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3rd Sunday of Easter : 14th April 2024

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in regular typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in
bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A Call To Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Absolution
00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence For Today (let us say aloud):

I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

The Special Prayer For Today (let us pray aloud):

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Acts 3:12-19
00:00 / 01:08

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

1 John 3:1-7
00:00 / 01:04

Gradual Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we raise out voices in praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A reading from the holy gospel according to Saint Luke.

Luke 24:36b-48
00:00 / 01:33

Listen to David speak to this gospel

Peace Be With You.
00:00 / 10:29

or, if you prefer, you can read the sermon, below:

Sermon for Easter 3, 14th Apr 2024

Take my lips O God and speak through them, take our minds O God and think through them, take our hearts O God and love through them this day. <Amen>

“Jesus himself stood among the disciples and said to them, “Peace be with you.””

Look at that opening. Jesus comes and stands in their midst once again. Here's a word now of amazing grace. We don't earn our salvation - we can’t. We can't break out of the shut doors of our fears but Christ can break in. Grace invades. That’s such good news.

Now, the risen Christ does what He typically does. Go through all the accounts of the Resurrection appearances - you’ll find this commonality. Jesus shows his wounds.

This MUST be important, but why? <PAUSE>

Well, because those wounds were born of humanity’s faults, humanity’s mistakes, humanity’s sin and we are meant to see in the wounds of Christ the hatred, cruelty, violence, self-absorption, injustice, greed, that our human frailty brings to the world. All of the things that brought Jesus to the cross … well … He now bears them.

Those wounds of Christ should be a reminder of all our faults and WHY the risen Christ bears them. <PAUSE>

Then Jesus says, “Shalom”. “Peace”. So he appears, once again, to those who had indeed betrayed, denied, run from him and he offers them, “Shalom”. “Peace”.

Now, “shalom" - peace - is a word that sums up in the Bible everything that God wants for us.

It's the peace beyond all our understanding.
It's the peace the world alone cannot give us.
It's the peace that comes from God's forgiveness.

No matter what we have done, yes, even of our greatest sin … God can forgive through His Son, Jesus Christ.

What’s the greatest sin? Well, you see it in the wounds of Christ … God comes, and humanity kills him !! That's the greatest sin possible. Then, Jesus, the killed God, comes back and says, “Shalom”. “Peace”.

That means there's no sin that in principle is greater than God's love.

Pause for a moment and think. Do you see how Christianity, in a way, is born in these words. In the great forgiveness of sins manifested in the “Shalom”, in the “Peace” offered by the risen Christ? <PAUSE> Do you see how this is what we recognise and share with each other every time we meet? Do you see how, when we say,“Peace be with you” we express that acknowledgement of, that sharing in, and that dependence upon the great forgiveness offered by the risen Christ to each and every one of us?

Again, that, in a way, is the whole Christian story.

Then this: ”repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Yes, God’s love, God’s forgiveness, God’s peace is to be proclaimed to ALL nations, ALL across the world.

There’s no exception to this principle! As we heard last week, Jesus calls people and then he sends them out into the world as His apostles.

Indeed the Christian life is played out in between two words: ‘come’, and ‘go’.

So, much of Jesus' ministry is "Come, come. Stay with me. Come and see. Come follow me."

But then, "Go. Go on mission.”. "As the Father sent me, so I send you.”. “Go and proclaim to the nations”.

THIS, THIS, is the Church today! For we are all witnesses, filled with the “Shalom” and love that's beyond any individual failing we could possibly have.

THIS is the “come” and “go” … you have come to God to declare your faith, to share the “Shalom” and then go out into the world to love, serve and be witnesses for The Lord, going out in His peace, His “Shalom”.

That's your job. That's my job. That's what it means to be a member of Christ’s body.

So everybody, enter into that moment, on this third Sunday of Easter. Put yourself in that room with the first disciples. Christ has come in. Showed his wounds to remind us of why He carries them; now share in the "Shalom" that’s greater than our sin.

Be empowered to be witnesses, to go out and proclaim the risen Christ, through word and deed, to everyone you meet. <LONG PAUSE>

God bless and strengthen you all to go out and proclaim and, when you do, to God will be the glory.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.
In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMINE>

Pause and Reflect

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today to speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by saying aloud, and together, "The Apostles Creed":

apostles_creed_pic02.jpg
Image by Allef Vinicius

... and now let us pray for the Church, the World, and Ourselves, giving thanks for God's goodness.

​Let us pray aloud, and together:

Faithful God, we praise you for the resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ from the dead. Shed His glorious light on all Christian people that we may live as those who believe in the triumph of the cross.

In Jesus, name we pray. Amen.

(LONGER pause for silent, personal reflection)

In response to the call today “Lord, in your mercy” Our response is, “hear our prayer!”

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Almighty God we ask you to be a real and living presence in your people throughout the world. May this FaithaLight ministry, through its teaching, preaching, prayers, and love continue to testify to our Lord’s resurrection.  Wherever we are lacking in faith and courage strengthen us with your Spirit.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Merciful God, we pray for peace in our troubled world.  Wherever nations are at war and people are suffering we pray for true reconciliation.  Protect all Christian people in the nations of the world, and help them to influence their country for the good of all.


(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Father God, we pray for all families whose homes are disrupted by anger and bitterness and where relationships are breaking up.  We thank you for the gift of Your Son, our saviour, who walks with us on our life’s journey and, as He gladdened the hearts of His friends when they saw Him raised from the dead, may He travel alongside all who are struggling with their family life.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Faithful God, we hold before you, those whom life has damaged and all who find it difficult to trust in your resurrection and the saving power of your wounds.

Loving God comfort the sick and suffering with Your living presence.  Heal and strengthen weak bodies, calm confused minds and reassure the lonely with Your company.  We raise before you those we know with particular needs we have been asked to pray for.

We especially raise before you now all those who have asked for our prayers from around the world … those we know in New Zealand, in Singapore, in Argentina, in France, in Australia, in the US, in Canada, in Austria, in Ukraine, in China and any others we now name aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, and those who are known only by you.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Merciful God, we remember before You those who have died in the hope of the resurrection.  Unite us with them in Your undying love.  Help us to always remember that death could not hold Your Son Jesus Christ and that new life for him means new life for all who believe in Him.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our prayer

In a moment of silence we pray for ourselves, our families, friends, for all whom we love and for our personal ministries. Make us worthy of the resurrection that Your Son has won for us.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Gracious God, Your Son Jesus Christ, stands among us, and we have seen the marks of His saving love. Now, it is our turn to go forth into the world. Send us out with the power of Your Holy Spirit to proclaim the great good news and to share the shalom, the peace, of Christ with all who may cross our paths in the weeks ahead.

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Forth in the peace of Christ we go; Christ to the world with joy we bring; Christ in our minds, Christ on our lips, Christ in our hearts, the world’s true King.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  AMEN.`

lord's_prayer_pic01_edited.jpg

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ continues to teach us:
 

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.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

May The Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards each and every one of you.

May He cause His light to shine upon you, and

may He grant you His peace, and

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn:

Let us conclude our worship today by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we unite in another hymn our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Dismissal

Go now, go out into the world

to love and serve The Lord.

 

Go in peace.

AMEN, we go in the name of Christ.

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