Worship Sunday 18.4.21
Croeso! Bore da! Welcome to you all
Please do make yourself known to me if you are popping in or if I can help in any way.
+Yn enw'r Tad, a'r Mab, a'r Ysbryd Glan. Amen
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Our opening Hymn is: O for a thousand tongues to sing
1 O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!
2 My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread thro' all the earth abroad the honors of your name.
3 Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease, 'tis music in the sinner's ears, 'tis life and health and peace.
4 He breaks the power of cancelled sin, he sets the prisoner free; his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me.
5 To God all glory, praise, and love be now and ever given by saints below and saints above, the Church in earth and heaven.
Heavenly Father, all hearts are open to you.
No secrets are hidden from you.
Purify us with the fire of your Holy Spirit
that we may love and worship you faithfully,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord have mercy.
we have sinned in thought, word and deed,
and have failed to do
what we ought to have done.
We are sorry and truly repent.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ
who died for us, forgive us all that is past,
and lead us in his way
to walk as children of light. AMEN
May God our Father,
who by the Lord Jesus Christ
has reconciled the world to himself
and forgives the sins of all who truly repent,
pardon and deliver us from all our sins,
and grant us the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. AMEN
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples
with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained
by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. AMEN
The Word of God.
Acts 3. 12-19
When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer. How long, you people, shall my honour suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!’ You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.
The Gospel of Christ according to St Luke
Glory to you. O Lord.
Luke 24. 36b-48
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.
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ.
There are lots of people who believe in ghosts and would claim to have had experiences with them in some way or others. Equally, there is a huge demand and following of tv programmes which show and speak about ghosts or spooky happenings and many of them do look fake. People love a good ghostly tale, especially around Christmas or the darker Winter and Autumn months. But we are often intrigued and quite like a bit of mystery!
I remember a time when my father was staying with friends in Dunster and they were walking an elderly friend back home late one night. The village was silent and the moon full and they walked the lane back from the elderly lady’s cottage. They were silent for a moment or two when suddenly from no-where, a bike, rider and dog came between them. My father said they both jumped and felt very, very chilled, hairs stood up on their necks and above all there was no noise. They looked ahead and the bike, man and dog had vanished into the silence of that bright moonlit night. When they got back to Robin’s cottage apparently the wives had said they looked as if they had seen a ghost and a stiff drink was required. Now, I don’t know if they had seen anything spooky at all, but it certainly felt strange, chilled and something had shocked them.
In the Gospel today we discover Jesus making another post-resurrection appearance. The disciples were hugely shocked as though they thought Jesus was a ghost! They had not yet understood things. Jesus is all too aware of their feelings and uncertainties and tries to be as normal as possible. He greets them in the usual manner, he allows them to touch him and examine his wounds, he asks for food which no ghost would do. Can you imagine just for a moment how you might feel in that situation? The Lord alive and amongst friends and seemingly normal in most ways.
The author of Luke is keen to point out that Jesus, although dead, appears in a bodily form and appears not to be limited by normal physical restrictions. Luke is keen to show his followers that this Jesus who once was dead, eats and drinks as no ghost ever has. Jesus had a body as he had in life, it felt like a body showed his wounds upon it and invited it, to be examined. Also the Jews were always concrete and real in their truths and thus Jesus in his risen form would be concrete, not airy fairy like a ghost, but real imagery, solid and touchable.
So where does this put us? Over the years I have seen so many people who cannot get to grips with the power of the resurrection. People who want to understand, but who try to comprehend it through human experience, when it is a Godly thing. It is beyond our understanding and reasoning. Our Easter Day Gospel was from Mark, and is where Mark emphasised the nature of the empty tomb – a tomb sealed by a huge stone that, when the women went to anoint Our Lord’s body, was rolled away and an angel spoke about the whereabouts of the Lord. Here Luke is keen to prove that Jesus was no ghost, in his risen form, he could be touched, seen, felt and he ate. Last week we heard again about Doubting Thomas who needed to see and touch, in order to believe. Poor old Thomas touches a chord with so many even today.
The resurrection is an experience which is so difficult to explain and for people to understand. The disciples struggled as did early followers and thus the Gospel writers go to great lengths to emphasise things, to try and make things clearer - and today people still need to want to explore more and more. Was there an empty tomb? Did Jesus appear in a human form? etc, etc. All the questions have been asked and continue to be. Above all the resurrection of a Jesus who died a human death, but who was resurrected in a divine form, as he was of God. It is hard and proves to be an issue of faith – we do not know everything and cannot even try to humanise God, to know how God thought and how God acted. It is sufficient that our God entered our humanity and in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection showed us hope, love and the nature of the Father. It is good that we are not afraid to ask questions, however faith will always involve that step into the unknown, trusting that things will be revealed to us.
Prayers of Intercession and Lord's Prayer
Remember, O Lord, your holy Church throughout the world
and reveal your glory among the nations.
Lord in your mercy:Hear our prayer
Save your people and bless those who belong to you,
shepherd them and carry them for ever.
Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Remember, O lord, our families and friends,
and surround them with your steadfast love.
Lord in your mercy:hear our prayer.
Remember, O Lord, those who are sick,
those who suffer pain or loneliness.
For those we know who are struggling.
Lord in your mercy:Hear our prayer.
We bring before you those who are in grief,
those who draw near to death,
and those whom we name in our hearts before you . . .
Comfort them with your presence, sustain them by your promises,
grant them your peace.
Lord in your mercy:Hear our prayer.
And now, rejoicing in the communion of the saints, we remember with thanksgiving all your faithful servants and those dear to us who serve you in the glory of heaven. We remember The Duke of Edinburgh. We pray for the Queen Elizabeth and all her family as they mourn.
May all our loved ones, rest in peace and rise in glory.
Keep us in unbroken fellowship with your whole Church in heaven and on earth, and bring us at the last to the joy of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Our closing hymn is: See what a morning - a modern Easter hymn
The Lord be with you
And also with you.
The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and ever more. AMEN
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Ewch mewn tangnefedd i garu a gwasanaethu'r Arglwydd. Alleluia! Alleluia!
If you would like to donate £5 to the overall work of the 12 churches in the parish, please carefully text: GIVE5 to 70970. Thank you, diolch yn fawr.