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  • Cleckheaton Methodist

2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER - 19th April 2020

Updated: Apr 26

A short act of worship for use in people’s homes while churches are closed.

Prayer

As we journey day by day, deeper into your love O Lord, may our worship today be a leap deeper into you, may our prayers be part of a loving conversation and may the words we read draw us into a deeper understanding of who you are and who we are in you.

Amen.

Hymn - Holy, holy, holy (listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwuDSw-9cUQ)

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,

casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see, only thou art holy; there is none beside thee perfect in power, in love, and purity.


Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!


Prayers

Living and life-giving God,

You spoke, and light dawned.

You breathed, and life flourished.

By your words and hands creation burst with colour and vibrancy, and we praise you.

Through your grace, we were made in your image, From your great love, your son came.

Lord God,

You are grace and you love mercy.

In the face of our sin, you breathe out forgiveness.

We confess those times Lord, when our lives have not reflected love into the world. We confess the words that we have said, the things that we have done and thought that have lacked love.

We give thanks that it is your very nature to be forgiving and ask that you renew your love and light in our lives.

Amen.


We say together the Lord’s Prayer

Reading - John 20:19-31

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19 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.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so

I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin[a]), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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.”

26 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.” 27 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 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.”

The Purpose of This Book

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah,[c] the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Reflection on the reading

In this week’s Vine Phil Jackson writes “Is it possible that Thomas was scared rather than doubtful? Fearful that it might not be true, fearful that Jesus hadn’t defeated death and that the darkness still prevailed. Thomas stood in the twilight, on the cusp of light and dark with death and Good Friday behind him and light and Resurrection ahead. Perhaps he feared that it wasn’t true and that he would actually be turned 180 degrees back into the dark and the reality of death, pain, grief and so much more.

Fear often increases with levels of vulnerability and the sad reality is that we are all vulnerable to the reality of spiritual darkness… The difference between light and dark however depends upon what you are reaching for. Thomas reached out and found life and not death. He found truth rather than lies and he proclaimed “My Lord and my God!” He found that the light had defeated dark and he left the twilight behind.

It is very simple for us to define life in technical terms, with breath, a heartbeat and food and drink, that life ends when the last breath is taken and the heart stops beating. And yet those who reach for Jesus find a life that they never knew existed, for life is more than just whether we are breathing or not. Jesus came to bring “life in all its fullness” and the challenge for the church is the way in which we embrace that life, not just for ourselves but for those who are in the darkness around us....

… you may stand with Thomas in the twilight between dark and light, fearful that the light is not powerful for the darkness that lies behind you. Or it may be that we minister to, know and love people who rest in this place. Sometimes, the journey from dark to light seems to be slow going, and yet the light shines in the darkness and will never be overcome…. As the light dawns on our lives and the love of Jesus warms our hearts we start to journey through the light in to life, not the life of this world, of breath and heart beat, but the life of eternal joy and pleasure with Christ. May we be up to the challenge of living that life so that it might spread in to the darker parts of our communities and become viral, a channel of light and life into the world.

Let us pray.

Light of the world,

Shine in to the dark parts of the world and of our lives. Help us to remember that you are the light of the world and help us to see the promise of eternal life in you. Lord Jesus, we confess our doubts and our fears, may we reach out and feel your hands. May we know the power of your wounds and know the truth of your resurrection, leading us into light and life.

Amen.

Intercessions

We pray for our world…

We pray for those called to serve in position of leadership…

We pray for those who are hurting…

We pray for ourselves and ask that you would fill us with your spirit so that as we step into this week we are able to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you our God.

God in your mercy, hear our prayers. Amen

Hymn – In Christ Alone (listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKJfs8C14yc) The video is a moving and wonderful recording by a large virtual Methodist choir – watch it if you can!

In Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease My Comforter, my All in All

Here in the love of Christ I stand.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain:

Then bursting forth in glorious day

Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory

Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,

For I am His and He is mine

Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death,

This is the power of Christ in me

From life's first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand Till He returns or calls me home

Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

I find my strength, I find my hope

I find my help in Christ alone

When fear assails, when darkness falls

I find my peace in Christ alone

I give my life, I give my all

I sing my song to Christ alone

The king of kings, the lord of all All heaven sings to Christ alone.

To Christ alone, in Christ alone.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty Copyright © 2001 Thankyou Music

Blessing

May you journey in the light and life of God,

May his life be in your hearts, May his light be in your eyes

and may life and light go from you to others. Amen




The Vine at home this week is adapted from The Vine Local Arrangement service. Service written by Phil Jackson with the intercessions adapted from those written by Lauren Brabbs

Bible Text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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