Worship at Home for the Week Beginning 14th April 2024

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Revd Dr Samantha Gillard has prepared this week's message.

This short act of worship is for use from home. Please use this service whenever you like during the week.

Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

Third Sunday of Easter
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Opening Prayer:

When we are blinded by anger, you pour out your love for all to see;
when we wonder what tomorrow will bring,
you call us to trust in you; when sadness fills our lives, you plant gladness in our hearts.
God of Easter: touch us with your grace.

You show us your hands, so we may reach out to mend the broken; you show us your feet, so we may walk with those the world passes by; you show us your face,
so we may know what our sisters and brothers look like. Risen Christ: touch us with your compassion.

You open our eyes, so we may see God’s love; you open our minds, so we may welcome God’s Word; you open our lips,
so we may be God’s witnesses. Spirit of Hope:
touch us with your peace.


Prayer written by Thom Shuman at Lectionary Liturgies blog. http://www.lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.ca/ Reposted on RE:Worship: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/04/prayer-of-day-easter-3.html

STF 20 Be still, for the presence of the Lord

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One, is here;
Come bow before him now

With reverence and fear;
In him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
The Holy One, is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around;
He burns with holy fire,
With splendour he is crowned:
How awesome is the sight
Our radiant King of light!
Be still, for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place:
He comes to cleanse and heal,
To minister his grace; –
No work too hard for him –
In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place.

By David J Evans. Words & Music © 2005 Thankyou Music & Integrity Music. Admin by worshiptogether.com
CCLI: Song Number: 4662491

Bible Reading

Time to reflect:

On this third Sunday of Easter we continue to piece together the narratives of the witnesses to the risen Jesus Christ. A picture that only becomes clear when you put together the four Gospels. In Matthew; the angel says to the women, “Do not be afraid  He is not here, he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 28:5-6). In Mark, the women hear the same message, “He has risen! he is not here.” (Mark 16: 6-7). Then in John’s gospel we learn of Mary’s encounter with Jesus in the garden, and how she only believed that he had risen, when Jesus called her by name, ‘Mary’ (John 20:16). Later in the same chapter it recalls how the disciples fished all night on the Sea of Galilee but caught nothing, and then how they only recognised the man on the seashore as Jesus when he said, “Throw your nets on the other side” (John 21:6).


Our reading today is from Luke, chapter 24; where just before the verses for today, we read how Jesus walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus and how their hearts burned as he spoke, but that they only recognised him, when “ he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them”, (Luke 24:30-32). Verses 36 to 48 describe how Jesus stood among the disciples whilst they were talking and said, “Peace be with you”, and how he showed them his wounds (Luke 24: 37-39 and written also in John 20 19-29).

In each of these witness’ accounts there emerges common themes; how in spite of the fact that Jesus had told them what would happen, they had unbelief and initially failed to recognise the risen Jesus Christ.

Imagine being in the room with the disciples, and sense their astonishment, that whilst they were talking Jesus was suddenly standing amongst them. Then step back for a moment and reflect on the order of Jesus’s words; ‘Peace be with you’, then ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubt’s rise in your mind’ (Luke 24:36-38). The startled disciples first needed to receive Jesus’s gift of peace; a peace that only God can give. A peace that Jesus had promised to his disciples on the way to Jerusalem and that is available for us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. John 14:27.

The risen Jesus Christ had fulfilled the promises he made, bringing peace and hope; which in turn answered their unbelief. It is our human nature to have doubts and questions about God. Our reading from Luke reveals how Jesus graciously responded to their unbelief, with the invitation, “Look at my hands and feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see.” (Luke 24:39). He encourages them, to recall all that he has said, whilst he was among them and that “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24:44).

Today we are invited to meet the risen Jesus Christ, who stood among the disciples in the room; who welcomes all and graciously hears our unbelief.  The open invitation is to:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Our question to reflect on today, is whether our hearts are open to meet the risen Jesus Christ, in the mystery of faith and to lay down our unbelief. It is in taking this step of faith that we encounter God’s gracious love, which is unconditional and transformative. A message of assurance and hope, life eternal, brought alive today through the eye witness accounts of the disciples who responded to Jesus’s invitation to look, to believe and then to proclaim the good news to all. What is our response today? 


Prayers of intercession

You are invited to pray silently for:

The needs of the world…
The Church and its calling…
Loved ones going through difficult times…
For peace, justice, and reconciliation…
In Jesus name.


The Lord's Prayer

Please use the version that you prefer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.


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.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.


StF 628 Faithful One, so unchanging

Faithful One, so unchanging,
AgelessOone, you’re my rock of peace.
Lord of all I depend on you,
I call out to you, again and again.
I call out to you, again and again.

You are my rock in times of trouble.
You lift me up when I fall down.
All through the storm your love is the anchor,
My hope is in you alone

By Brian Doerksen. © 1986 Thankyou Music. Admin: Integrity Music. CCLI Song Number: 121074

Final Prayer: Based on Psalm 16.

O God our protector, we trust in you for safety, we depend on you for all we need; all good things come from you— we commit our future into your hands:

Guide us by day and teach us by night,
be near us so that nothing can shake us,
make us always aware of your presence,
show us the path that leads to life,
let your Spirit fill us with joy,
and let your service be our delight for ever. Amen.

Prayer written by Michael Perry. Posted on the Jubilate Hymns website.  http://www.jubilate.co.uk/  
Reposted on RE: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/11/prayer-for-guidance-psalm-16.html

Service prepared by Revd Dr Samantha Gillard

Webpage: Paul Deakin