St. Leonard, Clent
© Clent PCC 2021
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Saint Leonard’s Service for Easter Three 18 th April Welcome to our OpenCast church service - on-line. There are prayers, readings, hymns and music; just as you would have in church. As you read through this service you may care to say aloud the bold text. To hear the music and the readings, click on each title (red, underlined text) (and remember to adjust the volume on your speakers). Let us pray: The disciples were frightened and upset. They didn’t know what was going to happen next. You came to them, to show them you were there for them. Loving Jesus, be there for us. The disciples were mixed up, and not sure what to think. You showed them your hands and feet, and shared a meal with them. Loving Jesus, share with us. The disciples were happy, but didn’t know what to do. You talked to them and taught them, and told them the story of God’s love. Loving Jesus, tell us the story too. Risen Lord, open our ears to hear you speaking; open our eyes to see you in the ordinary; open our minds, that we might understand your will - for our lives and for our world. Amen. Hymn: “We have a Gospel to proclaim” We praise God 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. Bible Readings: First Reading : Psalm: New Testament: Gospel: Acts 3.12-19 Psalm 4 1 John 3.1-7 Luke 24.36-48 Audio Audio Audio Audio Click these links to hear the readings Text Text Text Text Click these links to read the text A Reflection for this week Today’s Resurrection story comes immediately after Jesus’ appearance on the Road to Emmaus. After Cleopas and the other disciple recognise Jesus when he breaks bread, they return to Jerusalem to tell the eleven what has happened. The gathering there is a melting-pot of emotions – scepticism, unabashed joy, confusion, terror, and large chunks of bewilderment. Into this heady mix comes Jesus, and they are petrified. When he suddenly appears they assume he’s a ghost – perhaps a not unreasonable reaction! He moves to dissipate their doubts by saying ‘Look at my wounds! See my hands and my feet. Touch me!’ An important detail in the resurrection narratives is that the risen Jesus still bears the wounds of crucifixion. It’s a crucial factor for the disciples in knowing that this is the same person – recently dead, now raised. For Christians ever since the wounds have been an essential detail in proclaiming a resurrected Lord. But the wounds aren’t just a piece of evidence – they are important for our faith in other ways, too. The sight of the wounds on Jesus’ risen body tell us that Holy Week and Eastertide belong together. That’s not just because one follows the other – it’s because the new life Jesus’ followers witness in him was only possible because he had been through the horrors of Good Friday. God had raised him from the dead, but he hadn’t removed the marks that made this risen Jesus who he was. His wounds were part of him. His suffering wasn’t only borne in his limbs – it was carved in his character. And that suffering has been brought into his resurrection life, not to be denied or covered up, but to be transformed. Our life as disciples isn’t a life free from pain, anxiety or distress. The challenges, difficulties and sufferings that affect human life generally are as likely to affect us as an anyone. But what we do have, and what the resurrection offers us, is a new way of looking at the scars of life. The wounds of the crucifixion are the wounds of love – the indelible marks of what God was prepared to endure out of love for us. By carrying them into his Easter life, Jesus reveals to us another sign of the love that bears all things. God has descended to the depths, accepted the worst that can be done to him, and taken those depths to the heights. Even horror is transformed, and horror’s marks remain as a reminder of how powerful a transformation that is. The experiences that scar our lives are as varied and numerous as any other experiences of life. What they have in common is their potential to be changed by the risen Christ from burden to grace. In the Easter event, Jesus takes our pain, our bitterness and our anguish and transforms them with a love that resurrects us. In doing that, he offers us a vision for living, not only with hope, but with a fullness of life that enriches us – regardless of our circumstances. The resurrection recreates our wounds as life-giving signs of grace. The Easter life is a gift of God that not only changes our view of death, but changes how we live in the here and now. That’s a gift to us just as it was for those puzzled, fearful, cautiously-joyful disciples on the first Easter night. Exactly how our wounds might be transformed is something we can neither predict nor command .. .. but how would they be a gift from God if we could? Amen. Worship Song “Behold Him” Lyrics / Chord Sheet Intercessions adapted from “Living Stones” by Susan Sayers May God be glorified as we commit ourselves to prayer, interceding for those in all kinds of need. In our worship, and our openness to the Spirit of life, in the church’s longing, and in the church’s outreach - In all this: be gloried, O God. In welfare programmes, in the struggle to uphold justice, and in aid given to the hungry and homeless - In all this: be gloried, O God. In the loving and costly commitment of families and friends, in the determination to forgive and forgive again, in lives shared and cherished - In all this: be gloried, O God. In the work of nursing, comforting and healing, in the daily patient struggle with pain and weakness, and in practical, good- humoured caring - In all this: be gloried, O God. In the twilight years and the facing of death, in lives well-lived and now breaking into eternity - In all this: be gloried, O God. In the freedom offered through forgiveness, in the joy of Resurrection life, and in the hope of eternity - In all this: be gloried, O God. Amen. Closing Prayers We love to hear stories about long ago - but your story isn’t finished, Lord Jesus. Now we have to play our part, by telling others all about you. Help us to be good witnesses for you! Amen. May God’s blessing be with us all: a blessing from the one who calls us together; a blessing from the one who never deserts us; a blessing from the one who is with us at all times and in all places; and so may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always. Amen. Through everything I experience this week, with all its ups and downs and emotions, help me to hold fast to the joy and hope your resurrection brings. Amen. _____________________________________________ Postlude VOCES8 sing “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre Eric Edward Whitacre (b.1970) is an American composer, conductor, and speaker known for his choral, orchestral, and wind ensemble music. In March 2016, he was appointed as Los Angeles Master Chorale's first artist-in-residence at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. We dedicate this to the memory of Prince Philip
St. Leonard
© Clent PCC

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