This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use at home. We invite you to spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.

Opening Prayer: Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Come Lord Jesus; bring assurance of your presence right where I am, here and now.  

Hymn: JESUS IS KING AND I WILL EXTOL HIM (STF 327)

Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words:

Jesus is King and I will extol him,

give him the glory, and honour his name;

he reigns on high, enthroned in the heavens —

Word of the Father, exalted for us.

We have a hope that is steadfast and certain,

gone through the curtain and touching the throne;

we have a priest who is there interceding,

pouring his grace on our lives day by day.

We come to him, our Priest and Apostle,

clothed in his glory and bearing his name,

laying our lives with gladness before him —

filled with his Spirit we worship the King:

‘O Holy One, our hearts do adore you;

thrilled with your goodness we give you our praise!’

Angels in light with worship surround him,

Jesus, our Saviour, for ever the same.                       Wendy Churchill

Let us pray together: Lord God, as we continue to celebrate the season of Easter with all the joy and hope it brings, we give you our thanks and praise.

As we are experiencing springtime and the resurrection of nature after the dark chill of winter, we give you our thanks and praise.

As we reflect on the faithfulness of your immeasurable, eternal love for all, we give you our thanks and praise.

Forgive us, Lord; if we have lost the wonder and delight of the Easter good news.

When we do not have real regard for your creation, and live selfishly.  For those times when we neglect to respond to your care for us, by our inaction.                                                    (We bring to God, those things which we are sorry for) 

Jesus’ words assure us of this love. “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Amen.

Today’s Gospel Reading:  Luke 24:36b-48

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

Time to Reflect: I’m sure we all remember “I don’t believe it!”  the catchphrase of Victor Meldrew, in the 1990’s sitcom “One Foot in the Grave.” It’s a phrase we can almost hear going round Jesus’ followers in our Gospel reading today. They were frightened and incredulous, which are normal reactions when the boundaries of our experience and knowledge are challenged. We don’t always accept and believe what we see and are told. (I think there are still those who believe the moon landing in 1969 was a hoax!!)

After Jesus had given them physical proof that he was indeed alive, he went on to link their knowledge of scripture with their current experiences, explaining this was part of God’s greater plan and they were part of it. His teaching expanded their thinking, preparing them for the start of their journey from the familiar into a new future, which involved risk, anxiety and uncertainty.

Generations of Christians have wrestled with the question of the best way to live following the teaching of Jesus in their own time and situations. Over the last year our daily life has not been normal, and many have been trying to hold on to what they know and find what God may be saying to us in our time. As we are emerging from the coronavirus restrictions, we are aware that much has changed within people’s hearts and minds, and we are trying to process how to move forward as the people of God.                 

There are parallels here with this event in Luke’s gospel; both situations are extraordinary and isolating, with an uncertain future on many fronts, and in both instances, Christ’s followers are called to witness to what he reveals of God’s love.

So, now in these uncertain and unsettling times as we claim “I do believe it!” we face the question of how we share the gospel in our new and different circumstances.             

May God send us His vision and wisdom.        

Take a time to sit quietly 

A time of prayer: We pray for our world, for the environment and people. That all who have any power or influence will work with integrity and wisdom, and seek to bring healing to our planet, and peace and justice to all people.

We pray for the church; for those who are persecuted and suffer for their faith; for those who have experienced hurt instead of healing; for those who are wondering and doubtful. Lord bring your revelation and transformation.

We pray for family, friends and neighbours who are living through difficult times.  Particularly, who are struggling with bereavement, isolation and loneliness, exacerbated by lockdowns.

(We call them to mind and bring them to God)

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who are in heaven, hallowed by 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.  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

Hymn: IN CHRIST ALONE (STF 327)

Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words

or sing a verse of a hymn that comes to mind

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.

In Christ alone! — who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones he came to save:

till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied

for every sin on him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.

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!

Keith Getty (b. 1974) and Stuart Townend (b. 1963)

A prayer of blessing

The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine on you. and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. Amen

Please be assured that we are still here if you need anything at all during this time.

Rev. Lesley can be contacted on 01933 312778 and Rev. Kim on 01933 62213.

Words for the hymns are reproduced under CCLi 152382

Original Materials by Rev. Maree Farrimond administrated by Ministries: Vocations and Worship in the Connexional Team with grateful thanks to all the Ministers and Local Preachers from around the Connexion who have contributed to Worship at Home.