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                       St Clement Church Community Easter 2 Service



Good morning

I must admit that I find ‘Doubting Thomas’ a comforting character.  Thank goodness for him. I find him a comfort when so often I feel worried, lost, unsure or afraid. He had the courage to ask the awkward questions – I hope we will too.                                                                                                                       

With love                                                                                                                                                          Liz

Let us pray

O Lord, our Rock, and our Redeemer, guide our thoughts and our words in our worship today. Let our hearts be filled with your praise. Let us never forget the good things you do for us. You have forgiven our sins. You have rescued us from death. You have crowned us with love and tender mercies. Renew our strength and refresh our souls. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Hymn: 130 Hail the day that sees him rise (omit verses 3, 4, 5)

A prayer of Penitence

Seek the Lord while he may be found                                                                                       call upon him while he is near.

Let the wicked abandon their ways                                                                                                 and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Turn back to the Lord, who will have mercy                                                                                  to our God who will richly pardon.

Lord God, we have sinned against you;                                                                                    we have done evil in your sight.                                                                                                We are sorry and repent.                                                                                                              Have mercy on us according to your love.                                                                                  Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.                                            Renew a right spirit within us                                                                                                 and restore to us the joy of your salvation                                                                      through Jesus Christ our Lord.

May the Father of all mercies                                                                                                             cleanse us from our sins,                                                                                                          and restore us in his image                                                                                                to the praise and glory of his name,                                                                                  through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessed be the Lord                                                                                                                        who has heard the voice of our prayer.

Therefore, shall our hearts dance for joy                                                                                      and in our song will we praise our God.                             


The Collect

Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen


Acts 2. 14a, 22 – 32                                                                                                                               I Peter 1. 3 - 9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hymn: 342 Breathe on me breath of God

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Gospel Reading: John 20. 19 – 31                                                                                                       (Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John                                                  Response: Glory to you, O Lord)

When it was evening on 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.’                                                                   After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.                                                                                              Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’                                                                                                                                      When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’                             But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

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, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’                                                                                                         Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’                                                                       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.’

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

This is the Gospel of the Lord.                                                                                                        Response: Praise to you, O Christ


A week ago, we were celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, but on the first Easter Day, the disciples are in hiding somewhere in or near Jerusalem. They are afraid - Jesus is dead and they fear that they will be next.                             

It's interesting, isn’t it - Jesus told the disciples what was going to happen … He would die and would rise again on the third day. Have they forgotten or did they not believe what He said or did they just not understand? Sounds like us, doesn’t it?                                                                                                                        Just imagine the swirl of emotions the disciples must have been feeling when Jesus comes and stands among them that evening. They feel joy of course, but also sadness at what Jesus has gone through., They must also have been confused over what His resurrection meant. We know they are afraid and I suspect, they feel guilty too – they deserted Jesus in his hour of need.                   In response to all that joy, sadness, confusion, fear and guilt, Jesus simply says, “Peace be with you.”

What Jesus does on that first Easter evening is to show these frightened disciples the same grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love that He always showed. He comes and stands among them and simply says, Peace be with you.” And then, to ease their doubts, He shows them His hands and His side. No wonder the disciples rejoice to see Him. Not only is Jesus alive and among them, He has also forgiven them for all that they have done – and not done – over these last dramatic days.

We often read today’s Gospel reading and focus on Thomas, the doubting disciple who needs to put his finger in the marks of the nails before he would believe. But, this story is really about all of those fear-filled disciples, trembling behind that locked door, wondering what it all means.                                                                      This story is really about each, and every one, of us: trying to live a life worthy of our Lord and Saviour; struggling with doubt, weighed down with fear, and constantly falling short of what we know that He expects from us.

This story is also about how Jesus comes to us, in the midst of our doubts, fears, sin and guilt, to offer each and every one of us that simple word of grace, mercy and forgiveness. “Peace be with you,” says our risen Lord to us all. This gospel reading is really about the peace that surpasses all understanding; the peace which the world cannot give; the peace that can only come from our crucified and risen Lord; and the peace that comes when we most need it.

Think back to a time in your life when you feel as though you have truly disappointed God. And now, imagine Jesus showing up at that very moment, and saying to you: “Peace be with you.” That is what our Lord does for each, and every one, of us. That, too, is what the miracle of Easter means for us.

Today’s gospel reading is also about the ways in which we are called to share that peace and that joy, with a world so filled with doubt and fear. Jesus didn’t join His disciples in that locked room simply to celebrate His resurrection with them. He also joined them there to give them the gift of the Holy Spirit, and to send them to the world to continue His mission. “As the Father has sent me,” Jesus said to them and to us, “so I send you.”

The word “Apostle” literally means one who is sent. The word “Disciple,” on the other hand, literally means one who learns. The disciples have learned many things from Jesus. By His words and His example, He has taught them about the Kingdom of God, and about our Heavenly Father’s purpose for them and for the world. Now, these disciples are becoming apostles - disciples who are sent into the world. Jesus sends those first disciples out into the world to be His apostles. He sends us out into the world in the same way. We are all apostles, members of the apostolic church. We are the sent-out people of God, with a mission that comes from our crucified and risen Messiah.

But, Jesus doesn’t tell us to do this. He helps us to do this. That, too, is the miracle of the resurrection. After He said to those first apostles, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you,” Jesus breathed on those apostles, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Jesus wants us to go out into the world and breathe into it, new life. We are the ones continuing Jesus’ mission. We are the body of Christ in the world. Our words, our deeds, our hope, our faith, our love, our witness in our daily lives, our acts of love to others; all of this done in Jesus’ name with the help of the Holy Spirit; all this is how the world catches a glimpse of our risen Lord. That is what it means to be an apostle, and that is what we are.

So, that’s what those first apostles did, isn’t it? They ran out and shared their joy with the world? Well, no! A week later, they are still behind locked doors. Jesus appears to them again, and again greets them with “Peace be with you.” Then, He turns to Thomas. Thomas wasn’t there the previous week – we’re not sure why not, but perhaps Thomas was the only one brave enough to go out and fetch food for everyone. Anyway, when the others told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, Thomas famously said, “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.”

We so often think of Thomas as ‘Doubting Thomas,’ but maybe Honest Thomas, Courageous Thomas, even Tenacious Thomas would be nearer the mark.                                                                                                                                Perhaps we should thank God for Thomas, the one disciple who had the courage to say what everyone else was thinking but didn’t dare say, the courage to ask the awkward questions that drew from Jesus some of the most beautiful and profoundly comforting of all his sayings.                                                          Later in the story, Thomas asks, “We don’t know where you’re going, how can we know the way?” and because he had the courage to confess his ignorance, we were given that beautiful saying, “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.”

So, to go back to that scene when Thomas is now with the other disciples. What does Jesus do when He appears to Thomas? Again, Jesus shows patience, forgiveness, and mercy. He says to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Do not doubt but believe.”

What patience Jesus has – not only with Thomas but with all His disciples. What patience He has with us.

Again and again, in the midst of our doubts and fears, and in the midst of our sins and failings, our crucified and risen Lord and Saviour comes to us and says: “Peace be with you.”                                                                                                                  Again and again, He comes to us and says, “Do not doubt, but believe.”                                         Again and again, Jesus forgives us, breathes new life into us, and offers us the gift of new life in Christ, and the promise of the Holy Spirit.

Our risen Lord repeatedly reminds us of our mission; to go and share the peace, the joy, and the hope of this new life, with our world that struggles to find peace, joy, or hope. Again and again, the risen Jesus comes to us to give us peace, to give us new life, to forgive our sin, and to gently remind us not to doubt but to believe. And, again and again, He invites us to go – to go in peace, to serve our risen Lord.        Amen

Affirmation of our Faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe and trust in Jesus Christ?

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.                                           On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


Hymn: 352 Crown him with many crowns

Intercessions by Helen Dunbar

Through the risen Jesus we have a living hope which will never spoil or fade.

We bring to you, Lord, the Church in all its richness and all its need, all its diversity and all its division, both here and across the world. Give us a fresh understanding of what it means to live in you; may all of us – both laity and clergy together – celebrate the reality of your presence among us, filling us with new life and new hope.

We ask your blessing on, Archbishop Justin and the worldwide church, and at home we pray for our own Diocese here in Truro, for Bishop Phillip and our Suffragan Bishop Hugh and for our own, much loved Revd Di who continues her work in the community ministering to the sick and bereaved and taking many funeral services.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer                                                                                    

Dear Lord, you are our Shepherd and we pray that you will protect us from all danger by keeping watch over us, guide us towards green pastures where we can be nourished by your word and lead us to pure still waters where we can be refreshed by your love.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

Dear Lord, we pray for the leaders of our nation, and all those who work to make us safe and guard our freedoms: the freedom of speech, the freedom to worship, the freedom to live our lives without fear and to live in safety. We pray for all who shape the minds of the young and impressionable. We pray for teachers, lecturers and broadcasters and all those who use social media to interact with others; may they all carry out their work with a sense of responsibility.

We pray for all parts of the world where there is conflict and terrorism, and at this time we especially think of the unrest in Israel and Palestine; where in the last week three Israeli women from the same family have been killed. Our thoughts also go to the people of Ukraine who have just passed the first anniversary of the invasion of their country, we pray that they soon may have peace and justice.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

As the Coronation approaches, we ask for blessing and guidance on King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, as they begin a new journey in their lives.

Dear Lord, we ask your help for all those who are homeless, or living in crowded conditions, for those living alone and all who feel isolated; for the hungry and malnourished. We bring before you all who are in pain or distress and all whom society prefers to ignore. May your love nourish and heal, accept and restore. We pray for all those known to us and for those who have no one to pray for them. Ken and Di, Terry and Dot, Sandra and Barrie, Margaret, Brian, Maureen, Stephen, Jan, Alison, and William.

We pray for those whose anniversary falls at this time and we remember Carole Morrison.

We give thanks for the recently departed who are lifted up with Christ to eternal life. May they rejoice in his risen and ascended glory.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.



Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus taught us.

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.                                                                                                                                Amen.

St Thomas the Apostle by Malcolm Guite

“We do not know … how can we know?”                                                                       Courageous master of the awkward question                                                                      You spoke the words the others dared not say                                                                          And cut through their evasion and abstraction.                                                                   Oh doubting Thomas, father of my faith                                                                                    You put your finger on the nub of things                                                                               We cannot love some disembodied wraith                                                                                But flesh and blood must be our king of kings.                                                                    Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint                                                                              Feel after Him and find Him in the flesh.                                                                           Because He loved your awkward counter-point                                                                     The Word has heard and granted you your wish.                                                                 Oh place my hands with yours, help me divine                                                             The wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.


 The Peace

Jesus says to His disciples, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.                             Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.’

The peace of the Lord be always with us.

Hymn:486 We have a Gospel to proclaim


May the Father’s hand keep us from stumbling,                                                                  the footprints of Jesus give us confidence to follow,                                                         and the fire of the Holy Spirit keep us warm and safe                                                          in our walk with God this day.




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