Home Worship - April 19 2020

The Sunday after Easter - 19th April 2020   

Prayers and hymn choices by Rev Rachel Bending (Ealing)

Why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.


Opening Prayer

In places of darkness and in the fullness of light,

Christ is risen!

In times of doubt and in strength of faith,

Christ is risen!

In our pain and in our joy,

Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen

He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

 

Hymn: This joyful Eastertide (StF 314)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tipsbcfuB4

This joyful Eastertide,

what need is there for grieving?

Cast all your cares aside

and be not unbelieving:

Come, share our Easter joy

that death could not imprison,

nor any power destroy,

our Christ, who is arisen!

No work for him is vain,

no faith in him mistaken,

for Easter makes it plain

his kingdom is not shaken:

Come, share our Easter joy

that death could not imprison,

nor any power destroy,

our Christ, who is arisen!

Then put your trust in Christ,

in waking and in sleeping.

His grace on earth sufficed;

he'll never quit his keeping:

Come, share our Easter joy

that death could not imprison,

nor any power destroy,

our Christ, who is arisen!

Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000)

 

Prayer

In the chaos before anything was, Lord, you spoke — bringing life in abundance.

We praise and adore you, God of life

In the darkness of an early morning garden and the dank coldness of death and the tomb, Lord, you spoke bringing resurrection, defeating death and giving us abundant life.

We praise and adore you, God of Life

In the dark places of our lives, Lord, you speak and bring recreation transformation and calling us to life in abundance

We praise and adore you, God of Life

God of abundant life,

you have called us to be your people and to walk in your way; but there are times when we wander away, when we close our ears to your call and our eyes to your life.  We remember those times before you.

Take all we have been and done and all we have left undone and transform it through your love and grace.

Open our ears to your words of forgiveness and our eyes to your glory. May we hear the words of Jesus: “Your sins are forgiven” and know their truth.  Amen.

 

Today’s Gospel Reading: John 20: 19-31

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."  20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."  22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.  23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."  24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."  26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."  27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe."  28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"  29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."  30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.  31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Brief reflection by Rev Neil Stacey

On the first Easter Sunday evening, and on the following Sunday, the disciples were shut in – behind locked doors – afraid and confused.  To be clear, they had already received the news from Mary that Jesus had been raised (and in Thomas’s case, he had also heard the witness of the other disciples), and yet they were still struggling to hear the good news and believe it.

To people like this the risen Christ appeared. It is not that suffering is ignored; the scars of Good Friday remain. But the resurrection transforms death into life, anxiety and fear into peace, joy and hope.

We pray that God will open our minds and hearts today; to receive the gifts of the risen Jesus for us and all the world.

 

A time of prayer

Into the closed doors of this world come, Lord, and speak your word of peace and life.

We pray for all those who are afraid at this time. 

We pray for all those who are ill and for those who yearn for their health.

We pray for those who are homeless and for those who struggle to feed themselves and their families.

We pray for those who have lost their incomes or whose businesses are at risk.

We pray for all those who offer care during this crisis often putting their lives at risk to do so.

We pray for our government and all the governments of the world, for business leaders and all who hold any power.

We pray for those who feel voiceless and powerless.

We pray for those situations that no longer make the headlines for those suffering from conflicts, war and oppression, for those seeking refuge and those who have no place of safety.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father ……

Hymn: Now the green blade rises (StF 306)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bwVEIxKp-0

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,

wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain;

Love lives again, that with the dead has been:

Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.


In the grave they laid him, Love who had been slain,

thinking that he never would awake again,

laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:

Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.


Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,

he that for the three days in the grave had lain,

quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen:

Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.


When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,

then your touch can call us back to life again,

fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been

:Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

John Macleod Campbell Crum (1872-1958) (alt.)


A prayer of blessing

May the light of the resurrection shine on your way.

May the peace of the resurrection hold you fast.

May the abundant life of the resurrection fill you and empower you.

And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.