Theme of the Day
The Easter season is a week of weeks, seven Sundays when we play in the mystery of Christ’s presence, mostly through the glorious Gospel of John. Today we gather with the disciples on the first Easter, and Jesus breathes the Spirit on us. With Thomas we ask for a sign, and Jesus offers us his wounded self in the broken bread. From frightened individuals we are transformed into a community of open doors, peace, forgiveness, and material sharing such that no one among us is in need.
The Collect for Sunday
Almighty God, with joy we celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection. By the grace of Christ among us, enable us to show the power of the resurrection in all that we say and do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Sundays and Seasons, 2021.
The prayers of the church are offered especially:
- for the needs of the world, especially at this time global pandemic;
- for those who are sick and for all medical personnel and caregivers;
- for research workers and scientists and medical personnel who are working to protect us, provide adequate testing, and to develop, deliver and administer vaccines;
- for the safety of front line workers;
- for those who are particularly vulnerable to this virus;
- for those who are isolated and anxious;
- for the healing of racial inequality, prejudice, bigotry, systemic racism, and injustice;
- for those who are hungry and homeless;
- for those who are unemployed or underemployed;
- for Elizabeth our Queen and all set in authority under her; for Justin, the Prime Minister of Canada and all members of parliament; Doug, the Premier of Ontario and all members of the legislature; Fred, the mayor of Hamilton and those who serve city council; for the First Nations of this land, for elders, chiefs, and band councils; for all in civil authority and for all citizens that we might work together for the common good;
- for the whole church: for Susan, our Diocesan Bishop; for David and Brian, our priests; for Rob and Nicola, our interns; for all bishops, priests and deacons; and for all the baptized: that God may accomplish God's work in and through us for the sake of the world;
- for those preparing for baptism and their sponsors;
- for all for whom we have been asked to pray, especially Jean, that God will bring them healing and wholeness;
- for those who are dying and all those who have departed from this life and are at rest.
In our cycles of prayer:
- In the Worldwide Anglican Communion: the Church in the Province of the Indian Ocean.
- In the Diocese of Niagara: St. Elizabeth's parish in Burlington.
- In our neighbourhood: for local businesses.
- For one another, especially in our parish cycle of prayer: for Jim Reilly and Beth MacKay; Josephine, Luke, Lilly, and Finnegan Rudderham; Lyall and Debbie Rudderham; Brian and Barbara Ruttan; Brian and Sue Samson.
Prayer requests to be included on the following Sunday can be submitted here by the Thursday morning before.
The Readings for Sunday
First Reading: Acts 4:32-35
While the apostles testified to others about the resurrection of Jesus, the early Christian community shared what they owned or sold their possessions to help their fellow believers who were in need.
32Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
Psalm: Psalm 133
How good and pleasant it is to live together in unity. (Ps. 133:1)
1How good and how pleas- | ant it is,
when kindred live togeth- | er in unity!
2It is like fine oil upon the head, flowing down up- | on the beard,
upon the beard of Aaron, flowing down upon the collar | of his robe. R
3It is like the dew of Hermon flowing down upon the | hills of Zion.
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing: life for- | evermore. R
Second Reading: 1 John 1:1--2:2
The opening of this letter serves as a reality check. The reality of God is light, but our confessed reality has been sin. God cleanses us from our sinful reality through Christ’s death so that we live in fellowship with Christ and walk in God’s light.
1We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—2this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—3we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
5This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
2:1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Gospel: John 20:19-31
The story of Easter continues as the risen Jesus appears to his disciples. His words to Thomas offer a blessing to all who entrust themselves in faith to the risen Lord.
19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
Alive in the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring our prayers before God who promises to hear us and answer in steadfast love.
A brief silence.
You shower your church with grace, O God. Unite the whole church on earth, so that with one heart it testifies to the resurrection of Jesus Christ with power and love. With the worldwide Anglican Communion we pray for The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean; in our diocese for St. Elizabeth, Burlington. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You proclaim the blessing of life forevermore. Like dew upon the mountains, refresh your creation. Restore waters, cleanse the air, and provide revitalizing moisture to parched land. Give your whole creation the promise of new life. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You direct the nations, O God. Guide all in authority, that they shepherd their peoples in the ways of your love. We pray especially for Justin, the Prime Minister; Doug, the Premier; and Fred, the mayor of Hamilton. Defeat in us our impulse to quarrel and war. Bestow the peace of Christ upon those in authority and breathe upon them the Holy Spirit. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You place within the heart of the church a spirit of sharing. Give us the power of your generous Spirit, that we provide for the needs of others. We pray especially for our sponsored newcomers and our partners at St Matthew’s House, and Micah House. We pray for Café 541. In our neighbourhood cycle of prayer we remember especially local businesses today. Announce your peace to any who are lonely, hurting, suffering, or afraid. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You give us fellowship with one another in this faith community. In our parish cycle of prayer we remember, Jim, Beth, Josephine, Luke, Lilly, Finnegan, Lyall, Debbie, Brian, Barbara, Brian, and Sue. Shine the light of the risen Christ in our life together, so that we live in love for one another and our joy may be complete. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
You share the gift of eternal life. In thanksgiving and remembrance, we recall the lives and gifts of those who now live in endless joy. Unite us with them in resurrection hope. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
In the hope of new life in Christ, we raise our prayers to you, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Adapted from Sundays and Seasons, 2021.
"Woman, Why Weepest Thou?" Fritz von Uhde, 1848-1911, painting. Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA, United States.