Worship for Sunday 24th April 2022, by Deacon Pru Cahill

News of Jesus’ resurrection continues to spread and has interesting effects.

Thomas needs to see for himself, and when he sees the risen Jesus, confesses him Lord!

A few weeks later, a meeting of the full assembly of the elders of Israel cannot bring themselves to name Jesus; they seek to have the apostles silenced.

The Empty Tomb – Richard Bavin

Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208

A Gathering Prayer

In the middle of our busy lives, we seek Jesus.
In our caring and providing,
in dreaming and hoping, we seek Jesus.

In our seeking after truth
and our longing to know more fully, we seek Jesus.

In the troubles of the world, in conflict and distress,
we come to find peace.

In our challenges and our hopes, in all we wish was different,
we come to find peace.

When we don’t know the answers,
when we don’t know what is true,
in all our searching and longing,

Jesus, meet us we pray. Amen.

Hymn: StF 65 Sing of the Lord’s Goodness 

Sing of the Lord’s goodness
Father of all wisdom,
come to Him and bless his name.
Mercy, he has shown us,
his love is for ever,
faithful to the end of days.

Come then, all you nations,
Sing of the Lord’s goodness
melodies of praise and thanks to God.
Ring out the Lord’s glory,
praise him with your music,
worship him and bless His name.

Power he has wielded,
honour is his garment,
risen from the snares of death.
His word he has spoken,
one bread he has broken,
new life he now gives to all.

Come then, all you nations…

Courage in our darkness  ,
comfort in our sorrow,
Spirit of our God most high;
solace for the weary  ,
pardon for the sinner  
splendour of the living God .

Come then, all you nations…

Praise him with your singing.
praise him with the trumpet,
praise God with the lute and harp;
praise him with the cymbals
praise him with your dancing
praise God till the end of days.

Come then, all you nations…

Ernest Sands (b1949)

Prayer of Adoration and Confession.

God of all the world,
we believe in the fact that you created us,
we believe in the fact that you love us,
we believe in the fact that your Son died for us –
even when it seems too good to be true,
even when we long for a deeper encounter,
even though there is so much that is mystery.
We believe that you are our God,
and we praise and adore you,
in Jesus’ name. 

God of all that is real,
we don’t always know what we believe,
but we know we always believe in you
and in your forgiveness,
in your understanding of each of our needs,
in your patience with our doubts,
in your challenging of our stubbornness,
in your meeting us where we are.
And in the strength of that truth,
and with the assurance of your love,
we give you our best.
In Jesus’ name. 



The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom

The power, and the glory

For ever and ever. Amen.


Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

 John 20: 19-29

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Acts 5: 27-32

27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Hymn: StF 293 All Heaven Declares

All Heaven declares
The glory of the risen Lord
Who can compare
With the beauty of the Lord

Forever He will be
The lamb upon the throne
I gladly bow to Thee
And worship Him alone

I will proclaim
The glory of the risen Lord
Who once was slain
To reconcile man to God

Forever You will be
The lamb upon the throne
I gladly bow Thee

And worship Him alone.

Noel Richards b 1955



Belief linked with seeing is a strong theme in John’s gospel. It is present in the conversation between Jesus and Martha before Lazarus is raised from the tomb, and in the early encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus. (You may identify others!)

Today’s story spans two weeks from Easter Day to the following Sunday – today!

Jesus is aware that Thomas is missing in the first meeting and is keen that he shouldn’t be excluded from the resurrection celebrations. 

Thomas’s misgivings are entirely understandable. We have all known the experience of having something unbelievable described to us and needing to see the evidence for ourselves.

Three things emerge for me from this familiar story

Firstly, that it was important that all the disciples knew for themselves that Jesus had risen. The miracle of someone coming through a locked door was surpassed by the knowledge that it was the Lord. In the difficulties of life, we find peace in knowing God close to us. I wonder, where have you experienced God’s peace recently?

Second, this resurrection story is one to be shared. It makes me smile to think of the disciples and others sprinting through and criss-crossing Jerusalem with news of the latest encounter with the risen Lord. Even the most unlikely retelling of the story is surpassed by the reality of what has happened. No-one could have made this up!  I wonder, how will you share this joy in the coming week?

Thirdly, and sometimes overlooked in this passage is Jesus’ instruction regarding forgiveness. Terrible and completely unjustified harm had been done to Jesus by religious leaders and others in the days and hours before his death. Perhaps Jesus’ words here are intended to quash any thoughts of revenge in the minds of the disciples. Proclamation not retribution is what is needed.

God exalted Jesus to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.

HymnStF 30 Jesus Stand Among Us

Jesus, stand among us
at the meeting of our lives,
be our sweet agreement
at the meeting of our eyes.
O Jesus, we love you, so we gather here,
join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.

So to You we’re gathering
out of each and every land,
Christ the love between us
at the joining of our hands.

O Jesus, we love you, so we gather here,
join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.

Jesus, stand among us
at the breaking of the bread;
join us as one body
as we worship you, our Head.
O Jesus, we love you, so we gather here,
join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.

 Graham Kendrick (b1950)

Prayer of Intercession

Throughout the Church, across the world, may the joyful message of resurrection break through barriers of complacency, that human spirits may be enriched and strengthened.
Risen Lord, come, make all things new.

We pray for leaders and thinkers; that they may focus on the greatest good for those for whom they carry responsibility.
Risen Lord, come, make all things new.

We pray for those broken in mind or body:
for victims of war and attrition;
for grieving families and communities displaced;
for those without the essentials of life,
where there is no hope, and daily struggles bring despair.
Risen Lord, come, make all things new.

We pray for the people closest to us:
those of our church family who are unwell, in hospital or at home;
for those in our wider community;
for those we have promised to pray for.

Lord, come among us with your grace that shows its perfection in human weakness.
Risen Lord, come, make all things new.


 Hymn: StF 593 Lord Enthroned in Heavenly Splendour

Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor,

first-begotten from the dead,

thou alone, our strong defender,

liftest up Thy people’s head.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Jesus, true and living Bread!


Here our humblest homage pay we,

here in loving reverence bow;

here for faith’s discernment pray we,

lest we fail to know thee now.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou are here, we ask not how.


Paschal Lamb! thine offering finished

once for all when Thou wast slain,

in its fullness undiminished

shall forevermore remain.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Cleansing souls from every stain.


Life-imparting heavenly Manna,

stricken Rock, with streaming side,

heaven and earth with loud hosanna

worship thee, the Lamb who died.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Risen, ascended, glorified!

George Hugh Bourne (1840-1925)


Final Prayer

As witnesses we tell your story,
as witnesses, we sing your song.
As witnesses you give us courage,
as witnesses you make us strong.
Having experienced the joy of Easter,

fill us with your Spirit,
to go and tell the world.

And may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon us and remain with us always. Amen.

(prayers adapted from rootsontheweb.com)