Circuit Worship: 4 April 2021

Simon Blainey

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2KHyGgDaLu1_8WKLCF-_lxpJXgXOggb

Welcome

Happy Easter to you all, and a very warm welcome to the Oxford Circuit Service for this Easter Sunday. I’m Simon Blainey, one of the local preachers on the circuit, and I feel hugely privileged to be leading today’s service on the most joyful Sunday in the Christian calendar, so wherever you are listening to this service, I’m delighted to be sharing in worship with you.

And so let’s begin our service by hearing from John’s gospel about what happened on that first Easter morning.

Reading 1

John 20:1-18

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Song:

See What A Morning – Singing The Faith 309

See What a Morning – Kristyn Getty, Margaret Becker, Joanne Hogg – YouTube

Reading 2

Acts 10:34-43

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Hymn:

Thine Be The Glory – Singing The Faith 313

Thine Be the Glory [with lyrics for congregations] – YouTube

Sermon

Hymn:

Lord, Enthroned In Heavenly Splendour – Singing The Faith 593

Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendour (St Helen) [with lyrics for congregations] – YouTube

Prayers of intercession

Lord, we pray for the world in need of your resurrection power;

For a world thrown into chaos by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For a world where there was already so much suffering and pain,

Where many people have nowhere to live, nowhere to call home, nowhere to feel safe and secure.

For a world where people have been driven from their homes by crime, war, and political unrest.

For a world damaged by those in thrall to the threat of death and darkness.

May the risen Christ bring hope and peace.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for people in need of your resurrection power.

For those whose attitudes of hate, resentment and bitterness and a desire to dominate cause hurt and deep wounds in the lives of others.

For those whose hearts are filled with sadness and sorrow because of the loss of those they loved.

For those whose hopes have been dashed, whose plans and dreams have come to nothing, and for those who are filled with regret for what they did or failed to do.

May the risen Christ bring them comfort.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who work for others.

For healthcare professionals who have spent over a year caring for those affected by Covid-19.

For key workers who have put themselves at risk to keep our society functioning.

For those who disregard their own safety to help the victims of war.

For all those who sacrifice their own comfort and security for the sake of those with no one to care for them.

For those whose words and deeds bring hope to those crushed by their experiences of life.

For those who give little thought to their own needs because they see only the hope of others.

May the risen Christ fill them with his grace.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for those who we know to be in particular need this Easter time.

Those who are ill, anxious, depressed or afraid.

Those who are seeking guidance and the presence of God;

For those whose hearts are breaking, and those whose lives are filled with joy.

We pray too for ourselves, for all that is concerning us now, and all that we must face tomorrow.

May the risen Christ be with us in all that we do.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

And so let’s say together the prayer which Jesus taught us…

Hymn:

And Can It Be – Singing The Faith 345

And Can It Be That I Should Gain [with lrics for congregations] – YouTube

Blessing

Lord Jesus, yours is the victory, ours is the hope.

Yours is the triumph, ours is the joy.

Yours is the glory, ours is the peace

Yours is the power, ours is the trust.

And may your risen presence hold us, guide us and lead us, now and for ever, Amen

Organ Voluntary

Toccata, from the 5th Organ Symphony (Charles-Marie Widor)

Jonathan Scott plays the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Manchester Town Hall

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