The Second Sunday of Easter, 19 April 2020 – John 20:19-31, 1 Peter 1:3-9, Psalm 111 ~ “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

The Second Sunday of Easter, 19 April 2020

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

Almighty and everlasting God, through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, Christ, you established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may practice in their lives what they profess by faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Above All – Michael W. Smith

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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.
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A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 2:14, 22-32 (NLT)

Peter Preaches to the Crowd

Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this.
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“People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. King David said this about him:

‘I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’

“Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.

“God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.”
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Tehillim: Psalm 111– Tav Mem Bet

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Prayers of Intercession:

Almighty and everlasting God: we thank you and praise you with all our hearts!

+ For all who love you remember your Son’s death for the forgiveness of their sins….

+ For all who love you remember your Son’s resurrection for their empowerment….

+ For all who live in you remember their transformation by your Word and Spirit….

Almighty and everlasting God: everything you do is glorious and majestic, and your power to bring justice will never end.

+ For the honor of your name, show your kindness, justice and mercy to all who are affected by this pandemic….

+ For the honor of your name, provide the essential supplies needed to all who are affected by this pandemic….

+ For the honor of your name, pour out your Spirit and show the nations of the world your mighty power….

+ For the honor of your name, give wisdom and good sense to all who are entrusted with leadership….

Almighty and everlasting God: your ways are true and right and fair – you are trustworthy and faithful. Renew us in faith and joy-filled expectation, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
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A Reading from the Epistles: 1 Peter 1:3-9 (NLT)

The Hope of Eternal Life

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
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Grace Of The Lord Jesus Christ – Simon Khorolskiy & Brothers

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Closing: 1 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT)

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ, Life in Our Family

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