Watch the service here.
If you are watching our live stream this morning, you are invited to find a candle, so that we can all light candles at the same time.
CALL TO WORSHIP (John 20:25)
Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
With the apostles let us proclaim “We have seen the Lord!”
Let us pray: Almighty and eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever Amen.
CALL TO THANKSGIVING
In the season of Easter, we use this time to offer our thanks to God, rather than our confessions, because Christ has died for our sins and has risen to give us new life.
Please join me in the prayer of thanksgiving, followed by a silent personal prayer.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Eternal God, we praise you that your glory has dawned on us, and brought us into this Day of Resurrection. We rejoice that the grave could not hold your Son, and that he has conquered death, risen to rule over all powers of this earth. We praise you that he summons us into new life, to follow him with joy and gladness. By your Spirit, lift us from doubt and despair, and set our feet in Christ’s holy way, that our lives may be signs of his life, and all we have may show forth his love. Praise, glory, and thanksgiving to you, our God, forever and ever. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what are you thankful for this week?
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Let us pray: Living God, with joy we celebrate the presence of your risen Word. Enliven our hearts by your Holy Spirit so that we may proclaim the good news of eternal and abundant life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.’
As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
in whom is all my delight.
Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their drink-offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names upon my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
because God is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.
1 When in the night I meditate
on mercies multiplied,
my grateful heart inspires my tongue
to bless the Lord, my guide.
2 Forever in my thought, the Lord
before my face shall stand;
secure, unmoved I shall remain,
with God at my right hand.
3 My inmost being thrills with joy
and gladness fills my breast;
because on God my trust is stayed,
my flesh in hope shall rest.
4 I know that I shall not be left
forgotten in the grave,
and from corruption, you, O Lord,
your holy one will save.
5 The path of life you show to me;
of joy a boundless store
is ever found at your right hand,
and pleasures evermore.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
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 authorities, 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.
- How are you feeling on this second Sunday of Easter? Do you relate to the disciples afraid and huddled behind locked doors?
- How have you seen and felt and heard Jesus?
- Thomas hears about the resurrection but does not believe until he sees it. Are there times where it is hard for you to believe, whether because of difficulties, doubts, discouragement, or anything else? What does this scripture seem to say to us in times such as those?
- What can you do this week to “not doubt, but believe”?
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (JILL DUFFIELD)
God of redemption and resurrection, we come to you as we are, rejoicing that our Lord is alive, yet still afraid of the chaos around and within us. We cannot help but doubt your goodness when so much suffering surrounds us. The pandemic continues to cause sickness and take life. Resources are scarce in the places they are needed the most. People all over the world are desperate for life’s basic necessities. Our Easter alleluias get stuck in our throats when we survey the pain of your glorious creation.
Come, Risen Lord, walk among us, show us your wounds, give us your peace, breathe the Spirit into our weariness and worries.
God of pursuing grace and mercy, we come to you as we are, grateful for the gift of reconciliation, yet still unsure if we have the courage to go and extend your forgiveness to others. We are prone to hold grudges and too often find satisfaction in the downfall of our enemies. Partisanship continues despite our need to come together to defeat the scourge of injustice, ever growing inequity and the pervasiveness of poverty. Our Easter alleluias feel hypocritical when we look around at the systemic sin in which we participate.
Come, Risen Lord, walk among us, show us you are alive, grant us the peace that passes understanding, embolden us with the Spirit so that we might speak your Word and do your will.
God of loving kindness and relentless reconciliation, we come to you as we are, praising you for your unwillingness to leave us alone, yet tired in the face of the world’s overwhelming needs. We believe that Jesus is our Lord and God. We know he commands us to follow his example of servant leadership. We remember all he taught us about the least and the last, asking and receiving, moving mountains with mustard seed faith. Knowing that you come to us, just as we are, keeping your promises and never abandoning us, we shout our Easter alleluias echoing the heavenly chorus that spurs us on to run the race set before us.
You are here, risen Lord, wounded and standing before us. Your sure presence gives us peace. Your Spirit, our Advocate, Comforter and Teacher, will show us the way and accomplish your plans.
We worship you, our Lord and our God, and we pray in your name and as you taught us, saying:
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
1 O sons and daughters, let us sing
with heavenly hosts to Christ our King;
today the grave has lost its sting!
2 That night the apostles met in fear;
among them came their Lord most dear,
and said, “My peace be with you here.”
3 When Thomas first the tidings heard,
how they had seen the risen Lord,
he doubted the disciples’ word.
4 “My pierced side, O Thomas, see;
and look upon my hands, my feet;
not faithless, but believing be.”
5 No longer Thomas then denied;
he saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“You are my Lord and God!” he cried.
6 How blest are they who have not seen,
and yet whose faith has constant been,
for they eternal life shall win.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
Even behind locked doors,
even behind closed curtains,
even in isolation,
Christ will find you.
God has seen us through our fear before, and God will see us through again.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
If you are using this page to follow along with today’s worship service while it is being live streamed, please join us for virtual coffee hour! Turn on your video camera and join us at about 11am or a little before with this link. You could also join over the telephone by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering the meeting code 146 874 134, followed by the password 075003.