Easter 3 2020

This page contains all of the resources for our Sunday act of worship. You are encouraged to join us at 9:30am if you are from Widford or Wareside or 11am if you are from Hunsdon because these are the normal times of the services in these villages. However, if you are unable to make this, please follow in your own time. Our use of common resources means that, though we are separated, we can nonetheless worship together.


Sentence of Scripture

God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
    Does he promise and not fulfil?
(Numbers 23:19)

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Hymn

Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter

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

Prayers of Penitence

John writes:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:8-9)

Let us admit to God the sin that always confronts us.

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing
and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen
(cf. Psalm 51)

Hear the words of comfort our Saviour Christ says to all who truly turn to him:

God so loved the world
that he gave his only-begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life.
(John 3.16)

Hear what Saint Paul says:
This saying is true and worthy of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
(1 Timothy 1.15)

First Bible Reading

Acts 2:14a, 22-41 Text / Video – click the player below

Hymn

Second Bible Reading

Luke 24:13-35 Text / Video – click player below

Hymn

If Christ had not been raised from death

Creed

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.
(cf. Philippians 2.6-11)

Sermon

Prayers

Today’s prayers have been written by Laura Pitman.

Praise to you Lord that your followers are meeting in their homes to worship you together via online services and other technological means.  Please send your Spirit to be with your church at this time of trial.

We are heartbroken by the burdens facing patients and NHS staff as the C-19 disease marches on, taking its toll. We thank you for the selfless and brave medics and all those keeping the nation’s wheels turning.  We agonise with those who have lost loved ones or are in fear for others or themselves.

Please comfort and heal everyone.  We pray for a miracle in the exit to world lockdowns, for a vaccine and for more scientific understanding on the control of the disease.

We pray, too, for spiritual healing for the world in this pandemic, a wake-up call in so many areas.  So much has changed.  Please help us as a church to be ready to minister to people after lockdown.  Please bless the future plans of our church.  By your Spirit, help us all to innovate, to be creative in what we do, to improve the way we treat your world and each other.  We are sorry for the ways we let you, ourselves and others down when we act selfishly, without thought for others and without faith.

Right now, in the grip of this crisis, the power and enduring nature of your word and your promise is so clear; and so is the frailty of mankind.  So much is in flux at the moment, with schooling, employment, universities, home life and government (and churches) taking paths we have never seen before.  Reassure us Lord; comfort us, we pray.

Thank you that Jesus was the offering which secured the communion between you and mankind.  Thank you for the amazing stories of his life as recorded in the Bible, like this one about Cleopas today; and that they come to life for us through the Spirit.  Please move each and every one of us to grasp more of your promises, and to see more of your power.

Please bless all those whose safety or health is at risk through abuse, financial desperation or illness, physical or mental.

Finally, we pray for hope; not a vain hope, but the real, enduring and everlasting hope which you promise in your Son, our Lord.

Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Hymn

Choose either “Lord, Thy Word abideth” (traditional) or “Every Promise of Your Word” (contemporary)

Blessing

God  the Father,
by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with you always.
Amen

Some material in this service is from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) and is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council. cf. www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship

If you have found anything in our service helpful today, please share it with your friends and family, in discussion or via social media.

If you have further questions, or would value prayer or support for a particular matter, please get in touch via our contact page, here.