May 25, 2025 – Sixth Sunday of Easter

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

Lectionary Readings

Acts 16:9–15
Hearing Paul in Macedonia, Lydia and her household are baptized.

Psalm 67
May God be gracious and bless us; let the whole earth praise God.

Revelation 21:10, 21:22—22:5
A vision of the holy city; the river of life flows from God’s throne.

John 14:23–29
Jesus says: Keep my word; the Spirit will teach you; I give you peace.

or John 5:1–9
At the pool of Beth-zatha in Jerusalem, Jesus heals a paralyzed man.

— Gathering —

Opening Sentences

Be gracious to us and bless us;
O God, show us favor.
May your way, O God,
be known upon the earth;
may your deliverance be known
among the nations.
Peoples will praise you, O God;
all peoples will praise you.
Nations will exult and shout for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity;
you guide the nations of the earth.
The peoples will praise you, O God;
all people will praise you.
Let us worship God!

Prayer of the Day

Light of the world,
you have given us your commandments
because you love us,
but we cannot keep them on our own.
We give thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who teaches us to follow.
We praise you for these gifts, O Lord.
Help us to live in response to your steadfast love
until the time of your coming glory. 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.
Creator God,
you drew out life-giving water from a desert rock.
We give you thanks for the water of baptism.
In being joined with Christ,
we die to what destroys
and are raised to new life with Christ.
As streams rush into rivers,
may our lives flow into yours,
joining your creative work for a world in need.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Confession and Pardon

At the baptismal font:
We are a people living in sin.
We are a people in need of God’s vision,
praying for our eyes to be opened.
We are a people in need of God’s reversal,
praying for our hearts to be softened.
We are a people in need of God’s reconciliation,
praying that our faces might be illumined
by God’s presence.
Let us claim our need of God,
confessing our sin together.

Gracious God,
we equate our judgment with your judgment,
and often consider our ways to be your ways.
We define peace as the absence of disruption,
holding our comfort as your aim
and thinking our preferences reflect your way.
Too often we act as if
we are your authoritative witnesses,
believing our worldview
corresponds with your vision,
and that our narrative
contains your hope for the future.
O God,
dislodge us from our sinful assumptions.
Forgive our selfish views.
Correct us with your truth
and teach us by your Spirit.

Lifting water from the font:
It is the Lord who opens eyes to see.
It is the Lord who softens hearts to hear.
It is the Lord who returns us to God’s presence.
Peace, peace, peace—
you are loved. You are enough. You belong.
In Jesus Christ you are restored.
Thanks be to our God forever and ever.

— Word —

Prayer for Illumination

At the lectern or pulpit:
Gracious God, Living Word,
as you revealed yourself to Mary
that Easter morning,
so reveal yourself to us.
By the power of your Spirit,
give each of us faith,
that hearing your Word
we, too, may proclaim,
“I have seen the Lord!” Amen.


Before the readings: 
Testimony for the church
from Jesus, the Alpha and Omega.
Revelation 22:13–14

After the readings: 
These words are trustworthy and true. 
Thanks be to God.
Revelation 21:5


Ascription of Praise

After the sermon:
Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor 
and power and might be to our God
forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 7:12

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song

Affirmation of Faith

Life in Christ is life eternal.
The resurrection of Jesus is the sign
that God will consummate the work
of creation and reconciliation beyond death
and bring to fulfillment
the new life begun in Christ.
Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.26

Prayers of Intercession

Rejoicing in God’s promise of new creation,

let us pray to the Maker of heaven and earth,

saying: God of new life, hear our prayer.


We pray for the church . . .

Open our hearts to your word of life

so that we may eagerly receive your truth

and devote our lives to your service. 

God of new life, hear our prayer.


We pray for the world . . .

Be gracious and bless the earth.

Let your rule of equity and justice

prevail among all the nations.

God of new life, hear our prayer.


We pray for this community . . .

Be the Lord and light of this city.

Open its gates to all who need shelter

and let this place become a temple of peace.

God of new life, hear our prayer.


We pray for loved ones . . .

Stir up a sense of compassion in us.

Speak your word of grace and healing

to all who want to be made well.

God of new life, hear our prayer.


Gracious God, keep us working and praying

for the coming of your holy realm of peace,

when we will share abundant life with you;

through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Amen.

— Eucharist —

Invitation to Offering

At the communion table:
As God gave us Christ,
the firstfruit of creation,
let us humbly offer
the substance of our lives
in thanksgiving to our God.

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 kind and gracious to us, O God,
blessing us with good things.
All the ends of the earth praise you;
the nations are glad and sing for joy
because you guide us with wisdom
and judge us with equity. 

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 is your Word made flesh,
your love revealed in the world.
He is our abiding peace—
not as the world gives, but a peace beyond compare.
In Christ’s name we have received
the Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

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.

Give us a vision of your holy city,
the new Jerusalem,
where the light of your glory
dispels the night forever.
Heal the hurting nations
and feed the world with good fruit. 

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:
At your table, Giving God,
we have been fed;
our thirsty spirits have been quenched.
We give you thanks
for this taste of your kingdom meal
when wolf and lamb will feed together
and peace will reign
on your holy mountain;
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Sending —

Hymn, Psalm, or Spiritual Song


Blessing and Charge

At the doors of the church:
The blessing of the eternal, triune God—
Alpha and Omega,
first and last,
beginning and end—
be with you all. Alleluia!
Revelation 22:13

Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Revelation 22:20

Christ at the Pool of Bethesda

Wolffart Artus

Additional Materials

Congregational Song


  • Shall We Gather at the River (ARG) HANSON PLACE GTG 375

  • Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty (R) UNSER HERRSCHER GTG 403, PH 489

  • Blessed Jesus, at Your Word (G) LIEBSTER JESU GTG 395, PH 454


  • Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart (AG) MORECAMBE GTG 688, PH 326

  • Wash, O God, Your Sons and Daughters (AG) BEACH SPRING GTG 490


  • Come, Behold! The Feast of Heaven (AR) LLANFAIR GTG 511

  • Spirit of the Living God (G) LIVING GOD GTG 288, PH 322

  • Dona Nobis Pacem (G) DONA NOBIS PACEM GTG 752


  • Go to the World! (ARG) SINE NOMINE GTG 295

  • Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song (AG) LES PETITES SOEURS GTG 737

  • I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (RG) HOUSTON GTG 377

Psalms and Canticles

Psalm 67

  • O God, Show Mercy to Us [THAXTED]; GTG 341

  • God of Mercy, God of Grace [DIX, KING OF KINGS, IMPACT]; PAS 67A, LUYH 934, PP 118 (with refrain), PH 203

  • God in Mercy Grant Us Blessing [ZEUCH MICH, ZEUCH MICH]; PAS 67B

  • O Lord, Be Gracious []; SGP 96


  • Let the Peoples Praise You; PAS 67C

  • Let the People Praise You; PSA 60

Organ Music

  • “The Peace May Be Exchanged,” Rubrics: A Liturgical Suite for Organ, Dan Locklair, HAL (M)

  • “Chorale Prelude on Houston,” Oxford Hymn Settings: Epiphany, Rebecca Groom te Velde, OUP (E)

  • HANSON PLACE,” Augsburg Organ Library: Healing and Funeral, Robert A. Hobby, AF (M)

  • LIEBSTER JESU,” BWV 633, J. S. Bach, (M)

Piano Music

  • “O God Beyond All Praising,” THAXTED, Thy Tender Care, Todd Beaney, LOR (MA)

  • “Trusting Jesus,” TRUSTING JESUS, He Leadeth Me, Michael Wilson, LOR (M) 

Anthems for Adult Choirs

  • “The Music of Living,” Dan Forrest, HIN, SSAATB, pno (MA)

  • “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light,” arr. Peter Denee, GIA, SATB, pno (E)

  • “Shall We Gather at the River,” arr. David von Kampen, CON, SATB, pno, opt solo (E)

  • “Prayer for Healing,” Molly Ijames, BP, SATB, pno (ME)

  • “Rain Come Down,” Shawn Kirchner, SBMP, SATB, pno, opt solos (ME)


  • Drawing from the Bethesda Series (Pool), Trevor Nickolls, 1987 (VCS)

  • Christ at the Pool of Bethesda, William Hogarth, 1735–36 (PD)

  • Christ Healing the Sick at the Pool of Bethesda, Pedro de Orrente, 1615–20 (VDL)

  • Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled, Trey Everett, 2018 (VDL)

  • Arise, Frank Wesley, 1923–2002 (VDL)