April 21, 2024 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary Readings   -   Gathering   -  Word  -   Eucharist   -   Sending   -   Music and Art

Lectionary Readings

Acts 4:5–12
Filled with the Spirit, Peter challenges those who have arrested him.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, leading, protecting, and feeding me.

1 John 3:16–24
Love means laying down one’s life for those who are in need.

John 10:11–18
Jesus says: I am the good shepherd; I lay down my life for my sheep.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

We come to God, our holy shepherd,
as we come to a green meadow.
God prepares a place for us,
and we give glory in God’s presence.
How excellent is this dwelling place
under the eyes of God’s care.
We turn to God in joy.
Our good shepherd provides for all our needs.

Prayer of the Day

Providing God,
in our journey of faithfulness,
we graze in the pastures you lead us to each day.
As we move along,
our steps may seem aimless,
yet you keep watch and never leave.
When we are tired,
you prepare for us a table.
When we are thirsty,
your cup of goodness and mercy overflows.
When we are lost,
you seek us out.
And oh, how our hearts leap when you call to us,
for we know your voice and feel your love.
Dearest God, we are so grateful
that your staff of righteousness leads us home. Amen.

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Thanksgiving For Baptism

At the baptismal font:
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O Lord our God, we give you thanks
for the new life you raise up in us
through the mystery of our baptism—
the sorrow of the heavy cross,
the surprise of the empty tomb,
the love that death could not destroy.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
poured out upon us in baptism,
fill us with the joy of resurrection,
so that we may be a living sign
of your new heaven and new earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
The Spirit of God helps us in our weakness,
interceding with sighs too deep for words.
Romans 8:26

Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.

O God, you have called us to love,
not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
You have laid down your life for us
and commanded us to lay down our lives for one another.
Still, O Lord, we offer empty thoughts and prayers
when the world needs our hands and our feet.
Still, O Lord, we fail to share our lives with the world,
hiding behind a myth of independence.
Forgive us, we pray, and by your forgiveness,
raise us to new life in you.

Lifting water from the font:
Hear the good news of God’s promise:
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.
Acts 2:17, 21

In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Living God, with joy we celebrate
the presence of your risen Word.
Enliven our hearts by your Holy Spirit
so that we may proclaim the good news
of eternal and abundant life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Before the readings:
O dry bones,
hear the world of the Lord.
Ezekiel 37:4

After the readings:
This is the good news
which we have received,
in which we stand,
and by which we are saved.
Thanks be to God.
1 Corinthians 15:1–2


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
All authority and power and dominion
to the name that is above all names—
Jesus Christ our Lord—
now and in the age to come. Amen.
Ephesians 1:21

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

Season of Easter, Ascension of the Lord
New life in Christ takes shape in a community
in which people know
that God loves and accepts them
in spite of what they are.
They therefore accept themselves
and love others,
knowing that no one has any ground
on which to stand,
except God’s grace.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22

Prayers of the People

In the blessed hope of the resurrection,
we pray to the Lord of endless life, saying:
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for the church . . .
Build us up in faith, hope, and love
upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ our Savior.
Let us be a living sign of your love for all the world.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for the world . . .
Gather up the scattered peoples of the earth.
Lift up the lost; deliver the weak from danger.
Help our leaders shepherd the poor to safety.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for this community . . .
Translate our words of love into action.
Teach those among us who have plenty
to care for sisters and brothers who need our help.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Life-giving God, we pray for loved ones . . .
Help those who suffer; restore them, body and soul.
Walk beside them through every dark valley.
Feed them with mercy; anoint them with healing.
By your grace, O God, raise us from death to life.

Eternal God, show forth in us and in our world
the good news of your saving power and love,
so that all may believe and have life in you;
through Jesus Christ, who is risen indeed. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods
yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need?
Remembering God’s great love for the world,
let us offer our lives to the Lord.
1 John 3:16–17

Prayer of Dedication

At the communion table:
Eternal God, take and use these gifts
for your purpose in the world—
giving food to the hungry,
hope to the despairing,
and new life to the dead.
Teach us to live each day for you,
so that future generations
will know your goodness
and praise your glory;
in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Psalm 22:25–31

Great Thanksgiving

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.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God:
You are our shepherd, O Lord, and in you there is nothing we lack.
You lead us to green pastures and still waters; you restore our souls.
You prepare a table before us; our cup overflows!
Therefore we praise you, joining the song
of the universal church and the heavenly choir:
A Sanctus (“Holy, holy, holy”) is sung.

Blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior:
Christ Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.
He gathers them from far and wide, so that there may be one flock, one fold.
He knows his own, and they know him.
The words of institution are included here.
Remembering your goodness and grace,
we offer ourselves to you with gratitude
as we share this joyful feast.
A Memorial Acclamation (e.g., “Christ has died”) is sung.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread and cup;
make us one in the body and blood
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Teach us to love, not only in word or in speech, but in truth and action also.
Show us how to love one another, and to serve our sisters and brothers,
so that Christ will abide in us, and we may abide in him.
Through the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the unity of the Spirit,
we bless you, God of glory,
now and forever.
An Amen is sung.

Lord’s Prayer

Breaking the Bread

Communion of the People

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Prayer after Communion

At the communion table:
Thank you, O God, for giving us communion
with our risen and glorious Lord.
Now send us out to be a sign
of the new life that has come into the world;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
May the love of the holy triune God—
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—
abide with you forever. Alleluia!
1 John 4:13–16

Now go forth in Jesus’ name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another,
just as he has loved us. Amen.
1 John 3:23

The Ravine

Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (AE) WESTMINSTER ABBEY GTG 394
  • Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us (AE) EBENEZER GTG 280
  • I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art (AE) TOULON GTG 624
  • Source and Sovereign, Rock and Cloud (G) ABERYSTWYTH GTG 11


  • Jesus, Name above All Names (A) HEARN STF 2071
  • Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (AE) ST. AGNES GTG 629
  • Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us (G) BRADBURY GTG 187
  • Though I May Speak (The Gift of Love) (E) O WALY WALY GTG 693


  • I Come with Joy (EG) DOVE OF PEACE GTG 515
  • Live in Charity (Ubi caritas) (E) UBI CARITAS (Taizé) GTG 205
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is (EG) ST. COLUMBA GTG 802
  • You Satisfy the Hungry Heart (G) BICENTENNIAL GTG 523


  • At the Name of Jesus (A) KING’S WESTON GTG 264
  • Help Us Accept Each Other (E) BARONITA GTG 754
  • Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples (E) KINGSFOLD GTG 757
  • Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life (E) GERMANY GTG 343

Psalms and Canticles


  • My Shepherd Will Supply My Need [RESIGNATION]; GTG 803, PH 172, PAS 23A, LUYH 369, SSS 44 (with Spanish translation)
  • The King of Love My Shepherd Is [ST. COLUMBA, DOMINUS REGIT ME]; GTG 802, PH 171, LUYH 824, PAS 23D, E (altered text), SSS 359 (with Spanish translation)
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want [CRIMOND, BROTHER JAMES’ AIR]; GTG 801, PH 170, PAS 23C
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want [Townend]; PAS 23F
  • The God of Love My Shepherd Is [RIDGEWOOD]; PAS 23J


  • Shepherd Me, O God; GTG 473, LUYH 456, PAS 23G (pointed vv.), 23H, (through-composed vv.), SSS 365 (with Spanish translation)
  • El Señor es mi pastor / My Shepherd Is the Lord; PAS 23 I, LUYH 368
  • El Señor es mi pastor / The Lord Is My Shepherd; SSS 294/5, OC 33
  • My Shepherd Is the Lord [Gelineau]; PH 173, PSA 18
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd; PFTS2 54
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd [THE PARTING GLASS]; CP2 1

    Organ Music

    • “Savior, When in Dust to You,” Improvisations for the Lenten Season, Paul Manz, MSM (E)
    • “UBI CARITAS,” When I Survey, Lynn Trapp, LOR (E)
    • “He Is Risen!” The Organist’s Library, vol. 53, Lani Smith LOR (ME)
    • “ST. COLUMBA,” Augsburg Organ Library: Easter, Kenneth Leighton, AF (M)

    Anthems for Adult Choirs

    • “Loving Shepherd of the Sheep,” Michael Burkhardt, MSM, SATB, org (E)
    • “Psalm 23,” Paul Basler, CV, SATB, hn, pno (M)
    • “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” Kevin Hildebrand, MSM, SATB, fl, org (E)
    • “My Song Is Love Unknown,” Edwin Childs, MSM, SATB, opt cong, org (M)
    • “How Can I Keep from Singing,” Eric Nelson, AF, SATB, acap (A)
    • “The Lord Is My Shepherd,” from Requiem, John Rutter, OUP, SATB, fl, org or orch (M)
    • “My Song Is Love Unknown,” Edwin Childs, MSM, SATB, organ (E)

    Handbell Music

    • “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want,” Alex Guebert, 3–7 oct, opt fl, CGA, CGB979, Level 3+
    • “Restored,” Sandra Eithun, 3–6 oct, opt hc, CGA, CGB1206, Level 2+
    • “Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us,” Lloyd Larson, 3–5 oct, BP, HB737, Level 3-


    • The Good Shepherd, Julien Dupre (VDL)
    • Good Shepherd, Kelly Latimore (VDL)
    • Ravine, Vincent Van Gogh (VDL)
    • Psalm 23, John August Swanson (VDL)