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11 April 2021

posted 8 Apr 2021, 03:29 by Church Office   [ updated 9 Apr 2021, 04:44 ]
Second Sunday of Easter - Parish Eucharist

Acts 4:32-35
The disciples, who were locked away in fear, are now fearlessly preaching the gospel. They are no longer afraid, not of the Romans, not of the temple authorities, also not of each other or future security: just as they freely preach their faith so they give to each other freely. What are the fears that hold us back from giving ourselves freely in the service of God’s love?

John 20:19-end
“Fear has never been a good advisor” Angela Merkel. The disciples are paralysed by fear - literally locked in. Today fear still locks many of us in. Breaking out of the tombs we create for ourselves and one another is not always easy. Fortunately, Christ is able to pass through the locked doors of upper rooms and of hearts and minds. The risen Christ brings a cure for our fear: peace, shalom, trust in the goodness of God and his creation. The path to peace is forgiveness which sets us free to embrace God and one another.

The Readings

First Reading Acts 4:32-35

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31

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 Jews, 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.

The Collect
Risen Christ,
for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:
open the doors of our hearts,
that we may seek the good of others
and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,
to the praise of God the Father.
Church Office,
9 Apr 2021, 04:43