Image description

THE SHIRWELL MISSION COMMUNITY

A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter

Sunday Service at Home


Evening Prayer for the third Sunday of Easter

Shirwell Mission Community, 18th April 2021

 


O God, make speed to save us.           

O Lord, make haste to help us.

In your resurrection, O Christ,                  

let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia.

 


Blessed are you, Sovereign Lord, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to you be glory and praise for ever. From the deep waters of death you brought your people to new birth by raising your Son to life in triumph. Through him dark death has been destroyed and radiant life is everywhere restored. As you call us out of darkness into his marvellous light may our lives reflect his glory and our lips repeat the endless song.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Blessed be God for ever.



 

1          Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!            2          The Lord of life is risen for ay:
            Now is the triumph of our King!                                  bring flowers of song to strew his way;
            To the whole world glad news we bring:                    let everyone rejoice and say:
            Alleluia!                                                                       Alleluia!

3          Praise we in songs of victory                          4          Thy name we bless, O risen Lord,
            that love, that life which cannot die,                           and sing today with one accord
            and sing with hearts uplifted high:                              the life laid down, the life restored:
            Alleluia!                                                                       Alleluia!

Cyril A Alington (1872-1955) © Sir Richard Mynors


That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful, let us pray with one heart and mind.            Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God, so may your mercy come down upon us to cleanse our hearts and set us free to sing your praise now and for ever.  Amen.


 

Psalm 142

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name. 

1    I cry aloud to the Lord;  ♦

to the Lord I make my supplication.

2    I pour out my complaint before him  ♦

and tell him of my trouble.

3    When my spirit faints within me, you know my path;  ♦

in the way wherein I walk have they laid a snare for me.

4    I look to my right hand, and find no one who knows me;  ♦

I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for my soul.

5    I cry out to you, O Lord, and say:  ♦

‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.

6    ‘Listen to my cry, for I am brought very low;  ♦

save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.

7    ‘Bring my soul out of prison,    that I may give thanks to your name;  ♦

when you have dealt bountifully with me, then shall the righteous gather around me.’

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name. 

God of compassion, you regard the forsaken and give hope to the crushed in spirit; hear those who cry to you in distress and bring your ransomed people to sing your glorious praise, now and forever. Amen.


 

The Word of God


Acts 3:12-19 and Luke 24:36b – 48


A reflection can be found at the end of this service


 

Intercessions


May God be glorified now, as we commit ourselves to the work of prayer, interceding for those in all kinds of need. 

In our worship, and our openness to the Spirit of life, in the Church’s longing and outreach, in the priests, the people, in all seekers and honest doubters, 

in all this: may God be glorified.


In the welfare programmes and peace-making missions, in the struggle to uphold justice, in the aid given to the hungry and homeless, 

in all this: may God be glorified.


In the loving and costly commitment of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, in the determination to forgive and forgive, in all the lives shared and cherished, in all this: may God be glorified.

In the work of nursing, comforting and healing, in the daily patient struggle with pain and weakness, and in the practical, good-humoured caring, 

in all this: may God be glorified.


In the twilight years and the facing of death, in lives well lived and now breaking into eternity, in all this: may God be glorified.

In the freedom offered through forgiveness, in the joy of resurrection life, in the hope of eternity, in all this: may God be glorified.

 


The Collect 



Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:

strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.


 

The Lord’s Prayer 


Rejoicing in God’s new creation, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

 

The Conclusion

May the risen Christ grant us the joys of eternal life.            Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia. Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

 


A reflection from Rosie on  Luke 24:36b – 48

 

I invite you to take time with our Scriptures this week, perhaps in the tradition on ‘lectio divina’ (a traditional way of reading the Bible). First invite the Holy Spirit to guide you and read the passage either in your head or spoken aloud. Then spend time meditating on it, and in particular look out for a word or a phrase which seems to jump out. Mull that over. What might this be saying to you? Spend time talking to God about this, listening too. Then read the passage a last time, asking God to help you live out what he has showed you. 

Here are three phrases which Jesus speaks – which I here reflect further on:

 

Peace be with you. Jesus brings peace to the anxious.

The disciples were enormously anxious, and it’s clear why. They’ve seen their friend arrested, tortured and crucified horrifically. They’re scared that they will be next. They’ve also heard from some women (in their culture women are untrustworthy witnesses in court) that the body of Jesus is missing and that angels were in Jesus’s tomb. Peter had tried to check out this story but had just seen the strips of linen by themselves and was not clear about what had happened or who to believe. And then two disciples, running back from Emmaus have just rushed into their room telling them all that they have seen Jesus – that they recognised him as he broke bread with them. And then.. while all of this is happening.. . the figure of Jesus appears. They think he’s a ghost.

So Jesus tells them simply, ‘peace be with you’. 

We are often anxious, often afraid, often in fear for the future and confused about events which are happening around us. We are not sure who to believe, and veer from optimism to pessimism with each news article. We look forward to the end of lockdown, but are anxious about it too. Into this place, Jesus offers his presence and his peace. 

Often we want solutions, we want answers, we want practical action. But sometimes the first thing that we need is to stop, to find calm, to know peace. And only when we have discovered this peace, are we ready to continue and step into the future God has planned for us. 

Are you beginning to wonder about what comes next as we emerge from this pandemic? How will our communities get back together, what will our churches look like, what might change?

Jesus steps into our lives, and simply says, ‘Peace be with you.’

 

Touch me and see; Jesus bears the marks of his suffering

We discover in this passage the physical reality of Jesus resurrection. This is no ghost, or hallucination – the gospel writer is clear on this. This is his real body, his real presence. 

This is a body which can touch and be touched, and which can eat a favourite meal of fish. This is important, for it means that our faith is not just a concept, but is a physical reality. How do we respond to this?

Jesus shows his disciples his hands and his feet, and while they are not mentioned, it would be clear that Jesus’ hands and feet bear the marks of his suffering. In his incarnation, he comes to us on earth and lives a fully human life. He does not emerged unscathed, God is broken by our brokenness, God feels our suffering, God is one with us. 

God, the immortal, the incredible, the all powerful, becomes one of us and bears our sin, our rejection, our betrayal, our hatred, our divisions – and our pain - on his body.

Touch may be something we may be missing, the ability to hug or hold hands with friends and family. Jesus opens his hands for us to touch him – and in that touch to know his presence with us in all of our pain. Close your eyes, see his hands, touch him and see.

 

These are my words...          Jesus helps us to understand

From Eden, through the desert, in rebellion and in suffering; in story, in poems and in song, the books of our Bible point to a God who loves us, bears with us and forgives us. A God who draws us in to a life fully lived through him, lived out in ways of justice and peace.

But there is much to our Bible, and the faith which it describes which is difficult to understand. Faith is, in my view, never handed to us on a plate. It is something which we need to wrestle with, to question, to probe, and to challenge if it is ever to stand the test of time. Jesus didn’t avoid the storms, or ask his disciples to. He didn’t still the storm until the point at which they were questioning and were afraid. A life with Jesus is not easy, and there is so much more to faith that we have yet to discover.

That is not to say that faith needs to be complex or complicated or inaccessible. But like treasure in a field or a pearl or a coin, is to be searched out and rejoiced over when it is found.

Jesus opens the disciple’s minds to understand the Scriptures. Does he open their minds fully on that day, or does he give them another glimpse? Do they continue to seek out more? 

We long to understand and have lots of questions. But day by day, Jesus will open our minds as we ask and as we are ready. Like a loving parent who reveals the world piece by piece to an inquisitive child. 

We don’t understand it all – yet somehow we still are able to see the wider picture – God loves us and gave his life for us, and in Jesus all his promises to us are fulfilled. We might not know it all – but in this love we can trust. 

Jesus commissions his disciples to bear witness to the resurrection and to this new life possible in him. This is good news not just for us, but for the whole world. We do not do this alone. We are empowered and equipped by the Holy Spirit, and the encouragement of one another. 

We wait and daily expect the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In his strength will grow in our own faith and in our confidence to witness of God’s love to the world.  

 

 

Have another look at the Bible passage. What words stand out for you – and how 

might God be speaking to you today through them?