Service for the Second Sunday of Easter


A Service for the Second Sunday of Easter

 

Preparation:

Before beginning to read this short service, you may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or a special place.  During the Easter Season we call to mind the days when our Lord passed from death to life and appeared to his disciples and spoke with them.  

 

May the light of Christ, rising in glory, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

 

Alleluia.  Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.  Alleluia

 

 

The Collect

 

Let us pray that we may walk the risen life of Christ in glory.

 

Silence is kept.

 

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.

 

 

The First Hymn

 

Love’s Redeeming Work is Done - please access Simon’s accompaniment here: 

https://youtu.be/TZD24x4t_g4

 

 

1  Love's redeeming work is done;

fought the fight, the battle won:

lo, our Sun's eclipse is o'er,

lo, he sets in blood no more.

 

2 Vain the stone, the watch, the seal;

Christ has burst the gates of hell;

death in vain forbids his rise;

Christ has opened Paradise.

 

3 Lives again our glorious King;

where, O death, is now thy sting?

dying once, he all doth save;

where thy victory, O grave?

 

4 Soar we now where Christ has led,

following our exalted Head;

made like him, like him we rise;

ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

 

5 Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!

Praise to thee by both be given:

thee we greet triumphant now;

hail, the Resurrection Thou!

 

The Reading:

Acts 2: 14a, 22-32

 

The Gospel:

John 20: 19-end

 

Homily

 

John 20:21  “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you”.

 

When we consider the disciples, during this Easter season, caught in a degree of post-Resurrection confusion, as they come to the knowledge of Christ’s rising, we find that inevitable cracks in the credulity of some of them, notably Thomas, are opening – and who can blame Thomas, or any other of the disciples?  Those who have lived on one level of relationship with Jesus are now being asked to assume a different relationship. It has its negative aspects as Mary Magdalene found when she was prevented from embracing Jesus in the garden by the tomb, but this is really about positive affirmation, unapologetic proclamation – more than acceptance, what is required by the disciples is obedience.  What an unfashionable word for a world that likes us to make up our own minds, but obedience is a crucial word for this day, as Thomas doubts, and all struggle with the enormity of the miracle that has restored their Lord into their midst.  The same Jesus says the words, “Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, so I send you”.

 

“Easter”, “Resurrection”, “Alleluia” are amongst the great words of this joyful season, but, let us recall today that with the victory of Christ over sin and death, came the commission to make disciples of all nations.  We are sent, as the disciples were sent.  The quality of Christ’s peace that we share week by week in Church, is not the peace of a comfortable armchair or warm bed, nor even the peace of holiday and freedom from work; it is the peace that passes our understanding. The peace is of an order and quality as of no other.   It is the kind of inner peace that has been arrived at through trial, or failure or pain - maybe all of them (just think of the disciples of Jesus at the time of our Lord’s arrest) and is a gift from the Son of God, who through the Cross allows us to see light in the midst of darkness, and even in these extraordinary days of worldwide pandemic and as we witness the suffering of so many thousands of people, there is the strength and peace that we experience in the person of the risen Christ, and come to recognise in others who posses it through their faith too.

 

I recall, quite a number of years ago now, being struck by the fact that the Pope John Paul II, who suffered a very lengthy decline in health, in his last lucid hours asked for those parts of the Gospels to be read to him that spoke of our Lord’s journey to the Cross.  I was struck because in the Easter season and in the face of death, the Resurrection accounts would be, to my mind, the most obvious choice.  But I was wrong, and I think I begin to see why, for surely the words of hope were not what he sought in those last moments of conscious reflection (those he held within himself), what he sought was the encounter with the physical, mental and spiritual wounds of Christ; by his stripes we are healed.  None of this detracts from the joy of the Resurrection narratives, rather they are enhanced, as the wounds of Christ are exposed, seen and, as nearly as possible, felt. Today as we try and absorb the enormity of human suffering in the light of the Resurrection, our way may be helped by Thomas who wanted to finger the marks of the nails…… then found he need not…..

 

What we need to hear of first importance today are the words of the risen Jesus to his disciples; for we are a sent people, a people whose peace lies in Christ.  As the disciples found, life becomes more meaningful as the following and the sending of our Lord is seen to be closely associated with his risen life; obedience brings direction, simplicity of thought and vision; peace of a kind that we can never fully understand, though we know that something wonderful is happening to us.  Christ’s peace is a free gift, as, indeed, is that of life itself.  Alleluia!

 

John Mann

 

Second Hymn

 

The Strife is o’er: https://youtu.be/Z7sno1B30_A

 

1 The strife is o'er, the battle done;

now is the Victor’s triumph won;

O let the song of praise be sung:

Alleluia!

 

2 Death’s mightiest powers have done 

their worst,

and Jesus hath his foes dispersed.

Let shouts of praise and joy outburst:

Alleluia!

 

3 On the third morn he rose again;

glorious in majesty to reign.

O let us swell the joyful strain:

Alleluia!

 

4 Lord, by the stripes which wounded 

thee,

from death's dread sting thy servants 

free,

that we may live and sing to thee.

Alleluia!

 

Prayers

 

In joy and hope let us pray to the Father.

 

That our risen Saviour may fill us with the joy of his

glorious and life-giving resurrection,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

That isolated and persecuted churches

may find fresh strength in the good news of Easter,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

That God may grant us humility

to be subject to one another in Christian love, especially may we be aware of our reliance on one another in these days of distancing and self-isolation,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

That he may provide for those who lack food, work or shelter in all places in our community and nationally and internationally too,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

That by his power war and famine may cease through all the world, and may the rich support those in poverty,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

That he may reveal the light of his presence to the sick,

the weak and the dying, working through all who are caring for them,

to comfort and strengthen them,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

That, according to his promises,

all who have died in the faith of the resurrection

may be raised on the last day,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

That he may send the fire of the Holy Spirit upon his people,

so that we may bear faithful witness to his resurrection,

we pray to the Father.

Hear our prayer.

 

Heavenly Father,

you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant that, as his death has recalled us to life,

so his continual presence in us may raise us to eternal joy;

through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

A few moments of silence before we say the….. 

 

Easter acclamations:

 

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He has given us new life and hope.

He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.

He has brought us out of darkness.

He has made us light to the world.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

 

God the Father,

by whose love Christ was raised from the dead,

open to all who believe the gates of everlasting life.

Amen.

God the Son,

who in bursting from the grave has won a glorious victory,

give us joy as we share the Easter faith.

Amen.

God the Holy Spirit,

who filled the disciples with the life of the risen Lord,

empower us and fill us with Christs peace.

Amen.

 

 

Postlude - Philip Moore: 

https://youtu.be/MHL2oE6TfFc