The Great Fifty Days: Seven service plans from Easter to Ascension, page 2 of 2

Second Sunday of Eastertide

The Lord’s Supper

Opening hymn
“Lift Your Heart to the Lord” PsH 515
Ties together last week (baptism) with this week (The Lord’s Supper)

Psalm 66
Read responsively as follows:
1-4, 5-7, 8-12, 13-15 16-19; all on verse 20.

“Lift Up Your Hearts unto the Lord” PsH 309, TWC 771
His resurrection sets us free . . .
Therefore we celebrate the feast . . .

Pre-resurrection gospel reading
Matthew 26:26-29
Institution of the Lord’s Supper

Post-resurrection reading
Luke 24:13-35
The Road to Emmaus

Their Eyes Were Opened

Sermon outline
1.    Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament.
2.    Seeing Jesus in our life’s walk.
3.    Seeing Jesus in the Lord’s Supper.

“Come, Risen Lord, as Guest among Your Own” PsH 308
Here at your table make your presence known . . .
We are your people: come, our faith renew,
be known to us in breaking of the bread.

Communion songs
“O Lord, My God, Most Earnestly” PsH 63
O Lord, my God, most earnestly I seek your holy face . . .
“Jesus, the Very Thought of You” PsH 480, PH 310, TH 645, TWC 112
But sweeter far your face to view . . .
“Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies” PsH 481, PH 462/3, RL 463, TH 398, TWC 562
More and more thyself display . . .
“Taste and See” PsH 301
We taste, we touch, we see his love in this, the bread and wine . . .
We have become inheritors of kingdoms yet unseen . . .
The homeless, hungry, lost, and sick may not escape our eyes . . .

Third Sunday of Eastertide

The Sacrificial Nature of Love

Opening hymn
“O Come, My Soul, Sing Praise to God” PsH 297
. . . the love of God is changeless . . .

Psalm 103
Read responsively as follows:
1-5, 6-12, 13-14, 15-18, 19, 20, 21; all on verse 22.

“O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High” PsH 364, PH 83, RL 342/3, TH 155, TWC 193
O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
beyond all thought and fantasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take
our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

Pre-resurrection gospel reading
John 10:14-18
I am the Good Shepherd.

Post-resurrection reading
John 21:15-19
Follow me and feed my lambs.

Loving the Sheep

Sermon outline
1.    The Good Shepherd loves the sheep enough to die for them.
2.    Jesus asks us to love him by loving his sheep.
3.    Loving God means following him, even to the point of death, for the sake of his sheep.

“Jesus Calls Us; O’er the Tumult” PsH 553, RL 258/9, TH 591, TWC 580
In our joys and in our sorrows, days of work and hours of ease,
Still he calls, in cares and pleasures, “Christian, love me more than these.”
Jesus calls us; by your mercies, Savior, may we hear your call,
Give our hearts to your obedience, serve and love you best of all.

Communion songs
“Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” PsH 591
In your pleasant pastures feed us . . .
With your love our spirits fill . . .
“May the Mind of Christ, My Savior” PH 291
May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill
the sea . . .
May we run the race before us, strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus as we onward go.
“My Jesus, I Love Thee” PsH 557
. . . for thee all the follies of sin I resign . . .
I love thee because thou hast first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree . . .
I’ll love thee in life, I will love thee in death . . .
“I Will Sing of My Redeemer” PsH 479, TH 650, TWC 492
. . . and his wondrous love to me;
on the cruel cross he suffered, from the curse to set me free . . .

Fourth Sunday of Eastertide

Holiness/New Creation

Opening hymn
“Jesus Lives, and So Do We” PsH 399
. . . turns the grave to life unending . . .
. . . his death atone for my sin; I am forgiven . . .
Be not afraid! Take by faith God’s promised surety.
All our sins in Christ are paid: death is swallowed up in victory.

Psalm 118:17-29
Read responsively, alternating verses; all on verse 29.

“The Day of Resurrection” PsH 390, PH 118, RL 317, TH 267, TWC 247
From death to life eternal, from sin’s dominion free,
Our Christ has brought us over with hymns of victory.
Let hearts be purged of evil . . .

Pre-resurrection gospel reading
Mark 8:14-21
Beware the yeast of the Pharisees.

Post-resurrection reading
1 Corinthians 5:6-8
You are now bread without yeast.

New Bread; No Yeast

Sermon outline
1.    A little yeast ruins a whole loaf.
2.    Our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed—get rid of the old yeast.
3.    We really are now a new batch—without yeast.

“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” PsH 568, PH 376, RL 464, TH 529, TWC 558
Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee:
changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Communion songs
“Breathe on Me, Breath of God” PsH 420, PH 316, TH 334, TWC 295
Fill me with life anew, that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.
“Praise the Savior, Now and Ever” PsH 400, TH 243
Our work faileth, Christ’s availeth; he is all our righteousness.
Sin’s bonds severed, we’re delivered . . .
“A Shout Rings Out, a Joyful Voice” PsH 392
Since Christ the Lord is risen with might,
New life begins in glorious light . . .
“This Joyful Eastertide” PsH 403, RL 328, TH 284
. . . away with sin and sadness!
Death’s waters lost their chill when Jesus crossed the river.

Fifth Sunday of Eastertide

Divinity of Christ

Opening hymn
“All Glory Be to God on High” PsH 247, PH 133, RL 626, TH 102, TWC 8
You only are the Holy One who came for our salvation,
and only you are God’s true Son who was before creation.   

Psalm 24
Read responsively as follows:
1-2, 3, 4-6, 7, 8, 9; all on verse 10.

“The King of Glory Comes” PsH 370, SFL 156, TH 240, TWC 134
Who is the King of glory? What shall we call him?
He is Immanuel, the promised of ages.

Pre-resurrection gospel reading
John 2:12-19
Destroy the temple, and I will raise it in three days.

Post-resurrection reading
Luke 24:36-48
The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.

Signs of Authority

Sermon outline
1.    Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
2.    Christ had to suffer and rise on the third day.
3.    Repentance and forgiveness are given in his name.

“O Son of God the Father” PsH 368
Yet, Lord, we see but dimly; O heavenly Light, arise;
Dispel the mists that shroud us and hide you from our eyes.
. . . we long to see the pathway that leads to you, our God.   

Communion songs
“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” PsH 341, PH 5, RL 188, TH 193, TWC 167
Christ our Lord to earth descended . . .
King of kings, yet born of Mary, once upon the earth he stood;
Lord of lords we now perceive him in the body and the blood . . .
“How Bright Appears the Morning Star” PsH 357
. . . the Son of Man and Son of God!
The whole creation’s head and Lord, by highest seraphim adored,
assumed our very nature.
“Amen” PsH 365
Then they crucified him, Jesus our Savior,
And he rose on Easter.
“Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” PsH 361, RL 231
In your God-head manifest, you revealed your power divine,
changing water into wine;
“You are Christ,” by us confessed—God in flesh made manifest.

Sixth Sunday of Eastertide

Atonement—Christ as Priest

Opening hymn
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” PsH 345, PH 31/2, RL 196, TH 203, TWC 171
God and sinners reconciled!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild, he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,
Born to raise the lost on earth, born to give them second birth.   

Psalm 72
Read responsively as follows:
1-4, 12-14, 17, 18; all on verse 19.

“I Will Sing of My Redeemer” PsH 479, TH 650, TWC 492
With his blood he purchased me; on the cross he sealed my pardon,
paid the debt, and made me free.

Pre-resurrection gospel reading
Matthew 1:18-21
He will save his people from their sins.

Post-resurrection reading
Hebrews 9:24-28
Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many.   

Sacrificed King

Sermon outline
1.    Jesus was sacrificed in our place.
2.    Jesus was sacrificed once for all.
3.    Jesus will come again to bring salvation.

“Man of Sorrows—What a Name” PsH 482, TH 246, TWC 226
. . . in my place condemned he stood,
sealed my pardon with his blood: Hallelujah, what a Savior!   

Communion songs
“To God Be the Glory” PsH 473, PH 485, RL 355, TH 55, TWC 72
. . . who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that we may go in.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God. . . .
“O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire” PsH 485, TH 161
How vast the mercy and the love which laid our sins on thee;
and led thee to a cruel death to set thy people free.
“Hail, O Once-Despised Jesus” PsH 395, RL 333, TH 176
Paschal Lamb, by God appointed, all our sins on you were laid;
by almighty love anointed, you have full atonement made.
All your people are forgiven through the virtue of your blood;
opened is the gate of heaven; we are reconciled to God.
“Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” PsH 385, PH 78, TH 254, TWC 512
Thus might I hide my blushing face while his dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.

Seventh Sunday of Eastertide

Ascension and Reign—Christ as King

Opening hymn
“Once in Royal David’s City” PsH 346, PH 49, RL 201, TH 225, TWC 161
Not in that poor lowly stable with the oxen standing by
we shall see him, but in heaven, set at God’s right hand on high.

Psalm 47
Read responsively, alternating verses.

“Rejoice, the Lord Is King” PsH 408, PH 155, RL 596/7, TH 309/10, TWC 262
His kingdom cannot fail . . .
He sits at God’s right hand . . .

Pre-resurrection gospel reading
Luke 1:26-33
His kingdom will never end.

Post-resurrection reading
Matthew 28:16-20 (Ascension Narrative)
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus.
Acts 7: 54-60
Stephen sees Jesus at the right hand of God.

Rejoice! The Lord Is King!

Sermon outline
1.    Christ is victor over Satan, sin, and death.
2.    Christ is judge over heaven and earth.
3.    Christ is with us.

“At the Name of Jesus” PsH 467, OH 148, RL 336, TH 163
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess him King of Glory now . . .
. . . brought it back victorious when from death he passed . . .
In your hearts enthrone him . . .
. . . our hearts confess him King of glory now.

Communion songs
“O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire” PsH 485, TH 255
But now the bands of death are burst, the ransom has been paid;
and thou art on thy Father’s throne, in glorious robes arrayed.
“O Jesus, We Adore You” PsH 472, TH 255
O glorious King, we praise you, no longer pass you by;
O Jesus, we confess you the Son enthroned on high.
“Beautiful Savior” PsH 461
. . . King of creation!
. . . Lord of the nations . . .

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus” PsH 406, PH 144, RL 346, TWC 263
Alleluia! Not at orphans are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us; faith believes nor questions how.
Alleluia! Heavenly High Priest, here on earth our help, our stay;
Alleluia! Hear the sinful cry to you from day to day.

Reformed Worship 62 © December 2001 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.