The opening song is ‘Easter Song’, sung by ‘Men Unified in Christ’. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Call to worship
Today we will journey with the early disciples of Jesus as they moved from despair to unspeakable joy after they saw the risen Lord.
You may like to light a candle at this time.
God’s truth has been revealed in the risen Jesus Christ, the light of the world. May the light shine for the hope of the world.
Acknowledgment of country
As we begin, it is appropriate to recognise that this great land has been home to our first nations peoples for many thousands of years. Therefore, let us also acknowledge those Aboriginal peoples who are the first habitants of the regions in which we dwell and honour them for their care of the land.
Let us pray…We praise you, God of earth and heaven; with people all around the world, we praise you. You are always there, never growing old, fresh as each new day.
You were in Jesus, showing us your love. By his resurrection, you give us hope of living with you forever. You bring life and light to the world by the Holy Spirit, making every moment your moment; each day you come to us, offering hope and healing.
To you – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – let all the world give praise, today, and every day, for ever and ever.
For the young at heart
Here is a story, written by Phil Cummings, about Anzac biscuits. It is for the young at heart. If you have trouble connecting, you can access directly at Youtube:
From the Bible
The Bible readings for today are from the Gospel of John 20:19-31, and the words are included below. There is also an optional video of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group underneath the words.
The risen Jesus appears to his disciples
When 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.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
‘My Lord and my God’
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So 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.”
A 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.” Then 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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But 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.
Dramatic reading from Lumo
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the reading by the Lumo group. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message today is brought to us by Peter Overton from the Saltbush Community. Are we vulnerable enough to recognise that our doubts allow us the freedom to explore our relationship with God?
How have you shown your vulnerability before God? How have we been open to the vulnerability of others? Has there ever been a time when your doubts have strengthened your faith?
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music (for a friend)
‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’, sung by ‘One Voice Children’s Choir’. If you have trouble connecting, go directly to YouTube at:
Prayers for Others
Let us pray. We thank you for the gift of new life through the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Easter is a time of hope and a time of new beginnings, and so we pray for situations in our world that can sometimes seem beyond hope, such as the conflict in Ukraine. Please comfort those who are grieving, give peace to those who are afraid, and grant healing to those recovering. We also remember those who have served in support of this nation in time of war. We give you thanks for their sacrifice and look forward to the day when war and violence will be no more.
Risen Saviour, hear our prayer.
Loving God, we bring to you now our concerns for family and friends and others in our community. We remember those who are sick, lonely, those who are separated from loved ones, and those who don’t have a place to call home. May they find comfort in your healing presence. We also pray for other people who we now name in our hearts…
Risen Saviour, hear our prayer.
Lord Jesus, we celebrate Easter with Easter eggs and holidays. May we never forget the meaning of these symbols of new life and joy, and take time to remember your gifts to us: the gift of your life and death on the cross and the hope of eternal life that your resurrection brings. May we live in faith, hope and love as your Easter people in all we say and do.
Risen Saviour, hear our prayer.
Loving God, we ask you to accept all these prayers through your Son, our Risen Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
We have seen the Lord! Our lives are no longer the same, we are called into a resurrected life.
Go knowing the Risen Christ is with you, the Holy Spirit moves you, and the God of peace surrounds you.
Bless us and the people we meet along the way Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
The closing song is, ‘How can I keep from singing’, sung by New York City Virtual Choir. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
An Anzac Day postlude with a resurrection message as well: ‘In Flanders Fields’. If you have trouble connecting, go directly to YouTube at:
Holy Week trail
Here is a selection of fun activities designed for the last week of Lent and Easter Sunday. It was prepared by Ros Robinson from the HomeFaith community.
The sermon is from the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at: