Services whilst we are closed due to Corona virus

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               St Clement Church Community Easter Season Service

 

Good morning to you all.

As these times of anxiety continue, today we celebrate the second Sunday of Easter.  As we hear God’s word and reflect on the gospel message, may we find the love of God sustaining us, His Son Jesus Christ walking with us, and may the power of the Holy Spirit strengthen us this day and always.  Much love and prayers, keep safe, Rev Di and family xx

 

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

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

 

Let us pray: Lord Jesus Christ, risen from death to life in the father’s love,

raise us to share in new life, that we may know your presence among us, and serve you in the power of the Spirit. Amen.

 

Our prayers of Penitence

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.”                                     

This Easter season we bring our fears and failings to the risen Christ:

 

When, like Mary at the empty tomb, we fail to grasp the wonder of your presence.  Lord, have mercy.

 

When, like the disciples behind locked doors, we are afraid to be seen as your followers.  Christ, have mercy.

 

When, like Thomas in the upper room, we are slow to believe. 

Lord, have mercy

 

When we face these difficult times, but fail to trust in your loving purposes.  Christ, have mercy. 

 

When we look inwards to our selfish concerns rather than outwards to a world in need.  Lord, have mercy. 

 

When we are agents of gloom rather than messengers of hope.

Christ, have mercy. 

 

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 second Sunday of Easter

Risen Christ, for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open our hearts, that we may seek the good of others and honour you with joyful lives of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God the Father. Amen.

 

The Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. (20.19-end)

Glory to you, O Lord.

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.’ 

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 in his hands, and put my finger in 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, ‘Peace be with you.’ 

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.’ 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 through believing you may have life in his name.

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

 

Reflection

Earlier in the week when I read today’s Gospel lesson I thought; ‘Here we go again, poor old Thomas.’  Because Doubting Thomas is probably being castigated all over the world today, as he is every year the first Sunday after Easter.

So I thought I’d give him the day off and instead look for another message in the reading…….

In today’s Gospel, the disciples really have their backs up against the wall. Their whole world’s come crashing down around them, and they’re terrified.

The authorities are hot on their trail, and from the sound of it, they’re hiding out, on lockdown as it were!

Protecting themselves though makes perfect sense.  It was only a couple days earlier that they were traumatized by the crucifixion of Jesus. 

They know as his followers, that if they go out they might be executed as well, so they hide behind locked doors.

And let’s remember, most of them will die, sooner or later, for their connection with Jesus.  This room contains many of the first Christian martyrs. 

And it’s to his fearful disciples that the risen Christ appears. 

He’s passed from life, through a gruesome death, to a life greater than we can ever imagine, but why does he appear to them?

It might have been out of anger or disappointment, after all, these disciples did desert him. 

As he hung for hours on the cross, the majority of them were nowhere to be found, so he might have wanted to have a few words with them, to say the least, if you pardon the pun.

But nothing of the sort happens, Jesus senses their profound fear and speaks his peace to them, though he not only gives them his peace, but also their mission.

Their business is to be forgiveness for all, and the prototype for their work is to be the forgiveness Jesus has given them. 

From this upstairs room, forgiveness is to spread like wildfire.  Set free from fear themselves, they are to help set others free.

So what can we find in the story for us? 

Well, the amazing Good News of the promise of our own resurrection at the end of our days, and the reality of reconciliation with God and each other in this life is a good start.

Because, like the first disciples, our experience of Jesus risen from the dead at Easter not only frees us from fear of the death that will come at our life's end, but also frees us from all the other fears that blight our lives each day.

What are such daily fears?   I might suggest our biggest fear at the moment is Covid19.

We fear for our lives and those of our loved ones, and we hope such fear will be unfounded.  We’re told Covid19 will devastate the world’s economy, and we fear what that will bring.  We’ve never experienced anything like it and we are afraid.

And when such fears flare up in our hearts, it's easy to forget God during the time when we should most remember God is here for us.

The disciples forgot for a time, there in that upstairs room. 

Likewise, we may forget also, but thankfully, Christ does not forget us. 

Christ is with us and gives us the strength to face come what may. 

Jesus returns to promise us our resurrection, he comes back to reconcile us with God, he comes to break the chains of fear.

So the next time our fears are weakening our lives, let us remember the words of Jesus; ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

That’s us, what more could we need?

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 as written by Helen.

Through the risen Jesus we have a living hope, which will never spoil or fade.  As we pray in our homes this Sunday morning we have God’s presence in the midst of us.

Let us pray.  We bring to you, Lord, the Church in all its richness and all its need, all its diversity and all its division. 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.

Silence

Lord in your presence: we lift our hearts to you

 

We pray for our Church here and across the world. For our Archbishop Justin. 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 funeral services.

We ask you to bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen, and give her strength to continue carrying out her duties, as she celebrates her 94th birthday on Tuesday.

Silence

Lord in your presence: we lift our hearts to you

 

We bring to you Lord, the many people who have contracted the coronavirus around the world. Bring comfort to all those grieving for loved ones. Also, bring peace to those who are worried, fearful and uncertain as the virus spreads.

Here at home we pray for all doctors and nursing staff and anyone in a caring capacity working under difficult conditions tending the sick and dying. Help us all to be responsible in the things we do in our own lives to prevent the spread of the virus by taking heed of the recommended precautions and avoiding situations, which make things worse.

Jesus travelled throughout the holy land caring for the sick and diseased. 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.

Silence

Lord in your presence: we lift our hearts to you

 

We bring to you, Lord, all who are reaching the end of their lives, we especially remember Father Harold a dear friend of St Clement.

We remember those in our community whose anniversary falls at this time: Mary Gould, Judy Pearn, Lawrence Whittingham, Peter Stribley, Carole Morrison, Geoffrey Perry (Priest) and Gwen Gill.

 

We bring to you, Lord, the love of our hearts as we recall the extent of your love for us, which understands our frailty and reaches out to us where we are.

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 Saviour 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: 18th April 2020 10:08 AM