Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

A short service for the third sunday of Easter 26th April 2020

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Today is the third Sunday of Easter.


Psalm 116: 1-7

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;

he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me,

I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,

The anguish of the grave came over me;

I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the Lord:

“Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;

our God is full of compassion.

The Lord protects the unwary;

when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,

for the Lord has been good to you.

 

Our Bible reading is Luke 24: 13-35.

A thought for the day by Revd. Arif Anees

Road to Emmaus

Our Gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday of Easter tells us the events took place on the road to Emmaus, a village seven miles away from Jerusalem. Two people going on a journey and they were talking about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but they were not able to recognise the risen Lord who was walking with them. Sometimes people are overwhelmed with the fear that they cannot feel the presence of God. Upon asking, they explained what had happened in Jerusalem. How did Jesus respond? ’’how foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?”. It was rather a strong response, but sometimes people need strong or high potency medicine to recover from their condition. Then Jesus unfolded the scriptures and their meanings to them. As a result, they go back to Jerusalem where disciples were in hiding or let’s say they were in lockdown. And these two men witnessed the good news of seeing the risen Lord. We are living in strange times as the most of the world is living in the lockdown and fear of catching the virus, many are suffering the loss of their loved ones. Sometimes it feels that world behaves like Pharaoh, he fears the plagues but not God, or maybe he doesn’t know and understand God. what did Jesus do on the road to Emmaus to cast out fear, uncertainty and disbelief? He preached the Gospel, unfolded its meaning and walked with them in their journey. We as followers of Jesus Christ are the people of grace and integrity, and following the example of our Lord we should strive to bring the life and hope which is found in the name of Jesus into our communities. Because there is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4: 18). I will finish with the words of St Paul found in Romans 10: 14,15 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? and how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

May God bless us all.

 

Prayers

Help and comfort the lonely, the bereaved and the oppressed.

Lord, have mercy.

Keep in safety those who travel, and all who are in danger.

Lord, have mercy.

Heal the sick in body and mind, and provide for the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.

Lord, have mercy.

Show your pity on prisoners and refugees, and all who are in trouble.

Lord, have mercy.

Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, and turn their hearts.

Lord, have mercy.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the peace of Christ,

both those who have confessed the faith and those whose faith is known to you alone,

and grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.

Amen.


Collect

Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples

With the sight of the risen Lord:

Give us such knowledge of his presence with us,

That we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life

And serve you continually in righteousness and truth;

Through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

Who is alive and reigns with you,

In the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, now and for ever.

Amen


Final blessing

The Lord bless us, and preserve from all evil,

and keep us in eternal life.

Amen.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.


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