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Hello and welcome to worship on Sunday the 11th of April, here in the Oxford Circuit. Hallelujah Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia. We continue to celebrate the risen Christ of Easter day. Come embrace the risen Christ; come embrace the Prince of Peace; come embrace his pierced hands; come meet your Lord and your God. Our first hymn is in Singing the Faith no. 297. The hymn is Christ is alive let Christians sing.
Song: Christ is alive
I’m recording outside in the sunshine and at the garden at the manse in oxford here though it’s a bit chilly. Still there is some beautiful sunshine and even some blue skies. Let us pray then. As the disciples in the locked room reached out and touched you let us reach out and touch you today. Living Lord Jesus let us feel your scarred hands and feet, let us put our hands in your side, let us be still and know that you are our Lord and our God. 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 your resurrection. Amen. And a prayer of confession. Gracious and loving one we come with busy hearts and minds. Let us confess to God all those things that we should not carry. O God forgive us when we cannot see you, for all our questions, when we refuse to believe out of uncertainty or fear, when we don’t recognize you at work within us. God of mercy forgive us. O God forgive us when we keep you to ourselves, unwilling to share your joy with others, preferring to stay in our own comfort zones behind closed doors. God of mercy forgive us. O God forgive us when we muddle up our priorities, misunderstanding our purpose and potential and do not listen to your calling. God of mercy forgive us. Hear now the words of Jesus. For all who are truly sorry and seek to renew their lives your sins are forgiven. Lead us now O God to acknowledge your costly generosity by living as forgiven people until heaven and earth rejoice and the whole earth cries glory through Christ our Lord. Amen.
1 Peter 3: 3-9
Song: King of glory, King of peace
John 20: 19-31
Song: At the name of Jesus
We sing together another well-known hymn and one of my personal favourites. It’s number 317 in Singing the Faith and is the hymn At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, every tongue confess him king of glory now. We sing together.
And so we come to our prayers as we share together prayers of thanksgiving and we make our offering, and then we share together prayers for others. In our intercessions and so in our prayers and in our lives let us give thanks to God. For the love of God our Father the maker of all, the giver of all things, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for the world’s beauty and the changing season, for blossom, birds and bees, and for the love of the life that we have been given, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ our Saviour who lived and worked among us. For those wonderful moments of recognition of the Lord alive within us, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for his suffering and death on the cross and his resurrection to new life. The signs of new life we see and those that we hope for. Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for his rule over all things and his presence in the world, the signs of compassion, care and community around us, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for the Holy Spirit the giver of life who teaches and guides us, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God for the grace of the Spirit in the work of the church, scattered or gathered and the life of the world, let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. Amen. Over the last year or so many of us have made our gifts and offerings through standing orders and other similar ways. Through the charitable gifts that we make, our time and our availability, our care and our compassion, we acknowledge all that giving as part of our worship today. Gracious God accept all our gifts and with them our lives to be used in your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord amen. And so as we make our gifts we also make our prayers for the needs of others, marking Jesus to intercede that our prayers might be heard and answered in his name. Let us pray. Loving Lord you promised us that whenever two or more are gathered in your name our prayers will be answered. Our definition of gathering has strangely changed. We pray that these prayers spoken from hearts spread out across our community will be acceptable to you. Gracious God hear our prayer. We humbly pray for all our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world separated from each other as we are by the darkness of this disease, we pray that you will hold us close, bound together in your love in faith. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for all the nations. None are exempt from this pandemic. We pray for all the other problems facing the world, poverty, famine, drought and war. These problems continue on unaffected worsened by its shadow. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for our leaders guiding us as best they can. We pray that you will guide them and so lead us through to a brighter world, brighter for everyone. Gracious God hear our prayer. We pray for our communities, for those serving us, serving us both ministering to our health and to our everyday needs. We pray that you will continue to protect them, keeping them and their families safe. We pray for those around us living alone, isolated, lonely, unseen. Keep them from despair. Lord guide us to them. Show us their need. Gracious God hear our prayer. Pray for the sick – Lord we pray that you will be with them where family and friends cannot. We pray that for those who have lost their battle who have died we pray that they are safe with you. Please comfort and support their loved ones left behind to mourn in isolation. Hold them especially close. Gracious God hear our prayers. Almighty God please join us your children together in your love along with all those who have gone before us and use us to your loving purpose. Amen. We gather these and all our prayers both spoken and felt inside as we share together the Lord’s prayer in the modern version. Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is 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. For the kingdom the power and the glory are yours, forever and ever. Amen and before a blessing we sing again our closing hymn See what a morning gloriously bright with the dawning of hope in Jerusalem Folded the grave clothes tomb filled with life as the angels announce Christ is risen It’s no. 309 in Singing the Faith
Song: See what a morning
You remain in my prayers and the prayers of many others. As the week ahead comes to us we share together in a final blessing. Jesus stood among them and said “Peace be with you. As the father has sent me so I send you the holy spirit”. Go and do the Father’s work in the name of the Son and in the strength of the Spirit. Amen and the blessing of God Father the Son and the Holy Spirit remain with you always Amen.
March, from the Occasional Oratorio (G.F. Handel)
Alexander Binns plays the organ of Derby Cathedral