Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

A short service for the second Sunday of Easter 19th April 2020

May grace, mercy and peace be with us all

Today is the second Sunday of Easter.


We are the people of God.

Risen Lord, as we gather today

may we see you and hear you

may we feel you and touch you,

may we know your presence with us now.

Amen.


A hymn of Praise

Thine be the glory

risen, conqu’ring Son,

endless is the vict’ry

thou o’er death hast won;

angels in bright raiment

rolled the stone away,

kept the folded grave-clothes

where thy body lay.

Chorus
Thine be the glory

risen, conqu’ring Son,

endless is the vict’ry

thou o’er death has won.

Lo! Jesus meets us

risen from the tomb;

lovingly he greets us,

scatters fear and gloom.

Let the Church with gladness

hymns of triumph sing

for her Lord now liveth;

death hath lost its sting.


Psalm 16

A Prayer of Confidence[a]

1 Protect me, O God; I trust in you for safety.

2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

all the good things I have come from you.”

3 How excellent are the Lord's faithful people!

My greatest pleasure is to be with them.

4 Those who rush to other gods

bring many troubles on themselves.[b]

I will not take part in their sacrifices;

I will not worship their gods.

5 You, Lord, are all I have,

and you give me all I need;

my future is in your hands.

6 How wonderful are your gifts to me;

how good they are!

7 I praise the Lord, because he guides me,

and in the night my conscience warns me.

8 I am always aware of the Lord's presence;

he is near, and nothing can shake me.

9 And so I am thankful and glad,

and I feel completely secure,

10 because you protect me from the power of death.

I have served you faithfully,

and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.

11 You will show me the path that leads to life;

your presence fills me with joy

and brings me pleasure forever.

Footnotes:
Psalm 16:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David.
Psalm 16:4 Probable text Those … themselves; Hebrew unclear.
Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


Our bible reading is John 20 verses 19-31

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive people's sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”

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

29 Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

The Purpose of This Book

30 In his disciples' presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. 31 But these have been written in order that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.

Footnotes:
John 20:31 believe; some manuscripts have continue to believe.
Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society


An Easter Thought for the Day by Revd. Mike Sermon

I wonder what form the light at the end of your lock down tunnel takes. Is it the chance to visit and hug a parent or grandchild? Is it the chance to celebrate a major life event that until now has been put on hold? So many possibilities. So many good things to keep us going in dark times like these.

As we read the post Easter story in John’s gospel, chapter 20, verses 19 to 31, we find Jesus’ friends and disciples, fearful and dismayed following his death. There appears to be no light at the end of their particular tunnel, and they have forgotten or not understood the promise that Jesus made to them about his return.

The resurrection of Jesus startles even his disciples and friends. They were somehow blindsided to this possibility and we find them in a state of shock. The resurrection of Jesus re-writes our understanding of life. God’s great love story and God’s message to us is that death does not have the final word.

Let me say that again, death does not have the final word.

God’s invitation is for all of us to be a part of this great love story. To live, and to love, in a way that transcends this worlds boundaries. John writes,

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week and the doors of the house were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among his disciples and said ‘Peace be with you’”.

May this same peace with all of its power and love, be not only the light at the end of your lockdown tunnel, but also your daily experience.

For the Lord is here
and his Spirit is with us
TODAY. Amen.

Revd. Mike Sermon Vicar St Paul’s Blackheath, Priest in Charge St James’ Rounds Green


Our prayers.

A special prayer for this Sunday

Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts, that we may seek the good of others and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God the Father.  Amen

Loving God, we pray for our world, transformed almost beyond our recognition, by illness and the threat of illness.
We pray for all those people, communities and nations experiencing great pain and suffering at this time.
We pray especially for all those working in the caring and medical professions treating the sick, for those working in funeral services and for world leaders and governments seeking to protect public health.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray for your church planted and rooted across our world and we thank you for the witness testimony of those first disciples.
You commissioned your disciples and those who followed to go out in your name and to make known the love that triumphs even over death.
By your Spirit continue to equip your people and your church to bring hope to the despairing and light to those enveloped in darkness.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, in a moment of stillness, we offer to you the people and places that we carry in our hearts today, those for whom we have a particular concern, and we pray that you would meet them in their need…
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray for ourselves, in all the needs that we have, that we may know your peace, the peace of the Risen Lord, beside us, behind us, and before us all the days of our lives.
Amen.


God of hope
heal us and restore us,
that we may know the power of your love at work in our lives,
today and every day.
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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