Second Sunday of Easter
Resurrection is always a mystery, always a miracle, but often we do not recognize resurrection when it comes to us. When all that separates and injures and destroys is overcome by that which unites, heals and creates in the ordinary routine of our daily lives, resurrection has taken place.
-Dorothy Harvey, Birthed from the Womb of God: A Lectionary for Women, comp.
Prelude “Dorian in C-sharp” – S. Conrady
Light a candle. Pause and breathe in the Spirit of God. Keep a moment of silence.
Holy God, as you have taken what we call an absurdity and turned it into possibility…..
as you have coaxed us to sing springtime alleluias where once there was a gray dawn,
as you have called us out of the tombs we inhabit into an undreamed of tomorrow, we praise you for this day!
Come, Risen Christ, in newness and hope on this Eastertide day.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (unison)
Redeeming God, with you there is always more life, more hope, more joy. Forgive us forever doubting to see your work in the still things, the busy things, the darkest moments and the everyday, under-noticed plod of life. Forgive us when we balk at action, and refuse to turn on fully the tap of compassion, settling for a mere trickle. Hear now our personal reflection and then open us now to your love that lets us relax into life, and fill us with trust, hope and justice. Amen.
A moment of silent reflection
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Within every kernel of doubt, there is a tree of life and hope.
In those times when our faith falters, when we cannot bring ourselves to see the presence of the Holy among us, God takes our faith and transforms it, patiently showing us the many ways Christ walks among us. Beloved of God, grace abounds at the heart of all life. Forgiven, and loved without condition, be at peace. Thanks be to God.
A Time for Children of All Ages
Scripture Reading Gospel of John 20:19-31
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Morning Reflection “Little Easters”
Hymn “Breathe on me, breath of God”
1. Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love, and do what you would do.
2. Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours, to do and to endure.
Sharing Our Joys and Concerns
Prayer of the People
Lord’s Prayer (trespasses)
Your gifts to St. Albans Congregational Church matter now more than ever! We encourage people to continue to make an offering by mailing to the church. Your generosity in this time makes a big difference!
Open the locked doors of Easter, Blessed One; fling open the doors to the new possible of this day. Let your resurrection be ours – a resurrection of curiosity, of spirit, of interest in life. Breathe on us and make our ordinary dailiness, extraordinary. Show us, Risen Christ how to live the way you live, one holy step at a time. May we be your Easter people every day of our lives? And may your “Peace be with you.” be our peace for all people. Amen.
–The Rev. Daniel B. Randall, Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church, U.C.C. Bristol, RI and USAF Chaplain (Reserves).
Postlude “Kites” – S. Conrady
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