God, whose love and care for us extends far beyond our human understanding, whose presence in our midst is greater than our fears and doubts, we come offering ourselves to you – our weaknesses and our strengths, our faith and our fears. We seek to know the risen Christ among us in this gathering, and trust you to reveal him to us once again, as we wait upon you in hope and expectation. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Dear Lord, we admit that we are often afraid to come near you. For if we do, you might see how our faces darken with anger as we speak hurtful words, or whiten with fear of those who are different, or redden from the depths of our desires. We can spend so much time gazing in the mirror of our longings, that we are unable to see the faces etched with loneliness, hollowed by hunger, overshadowed by hopelessness. You reveal the mystery of your grace, Holy One, by pouring out mercy upon us. As you bend down to listen, may we speak your love to all those around us. As you call us into your presence, you send us out to do your justice which brings hope to the world.
Gospel Lesson: John 20: 19-31 NRSV
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.
Psalter Lesson: Psalm 150 NRSV
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
- No. 118 – The Day of Resurrection!
- No. 399 – We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight
- No. 302 – I Danced in the Morning
Solo performance by Catherine Carter, soprano
“The Power of Belief” – Rev. Dr. Martha Jordan