Week 22: Second Sunday of Easter

On the evening of the first day of the week, the evening of Resurrection Day, Jesus revealed himself as risen and alive to his disciples, with Thomas being absent. While the disciples affirmed Jesus’s resurrection to him, Thomas rejected their testimony, saying he would need bodily proof of Jesus himself before he would believe. A week later, Jesus again appeared amid the disciples behind locked doors, this time with Thomas in attendance. Jesus asked Thomas to inspect his hands and side, to believe and not doubt. Thomas, overwhelmed, affirmed Jesus as Lord and God, and Jesus says those who have not seen and yet believe are those truly blessed.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O Father God Almighty, who through the Last Adam has conquered death and put the devil down, who has paid the penalty for our sins, and laid the foundation for a new heavens and earth, enable us to give you praise appropriate to this magnificent salvation, purposed in you, performed by your Son, and made real in us by your Spirit. Thank you for raising your Son from the dead. He is alive, and we know this because we cling to the apostolic witness recorded in your holy Scriptures. Though we have never seen him, we believe in him and love him, and thank you for him. Fill our hearts with his presence as we believe in him. For his sake we pray, amen.

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Prov. 5-7

Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 150
Acts*: Acts 5.27-32
Gospel: John 20.19-31
NT: Rev. 1.4-8

* During Eastertide, a reading from Acts is often substituted for the lesson from the Hebrew Bible.

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Benediction 
Father, help us to cling to the testimony of your apostles, believing their word that the Lord has risen, and has appeared to witnesses chosen beforehand. We believe in him and affirm that we now have received life in his name. Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to all who have received his favor through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Eternal God and Father, reveal to us the living Christ, who rose from the grave and gave us his own Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.

Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
Not only do the lost have no conscious demand for spiritual things, they are naturally antagonistic to them. The one who said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,” is the very Christ they have turned their backs on and crucified. The sight of him condemns, and stings, and burns, and they have no natural desire to go where the one they have sinned against is the soul attraction. The heart of the unsaved person is in a state of enmity toward God. The things of the Spirit of God are “foolishness” to them. They are so naturally incapable of being attracted by the things of the Spirit—indeed, these things are so unattractive to them—that they prefer to stay as far away as possible from the place where these things are the central theme. Nothing short of a miracle can create in the lost a demand for what the church has to offer.

~ Roy J. Fish and J. E. Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today.
Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1976. p. 60.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
He Is Not Here, Luke 24.1-12

Book Reading
Fish and Conant, Every Member Evangelism for Today

Our Corporate Disciplines
Concert of Prayer: Tuesday, April 26, 2022