Second Sunday of Easter: 24/04/2022

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER 24TH APRIL 2022

He is Not Here, He Has Risen! - Samoa Global News

OPENING SENTENCE-
He is not here: He is RISEN!’

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

HYMN

GREETING

Alleluia Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

He has given us new life and hope

by raising Jesus from the dead.

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Description: Description: Description: Confession under section 67 NDPS Act to be admitted or not, yet to ...

CONFESSION

Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord,

we come to you in sorrow for our sins,

and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.

Like Mary at the empty tomb

We fail to grasp the wonder of your presence

Lord have mercy,

Lord have mercy.

Like the disciples behind locked doors

We are afraid to be seen as your followers.

Christ have mercy,

Christ have mercy.

Like Thomas in the upper room

We are slow to believe.

Lord have mercy,

Lord have mercy.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA sung by Dougie Byers

COLLECT

Almighty God,

in your great goodness,

grant that we, as pilgrims through the Easter mysteries,

may hold the fast in our lives

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

FIRST READING ACTS 5: 27-32 read by Amie Byers

When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 

acts 5

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

SECOND READING Revelation 1:4-8 read by David Kerr

John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega – ScriptureWay – Whitney V. Myers -  ScriptureWay

Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.

So, it is to be. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

HYMN

GOSPEL READING John 20:19-31 read by Rev James Clark Maxwell

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John chapter 20 beginning at verse 19

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

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.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 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.”

Good Doubt?

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.” 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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 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.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 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.

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel.

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

If I were to mention the names of certain disciples to you and ask you to write down the first word that comes into your mind, it is unlikely you would come up with the same words. If I were to mention the name of Judas many of you would write down the word “betray” but not all of you. If I were to mention Simon Peter, some of you would write down the word “faith,” but not all of you. If I were to mention the names of James and John, some of you would write down the phrase “Sons of Thunder,” but not all of you. But when I mention the word Thomas, there is little question about the word -almost everyone would write down. It would be the word doubt. Indeed, so closely have we associated Thomas with this word, that we have coined a phrase to describe him: “Doubting Thomas.”

March 2016 – Page 2 – till Christ is formed

In our Gospel reading today Thomas went through a crisis of faith. Many people undergo a crisis of faith. Leo Tolstoy is a good example. In 1879 he was 51 years of age. He had every reason to be satisfied with himself. His two great novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, were written. If he had written nothing else these would have assured him an exalted place in the annals of world literature. The writing of these had enabled him to give fresh expression to his genius and creativity. He should have been happy. Yet he was feeling miserable. He felt that his life was meaningless. One question haunted him: ‘Is there any meaning in my life that will not be destroyed by death? It was a painful and dangerous time for him- he contemplated suicide. He searched for an answer to his questions in every area of human knowledge. He searched persistently, day and night, like a dying man seeking salvation, but he found nothing. Then he turned to the beliefs of Christians. He had been brought up in the faith but had long since abandoned it. These beliefs repelled him and seemed meaningless in the mouths of people who led lives in contradiction to them. But these same beliefs attracted him and seemed sensible as he saw people who lived by them. So, it was- that he was drawn back into them and found them full of meaning. He said: I thought that there was no sure truth in life. I found it in the Gospel and was dazzled by its splendour. In the teachings of Jesus, I found the purest and most complete doctrine of life. Alight shone within me and around me, and this light has not abandoned me since.

Christ Is Risen / Thy Light Within Us Shining - Resurrection Songs - Jesus  Story - YouTube

Light shone within me and around me-this too was to be Thomas’ experience but not straight away. I suspect Tolstoy would have sympathised with Thomas. ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands, and put my hand in his side, I refuse to believe.’ Thomas didn’t want any second- hand experience from his fellows- he needed to know for himself- he needed certainty. Certainty is still something that people hanger after today. Indeed, today people are frightened by the absence of certainties, and have retreated into fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is where there is certainty – no grey areas- its black or white! The fundamentalist path is straight and uncomplicated and for that reason is attractive. But fundamentalism is an impoverished way of seeing reality-it means that life is one dimensional, and it robs faith of its richness. Fundamentalism results in a rigid, simplistic, moralistic and authoritarian religion. Jesus was no advocate of fundamentalism- he himself loved questions and warmed to people with honest searching and doubts. He wanted people to follow him freely- not in any rigid and formal way. He knew that following him meant having trust and faith and these two cannot co-exist with certainty. Faith answers the most profound questions of life but it does not give answers to everything. Doubts will come but if explored through like Thomas then they will lead to a deeper and more enriched faith- My Lord and My God!

For Thomas his doubts gave way to belief when he saw Jesus and his wounds. Jesus invites us to draw close to him in faith and to look at his wounds. Even though we cannot touch him physically, we can draw close to him spiritually. Spiritually we can encounter Jesus and be touched by his wounds.

Doubting Thomas | The Life of Jesus | #46 - YouTube

As we see his wounds our doubts can turn to belief. Belief as we meet the risen Lord with the wounds of his crucifixion on his glorified body. Why does he still bear these wounds? Perhaps this story might help us understand why.

It is about a single, working mum who lives in New York. In a period of six years, she saw her three sons shot dead, the youngest of them right in front of her door. It has left a deep wound in her heart. She relieves her grief every time a child is killed in the neighbourhood. Yet she refused to be trapped by fear and a sense of victimhood. Instead, she has reached out to others. She has become an advocate for gun control and community responsibility, talking at schools and other places. She started a support group for mothers in similar positions. And when a child dies, she visits the parents to comfort them. She says that at the beginning she wished her sons had never been born. But now she says: in their death is sorrow, but there is also unbelievable joy. If I had not had my three sons, I would not be the kind of person I am today. They help keep me strong. They help me not to be selfish. The frame of the door still bears the marks of the bullets which killed her youngest son. Although she doesn’t always notice them, she knows that they are there. Why doesn’t she have the frame repaired? I want these holes to be a constant reminder that a young man lost his life at that spot. When you fix things, you tend to forget.

Lest we forget' - The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

When you fix things, people tend to forget. Maybe that is why Jesus kept the marks of his wounds on his risen body- he wanted us never to forget what he has done for us and the extent of his love. His wounds were his means of identification with his disciples- they saw and believed! Jesus did not hide his wounds- he showed them to Thomas. These wounds of Jesus are a source of consolation and hope to us. They help us come to terms with our own wounds. They help us not to be selfish. By his wounds we are healed of self- pity and victimhood. There is a tendency to hide our wounds, because of the belief that displaying weakness does not create respect. However, those who do not disguise their own struggles, and who live through them, give hope to others. An understanding of their own pain enables them to convert their weakness into strength and to offer their experience as a source of healing to others. Thomas was able to convert his weakness into strength and become one of the greatest missionaries of the early church.

Converting this weakness in to strength was not of Thomas’ on making. No, Thomas and all the disciples received three distinctive gifts from Jesus. We like receiving gifts! Gifts are fun especially if they come at unexpected times. When gifts come from out of nowhere, from persons we least expect to honour us in such a way, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. Gifts have a way of making us feel important. When we receive gifts, we feel loved and accepted and affirmed and appreciated. To be the recipient of a gift is to acknowledge that we are special; it is to acknowledge our uniqueness and worth as members of the human family, in relationship with other members of the same family. Such gifts have a way of adding quality to our lives.

The answers are not in the crystals, the cards or another worldly object...

Jesus’ gift to his disciples added an amazing quality to their lives. In our Gospel text you can imagine Jesus saying to his disciples “I want to give you something. Just a little something to remember me by: a parting gift, if you will!” Then Jesus breathed on them. He gave them his breathe- he gave them the Holy Spirit. Jesus seems to be saying- here is the gift of life, for in receiving this gift, you receive my spirit. This is not a gift to place on the mantel, or in a trophy case, or to hang on a wall with the other symbols of our specialness. This is not a gift to preserve and protect. Rather, this gift sends his disciples out as His representatives to the world. In that giftedness, the disciples discover that their fear is replaced with joy, their shyness is replaced with boldness, their hesitation is replaced with courage, and their sense of insecurity is replaced with hope and purpose. Now, with that joy, courage and purpose, the disciples move out from behind their locked doors with the commission of Jesus ringing in their ears ‘I send you.’

As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" - ppt download

They, and now we, are commissioned to be about the work of forgiveness, the “ministry of reconciliation” and the word of grace. They, and now we, are to bring that fresh life-giving Spirit to a world which continues to shut its doors in fear. They and now we are empowered to make Christ visible in a world full of unbelievers and doubters. Through their wounds of love and ours others will be drawn to the wounds of Christ – and in Christ wounds they will see and know healing- in those wounds they will receive hope and power- in those wounds they will experience love, joy and peace, in those wounds they will move from doubt to faith. Amen.

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

PRAYERS

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

Risen Lord, you set ablaze the hearts

of your disciples with awe

at the wonder of the resurrection.

Open the eyes of us your Church

afresh to this astounding news

and fill our hearts and voices with joy

that you Lord Jesus are risen indeed.

Jesus is risen Free stock photos in jpg format for free download 8.22MB

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

Risen Lord you see and judge

the motives of rulers and leaders,

may they be wounded healers,

reaching out to those in need.

Raise up and sustain with your Holy Spirit

people of integrity and compassion,

that are at all times.

ready to bring your healing and peace to others.

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

Peace, Love & Healing | The LightHeart Institute

Risen Lord, you offer hope and new life to all.

Draw near those who are doubt your resurrection,

your claims of Messiahship,

and your identity as God.

Bring into their lives

witnesses of credibility

that can break through their barriers

and open their eyes and hearts

to your risen presence and love.

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

Risen Lord, you came to your distraught

and confused disciples

In that locked room and brought peace and healing.

Come to all today who are anxious and worried,

living in fear and confusion

and bring them your peace and healing.

We pray especially for people known to us

in the quiet of our hearts,

and ask that you by your grace and love

will meet them at their point of need.

Lord Jesus, be near to those we have named

and grant them your strength and abiding presence.

13 Bible Verses about Worry and Anxiety - Bible Verse Images

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

Risen Lord, come among us.

Pour out your Holy Spirit,

and open our voices

that we will speak with courage against evil.

Give us grace to strive for justice.

We pray at this time,

for all the people struggling in Ukraine.

Bring an end to hostilities there

and may peace be your gift to them.

We remember those who have fled Ukraine,

and have had to leave behind family members,

journey with them in their pain and suffering.

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

Risen Lord, journey with those

who have the responsibility

to be carers and healers.

May they lean on you

for guidance and strength,

for wisdom and compassion

and through their gifts and talents

may they open up for others

a way to greater liberation, hope and peace.

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

I am the resurrection and the life - Believers4ever.com

Risen Lord, you are the resurrection and the life,

you hold before us the promise of eternal life.

Journey with those whose earthly life is coming to an end

and open their hearts and minds to embrace

the new life you have prepared for them,

in paradise with you.

Comfort those who mourn,

carry those who are bereft,

and be close to those for whom this month of April

is an anniversary of a death,

and may cherished memories

bring comfort and peace

to those who grieve.

Risen Lord

Fill our hearts with Easter Joy

A Prayer for Joy Filled Life

Through all the changing scenes of life

we thank you Risen Lord for your companionship

and for gentle leading and guiding…

Merciful Father accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord

who taught us to say together,

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

BLESSING

God the Father,

by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,

strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life;

and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

be among you and remain with you always. Amen

Free Hallelujah Clipart

DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

In the name of Christ,

Alleluia! Alleluia!