The Second Sunday of Easter
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that we who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may demonstrate in our lives what we profess by our faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
“Revelation Song” – Kari Jobe
A Reading from the Letters: Revelation 1:9-19 (NLT)
Vision of the Son of Man
I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
“Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen….”
A Reading from the Gospels: John 20:19-31 (NLT)
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Purpose of the Book
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
God our strength and our life: You give hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless, through the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ. Hear us as we pray –
+ That your people may grow in unity of faith, hope, and love….
+ That leaders of your people may rely on you for wisdom and sound judgement….
+ That all believers may have life to the full, through the power of Jesus….
+ That doubters may be persuaded by the strong faith of believers….
+ That any divisions among us may be overcome….
+ That those in need may experience friendship and practical care….
+ That believers suffering persecution may be protected and delivered from evil….
God our strength, the resurrection of Jesus renews our hope: hear our prayers and help us, we ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Not Afraid” – Jesus Culture
Benediction: Revelation 1:5-6
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen