Worship for Sunday 19th April

Happy Easter!

This is an Easter that we wont forget for sometime. It has been very different for all us as we have been unable to gather together in the traditional way. It is not how I expected my first Easter in the Manchester Circuit to be, that is for certain. I love Holy Week, I love the daily journey with Jesus and I love taking people with me. I hope, this year, you were able to join us for Holy Week Tears and taken that daily walk with Jesus in a way that you may not have done as well as taking part in the other services, studies, prayer times too. And now we are Easter People, celebrating that Easter joy – reading once more the Gospel accounts of the Risen Jesus.

I love so many of the resurrection accounts partly because my own personal walk with Jesus contains different readings at different parts of my life. This Sunday’s gospel reading finds ourselves with the disciples in the Upper Room locked away for they feared they may be next and wondered what may happened. And Thomas wasn’t with them. He wasn’t there. He missed that first appearance. But more about that later.

For today you will need to print out this colouring sheet should you choose to use it for our prayers for others. You will need colouring pencils or pens. You will also need a nail – if you are sharing worship with children, please do this with caution.

However you use this material – all of it or some of it – may you know the power and the peace of the Risen Christ today with you.

Gathering prayer (from Roots)

We are the people of God.
Risen Lord, as we gather today,
may we see you and hear you,
may we feel you and touch you,
may we know your presence with us now.


Time of worship:

We all worship in different ways and in different styles. On my own I often like to listen and sing along to a number of worship songs, chants, hymns, instrumental music to help me to stop being distracted. I also like to light a candle, maybe have something to look at – a cross, praying hands, an icon, and so I invite you to gather these now. I offer you a variety of hymns and songs so feel free to listen to these however you wish – listen in intervals, listen to one, listen to a few. Choose your own favourite hymns & songs. Here at this point or throughout the time you have. This material has been prepared for you to use as you wish.

Boldly I approach – Rend Collective

Blessed – Hillsong

All hail the power of Jesu’s name! (STF 342)

Beauty for brokenness (StF 693)

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the Risen Lord (Stf 295)

Christ the Lord is risen today; Alleluia (StF 298)

See, what a morning, glorious bright (StF 309)

Prayers (Roots):

Here are some prayers for you to use or say your own prayers of adoration, confession and thanks to God.

The disciples met in a locked room, Lord, and you came and
stood among them, and you said:
Peace be with you.
They were filled with joy and rejoiced.
Peace be with you.
You breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Peace be with you.
Thomas doubted, as he wasn’t there.
Peace be with you.
A week later you appeared again, and again you said:
Peace be with you.
Thomas touched your hands and felt your side.
Peace be with you.
Thomas exclaimed, ‘My Lord and my God!’
Peace be with you.
You are our Lord and our God.
Peace be with you.


A prayer of confession

Prince of peace, we are sorry
that we choose not to forgive but to hold grudges;
that we doubt you and do not trust;
that we choose to rely on our own resources and not on you;
that we believe only when we have proof.
Help us to forgive more readily, and to trust more willingly.


A prayer of thanksgiving

Lord, your body was broken, and your blood was shed.
Thank you for the cross.
You did it so that we might live.
Thank you for the cross.
Thank you for all that you have done for us.
Thank you for the cross.
Your love has set us free.
Thank you for the resurrection.
You were raised to life and ran out of that grave.
Thank you for the resurrection.
Thank you that we have eternal life in you.
Thank you for your cross and resurrection.


Reading: John 20:19-21

I have used the version from Bob Hartman which you can listen to here. Or read from your own bible.



There is so much that can be said about this passage – disciples being scared and locked away, Jesus appearing and greeting them “Peace be with you!’ His teaching about forgiveness, the meeting with Thomas, and so much more. But I want to share just one thing.

The gospel reading today shows us that Jesus invites Thomas to touch and feel, but we are not told whether Thomas actually did this. We know that he accepted Jesus for who he was in that moment as the Messiah.

In these days of Coronavirus and Covid-19 when touch and feel and embrace have all been removed from our lives, we are reminded how much Thomas accepted Jesus without touching – we are invited to see and touch and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour for ourselves.

We are reminded of this towards the end of our Gospel reading about faith and how John the author of this gospel shares……

John 20:30-31 says, ‘Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

So our challenge, this Easter, is can we, without seeing and touching, believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.’ (John 20:29)


Questions to ponder:

How do you know that Jesus is alive?

What difference does knowing this story make to your life?

What have you heard from this resurrection account that you didn’t know before?

How easy is it to believe something without seeing it?

What difference does it make having accepted Jesus into your life?


A reflective way into prayer

Give each person a nail. Invite them to close their eyes and hold their nail, feeling its sharp and rough edges, as they listen to this verse from a well-known hymn:

‘Come, see his hands and his feet –

the scars that speak of sacrifice,

hands that flung stars into space –

to cruel nails surrendered.’

Read it several times.

As you ponder these words imagine that you reach out and touch Jesus, see his scars and thank him for his sacrifice.

Colouring prayers for the other people.

Using this sheet, gather your crayons and in any order that you wish – colour as you pray – naming places and people and situations that you would like to pray for. You may find it helpful to listen to a song while you do or play some instrumental music here or stay silent.

Colour us red, passionate God
For the cross stands empty in support of those who hunger and thirst for justice and peace, especially when they are ignored, overlooked, rejected and silenced.

Colour us yellow, resurrection God
For the cross stands empty in support of those who are seeking your presence, encourage and support us as we look for you in new and unexpected places 

Colour us pink, nurturing God
For the cross stands empty in support of those keyworkers who endeavour through long hours to bring new hope, new love, new life into your world. 

Colour us green, creator God
For the cross stands empty in support of those who yearn for the wellbeing of all creation: for the health of the land, the seas, the air and all its inhabitants.

Colour us orange, enduring God
For the cross stands empty in support of those who cannot assemble for worship, not just during this time of distress but also for those who undergo lifetimes of religious persecution. 

Colour us purple, suffering God
For the cross stands empty in support of those who fear the present and the future, for those who the message ‘stay home: stay safe’ involves risk and not reassurance.

Colour us blue, weeping God
For the cross stands empty in support of those who mourn for their losses, of loved ones and loved employment, those who are quarantined or stranded away from those whom they love. 

God of promise, hear our prayer. Amen


To close you might like to choose another hymn or song:

Thine be the glory (StF 313)

Matt Redman – This is how we know

A sending out prayer

Let us take the touch of the risen Christ,
and the peace that he gives,
out with us into the world.
Let us breathe his life-giving Spirit
on all those we meet this week.