3rd Sunday of Easter season service

                                MC900155368[1]

                                   

               St Clement Church Community Easter Season Service

 

Good morning to you all.

In the midst of the continuing covid19 trials and tribulations, our church life continues as best we can and I do hope this weekly service sheet is of help to you.

Our community consists of folk with a huge range of varying skills in technology, some are keeping in touch with family and friends by ‘zooming’ or video calls, whilst others depend on a friendly phone call; ‘How are you?’

Church services follow the same remit, some are live streamed or zoomed, whilst others are a simple email attachment like this which can be printed and posted to those not on the internet.

All such communication has its own merit, so whether you’re zooming this Sunday or whether you’re reading this service (with coffee and a biscuit perhaps…) rest assured that as we celebrate the third Sunday of Easter, as we hear God’s word and reflect on the gospel message in whatever form we receive it, we will all find comfort in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is walking with us on our Emmaus journey through these unprecedented times.

Much love and prayers, keep safe, Rev Di and family xx

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

Let us pray: Living God, on their Emmaus journey your Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread; give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life, now and for ever. 

Amen.

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

Jesus Christ, our triumphant risen Lord, this Easter season we come in sorrow to confess to you our weakness and unbelief.

 

When we have lived by our own strength, and not by the power of your resurrection.   In your mercy, forgive us and help us.

 

When we have lived by the light of our own eyes, as faithless and not believing.         In your mercy, forgive us and help us.

 

When we have lived for this earthly life alone, and doubted our home in heaven.            In your mercy, forgive us and help us.

 

May Almighty God have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins and failings, and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Let us pray our Collect for the third Sunday of Easter

Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope: strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

The Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke. (24.13-35)

Glory to you, O Lord.

 

Now on that same day two of the disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 

While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. 

Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’

They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ 

Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. 

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 

They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ 

That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

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

 

Our Reflection this week is written by Liz Davies

Thoughts….

I have often been told, especially by my husband, that I don’t give a straight answer to a simple question – no, I am not being awkward and deliberately trying to avoid giving an answer but, so often to me, the question isn’t straightforward, it needs other questions to clarify what is being asked so that the answer I give is relevant to it.

At the moment, there are so many questions about these difficult times and nobody has any sure answers.

So often, our Gospel readings are the same – they’re not quite as we might think on the first reading. Rarely does the Gospel tell us what to do or believe. Rarely does it give us a straight answer.

Today’s Gospel, the Road to Emmaus story, is no different. It doesn’t give us answers. It raises questions and asks us to think carefully about what we are reading and how aspects of Jesus’ life meet with our lives.

This story describes the journey taken by two disciples from Jerusalem to Emmaus and back again.

Who are these two disciples? All we know is that they are not part of the remaining eleven of the original disciples because they go to report the story to the eleven. We also presume that they are men who are part of a group of disciples to which the women who visited the tomb that first Easter morning also belong. One of the two is named Cleopas, but we know nothing else about him; the other, is nameless.

It is interesting, isn’t it, that although Jesus’ story ending with His crucifixion is foremost in their minds, they do not recognise Him. Why not? They don’t even catch on when He interprets ‘Moses and all the prophets’ concerning Himself.

Is it so strange? None of the disciples believed or understood Jesus’ promise that He would rise from the dead. So, the last thing these two expected, was to meet Him on the road to Emmaus.

How often have we said, ‘I don’t believe it!’ when something totally unexpected occurs. How much more so for two people who know that Jesus is dead and all their hopes and expectations have been shattered. With all that has happened in Jerusalem, they feel lost; their world has been shattered and they just want to get away.

Have you ever felt like that? Everything is falling apart. You don’t know what to be doing or where to be going; or maybe you did everything right but things still didn’t work out as they should.

Why did they go to Emmaus? Who knows! I suspect that it was a case of anywhere being better than Jerusalem.

Has there been an Emmaus for you in your life? Emmaus is an escape from the horrors of what has been going on. Or so we think.

What we don’t know at the time, and what Cleopas and his friend didn’t know, is that it is also the way back to life. The realisation happened for the two disciples, in the breaking of bread.

It wasn’t an escape from life that took them to Emmaus but a search for life.

I’ve often thought what a curious word ‘hunger’ is because it means so much more than just needing to eat.

It isn’t just physical it is emotional and spiritual. We are, by nature hungry. We hunger for life, love, wholeness, meaning and purpose. It was that hunger that made Cleopas and his friend ask Jesus to ‘Stay with us.’

It was when Jesus took the bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them that suddenly they recognised Him. They recognised Him as the one they had left dead in Jerusalem; the one they had walked with along the road to Emmaus; the one they had always hoped He would be.

Suddenly, all the brokenness within themselves was put back together and despair changed to hope.

Of course, they wanted him to stay with them, but one minute he was there and then He was gone. But that was alright because now, He was within them and as such he would never leave them – He was the burning heart within them.

So, what did they do? They went straight back to Jerusalem to tell everyone their exciting news only to find that Jesus was alive and had been seen in Jerusalem too.

In our lives we experience so many times of disappointment; our lives feel shattered; we want to run away; so often we lose our way, BUT, with the Risen Christ within us we are NEVER alone.

There will be questions, many of them, but DON’T worry about the answers for, though they may not be what we might expect, they will be there like a burning light to lead us on.

Remember this, on YOUR Road to Emmaus.

BE SAFE and GOD BLESS

 

We close this reflection with our words of hope:

Because he lives I can face tomorrow, because he lives all fear is gone.

Because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living,

just because he lives.  Amen.

 

Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;

he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day and afterwards he appeared to his followers and to all the apostles:

this we have received, and this we believe.         

 

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith. We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Our intercessions this week are written by Alison Hill

Lord Jesus, you walked beside the disciples on the road to Emmaus and they did not know you. Walk beside us all we pray through these difficult times and give us grace to recognise your presence in all we face and all we do.

 

Let us pray.  Walk with us, Lord, on our journey of faith, both as individuals and as the Church of God; open up to us the truths that you long for us to understand, and inspire all who teach and encourage.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Lord, we are walking in darkness through this pandemic, with limited knowledge and no cure. We are worried and vulnerable and pray you will guide us to the way forward in our time of trouble.

Walk with those, we pray, whose role is to lead, to inspire and especially to make urgent and difficult decisions that affect us all.

Give strength to our Royal Family to inspire unity in this country and among our brothers and sisters overseas and bless with courage, wisdom and integrity all those in power in our own country and throughout the world who must take responsibility for our safety and well-being and must then endure the distress and criticism arising from the mistakes they will inevitably make in this new and ever-changing situation.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

Some of us have been relatively little affected by the present crisis,

we still have comfortable homes, secure incomes, gardens in which to escape the confines of our house, beauty and fresh air in our local walks.

Others are coping with long-term isolation, worries about themselves or family members exposed to the virus in their work, or their own fears, sickness, or sense of loss or frustration.

If we are able to take our allotted exercise, may we know that you walk beside us that our spirits may be lifted as we are reminded of your eternal glory and our minds strengthened to face, or to help others face, whatever lies ahead.

If we are confined to our homes, for our own or others’ protection, 

may we recognise your presence beside us in the humdrum and the challenging alike.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Walk with us, Lord, and with all those who especially need your care and protection at this time: those who are in the front line in caring for the sick, the elderly, the disabled, the dying and the bereaved.

Bless and keep safe all clergy and spiritual leaders as they offer support to those in distress and watch over our own vicar Diane, keeping her and her husband Ken safe as she risks her own safety and well-being

to be a channel of your love and strength, to those in greatest need.

We pray also for those whose mental illness or other special challenges render this difficult time particularly painful and for those who are currently unable to receive regular treatments that maintain or restore their health and physical or mental comfort.

 

Dear Lord Jesus, at your command the sick were made well, please come to our aid now in the midst of the global spread of the Coronavirus, 

that we may experience your healing love.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

 

Father, Lord, Christ, whatever our situation, walk beside us day by day

that we may all find strength to cope with our individual concerns, 

to help others in any ways we can, and at all times to have faith in you and to do your will.

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 our risen Lord 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.

 

 

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples

and said, ‘Peace be with you.’

Then they were glad when they saw the risen Lord.

Alleluia!  May the peace of the risen Lord be always with us.

 

Blessing

May the light of Christ surround us,

may the Love of God enfold us,

may the presence of God watch over us,

may the power of God protect us and those whom we love, 

and may we never forget that wherever we are, God is also. 

Amen.


Page last updated: 24th April 2020 12:57 PM