We ask that she be baptised into the faith and family of Jesus Christ.
In the light of the covenant promise and of your request, I ask you now: Do you believe that the gospel enables us to turn from the darkness of evil and to walk in the light of Christ? We do.
Let us confess the faith into which we are baptised

The people stand.
Do you believe in God, who made you and loves you?
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, your Saviour and Lord?
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and the continuing work of our salvation?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The elder pours water into the font.
HYMN Celebrate (Take this water and bless it Lord)
1. Take this water and please bless it, Lord
Take this water and please bless it, Lord.
Flowing gently on her head,
Symbol that you once were dead
But live again.

Celebrate the dying unto sin.
Rising up, a new life to begin,
Cleansed and purified before the Lord
His child now, no longer on your own,
Now His Holy Spirit in you sown,
Seeds of truth to spread abroad.

2. Take this person and please bless her Lord.
Take this person and please bless her Lord.
Help her grow into the one
Image of Your Holy Son,
In likeness.

3. Take this people and please bless us, Lord.
Take this people and please bless us, Lord.
Make our witness strong and true,
Always faithful unto You,
Our Father.
© Elaine Downie 1989

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.
The minister offers a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of water
and its significance in salvation history and asks God's blessing on
the water and the child to be baptised.

THE BAPTISM The people remain standing for the act of baptism.
The people respond: Amen.

The Aaronic Blessing is sung
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

The people sit. The newly baptized member is presented to the congregation.

RESPONSES The minister asks the parent(s) to make promises to bring up the child in the Christian faith, the godparents (supporting friends) to assist, and then addresses the people:
I charge you, the people of this congregation, to maintain the life of worship and service, that this child and all the children among you may grow in the grace of the
Lord Jesus Christ and the knowledge and love of God.
With God's help, we will live out our baptism as a loving community in Christ: nurturing one another in faith, upholding one another in prayer, and encouraging one another in service.

PRESENTATION of certificate

Service of the Word

FOR THE OLD TESTAMENT Acts 3:12-19 The author of life whom God raised form the dead
PSALM 4 You alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety
EPISTLE 1 John 3:1-7 What love, that we should be called the children of God
Choir: Sing to God with Joy
GOSPEL Luke 24:36b-48 Jesus appeared to his disciples and taught them.

HYMNSA God, we praise you, God we bless you TIS 99 SA 40

HYMN Come down, O love divine TIS 398 AHB 310

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples
in the breaking of the bread:
open the eyes of our faith that we may behold him in all his redeeming work;
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN Yours be the glory, risen, conquering Son TIS.380 AHB.303
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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