Order of Worship
Second Sunday of Easter
April 11, 2021

Organ Prelude

Call to Worship
One:
    Christ has risen,
All:     Alleluia! Christ is risen!
One:
    We gather to worship the risen Christ,  Conqueror of death.
All:     Alleluia! Christ is risen!
One:
    We lift up praise to the risen Christ, Redeemer of all life.
All:     Alleluia! Christ is risen!
One:
    We give thanks to the risen Christ, Giver of the Holy Spirit.
All:     Alleluia! Christ is risen!
One:
    Christ has risen,
All:     Christ is risen indeed!

Opening Prayer  
Resurrected Christ,
the one who has overcome death and doors alike,
we recognize that any gathering of believers is sacred.
Fill this space with your abundant joy and send out any hint of scarcity.
God, we know that you meet us exactly where we are.
We thank you for coming to us in the way that we need.
When our faith is shaky, and we say, “unless I see…”
you come to us with outstretched hands.
Hands and sides which bear the marks of your sacrifice for us.
You give us unconditional love, unwavering presence, and abundant grace.
In return, we give you faith that is not perfect but enmeshed with our humanity. And even though this can never be enough, you take it gladly.
We offer you all that we have to give; take our lives, our finances, our time, our talents.
May we not keep anything behind closed doors from you. Amen.

Storytelling        “From the Tomb to the Room”

Sharing of Scripture              John 20:19–31

Message in Music

Message        “Seen, Heard, and Known”         Rev. Laura McLeod

Prayer of Dedication
Ever-present God, we desire to walk in the warmth of your sacred light.
We testify all that we have seen, heard, and felt.
We declare your matchless grace to the rest of creation, so that all may hear.
Thank you for meeting us where we are.
Grant us your peace in the face of uncertainty.
Help us to live as those who have encountered the resurrected Christ. Amen.

A Time of Prayer 
Preparation for Prayer
Silent Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Welcome Light, Love, and Hope of God.
Surround us with a warmth of the Holy Spirit.
Demonstrate your never-ending grace to us.
Inspire within us this same grace to offer to others.
Enhance our senses to recognize your presence in the world,
so that we may see, hear, and touch the ways you participate in our everyday lives.
Awaken our souls to the injustices that are prevalent within our cultures.
Grant us eyes to see those who are overlooked.
Grant us ears to hear cries for help.
Grant us hands to extend to those in need.
May we advocate for the voiceless, the parentless, the homeless, and the disadvantaged.
Infuse empathy in us so that we may offer dignity to those we help.
Grant us the wisdom to empower them in the midst of their plights.
May we act out of justice,
may we love mercy,
may we walk humbly with you, O God.
In Jesus’ name, we pray, using the words that he taught saying, Our Father…
Amen.

Bless
May your lives reveal the Resurrection to the world,
and be a living testimony of the love of Christ.
May you walk in the overwhelming abundance of God’s provision.
May you live joyfully and love fully with your heart and soul.
Go now in the peace and presence of the Resurrected Christ.
Amen.

Organ Postlude

Sharing of Scripture              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.

 

From the Tomb to the Room
Based on John 20:19–31

There was a nervous pounding on the door. Matthew checked to see who it was through a crack. “Thomas!” he whispered, “Get in here!”

There was one small lamp lit in the middle of the room, and all the windows were covered. They had been uneasy all day.
“You just missed him!” exclaimed Peter.

“Just missed who?” Thomas asked, confused.
“The Lord! Thomas, he was just here with us, and he showed us the marks on his hands and feet. He gave us new instructions . . .”

Thomas interrupted him, “The Rabbi was here? No, no, impossible! Someone has just taken his body. We can’t go around making up stories that he is alive; there is no chance that’s what he would want us to do.”
“We’re not making it up, he stood right here with us, and he filled this room with the light of day. He is alive!”

The others began to speak up. “Thomas, it’s true. We’ve seen the Lord!” “His flesh carries the wounds where he was pierced.”

“No,” Thomas said in disbelief. “Unless I see the nail marks, and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

No longer wanting to be swayed by their talk, Thomas left the house for the night.

A week later, Thomas found himself back in the same room. He had grown less annoyed with the others and their stories of Jesus being alive, but he was still worried about the truth of what really happened to the body of his rabbi. Sitting on the floor with his head between his knees and lost in thought, the shadow that his eyes were fixed upon suddenly disappeared. He hadn’t moved. There was an overwhelming amount of light in the room. Even if all the lamps were lit, they wouldn’t have compared to the brightness flooding the room.

Looking up, Thomas instinctively began to rise from the floor before he registered what he was seeing.

“Peace be with you!”

He recognized the voice.

“Jesus, is that you? How can it be?”

“Thomas, put your finger here; behold my hands,” Jesus said, “Reach out touch my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus looked into Thomas’ eyes. All traces of doubt were erased with wonder and astonishment. Gently he responded, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

And like that he was gone and the light in the room was extinguished, but Thomas and the other disciples beheld the truth and knew what they must do.

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