Saturday 15 April 2023

Easter 2 2023,


It’s the Lord in the dawning

In the morning 

It’s the Lord 

In the crowd 

In the crisis

In the conversation

In the new day 


Song: “My only hope is you”


Confession-Silence followed by:


In the multi coloured company of your church on earth and in heaven, we celebrate your creation, your life, your death and resurrection, your interest in us. So to you we pray;


Lord bring new life where we are worn and tired, new love, where we have turned hard hearted, forgiveness, where we feel hurt and where we have wounded, and the joy and freedom of your Holy Spirit where we are the prisoners of ourselves. Amen.


We say the Lords Prayer in our own language


Reflection on John 20v19-31


Like Thomas we are often in the wrong place at the wrong time and because of it we miss out on something special and we could kick ourselves for being so stupid. How many times have you done that? I know I have.


The disciples were scared. Jesus had died. Despite their experience they were scared. And they had so much faith that they locked themselves in an upper room for weeks! 


Jesus appeared to them. Breathed on them! The breath of God. And he gives them his peace. But Thomas was not there!

Soon after Jesus appears through closed doors again, when Thomas is with them. He asks Thomas to feel his wounds in his hands and side. This isn’t a ghost!

Thomas was lucky. We don’t have that experience. 


The story of Thomas doubting is one of a number of resurrection stories. In all of them Jesus appears. In all of them he gives his peace and in all of them the setting is in the context of eating. We could extend that to say it is Eucharistic. When we eat bread and drink wine Christ’s body is reconstituted, brought to life in us and we encounter Christ’s resurrection.


All of us have times when we doubt the existence of God especially now. 


A Frenchwoman I knew said I don’t believe in God but I shout at him now and then! Even Job doubted. It seems to be part of our human condition that when things go wrong or maybe we get very comfortable, we doubt God. If a member of the family or our loved one is ill or even dies we may doubt God exists, because of the pain, the suffering and loss we feel. If we experience a relationship breakup or divorce we may doubt God and of course some people’s response to dreadful events, like living in the midst of Covid19, is to ask how can you believe in a loving God when bad things like this happen? Doubt is the flipside to belief. 


The Psalmist cries "My God why have you hidden your face from me" in Psalm 22 and Jesus from the cross cries "My God why have you forsaken me?" 


Today many of us are hidden behind closed doors because we have to! And yes we are afraid. We doubt God is with us. Others tell us that God is with us, even in our own locked spaces. But sometimes we do not feel it or see it. Our faith, the prayers of others carry us through these times. 


Unlike Thomas we cannot feel the wounds in Jesus body. Our faith depends on things unseen and unfelt. At times of doubt others have to carry us. Especially at this time we need one another, we need their prayers, we need to hear the words of Jesus, to feel the touch of the God of creation. Going outside helps. Hearing other peoples voices helps.


God is everywhere. Even in war. Even in Covid 19. Even in crisis. Deepen our faith. We pray God will work in us and through us so we emerge changed. Amen. 


Our prayers for our Covid, war stricken, unjust world, for those living with war and conflict, Ukraine, Russia, Yemen, Palestine, Myanmar, Rohingyas, Uighurs, Hong Kong, Belarus, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, for our own country, for the French elections, for those facing climate change, for doctors and nurses, carers, teachers, for those confronting injustice, for refugees and the homeless, our families and friends and ourselves. May God’s hand be upon us, your angels protect us and the Holy Spirit work in and around us. Amen


Song “Worthy is the Lamb”

May the God who shakes heaven and earth

Whom death could not contain

Who lives to disturb and heal us

Bless you with power to go forth

and proclaim the gospel. Amen



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