Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

Sunday 26th April – Worship@home Service materials

Third Sunday of Easter

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This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides, and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne.

Hope and Millie’s Slides

Opening Prayer

As you come to worship you might like to picture a road that you know really well.  Is it straight or twisted?  Is it smooth or uneven?  Is it busy or quiet?  Who else uses it?  Who have you walked the road with?  Hold the picture in your mind while you pray.

As I come before you today God, I bring you my road recognising others are bringing theirs too.  For some the road to worship today will have been difficult while for others it has been smooth.  For some there will have been twists and turns, for others it may have felt straight and plodding.  Some will have walked alone and others with companions.  Thank you that you walk each road with us, uniting us as a community of faith wherever we are to the glory of your name.  Amen.

Hymn StF 297: Christ is alive!

Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here remembering that the living Christ brings good news ‘to this and every age’

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing
The cross stands empty to the sky
Let streets and homes with praises ring
Love, drowned in death, shall never die

Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
but saving, healing, here and now,
and touching every place and time.

In every insult, rift and war,
where colour, scorn or wealth divide,
Christ suffers still, yet loves the more,
and lives, where even hope has died.

Women and men, in age and youth,
can feel the Spirit, hear the call,
and find the way, the life, the truth,
revealed in Jesus, freed for all.

Christ is alive and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring
with joy, with justice, love, and praise.

Brian Wren (b. 1936)

Let me join my prayers with others today

Loving God,
for the times I have seen you journeying with me,
I am thankful.

Gracious God,
for the times I have seen others journeying with you,
I am humbled,

Holy God,
for the times I have not recognised your journeying with me,
I am sorry.

Forgiving God,
thank you for the assurance
that you will continue to journey with me.

Living God, in my journey this week
help me to see glimpses of your good news
so that my heart burns within me. 

Amen.

Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35

The Walk to Emmaus

13 On that same day two of Jesus’ followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; 16 they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him. 17 Jesus said to them, “What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along?”

They stood still, with sad faces. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have been happening there these last few days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did. 20 Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. 21 And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. 22 Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, 23 but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24 Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.”

25 Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! 26 Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?” 27 And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets.

28 As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther; 29 but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Wasn’t it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others 34 and saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!”

35 The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized the Lord when he broke the bread.

Reading taken from Biblegateway.com Good News Translation (GNT)
Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Time to Reflect

Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… do join us!

If you would like to listen to a sermon for Easter Sunday by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below

Click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings

and/or read the reflection from the Connexional resources below here…

Two friends are walking down a road together in a place of deep despair and sadness.  They can barely get their heads around what has happened because they ‘had hoped’ for something so different.  A stranger begins to walk alongside them and, to their complete amazement, the events that have so rocked their world seem to have passed him by.  How can he not have heard what has been going on?  Where has he been?  It seems impossible that anyone could be walking that road and not know what they have been through.

We too are living through troubling times at the moment and may feel as if we hoped for something so different.  I wonder if, like me, there are times you have walked the road of despair over the last weeks.  I definitely think that if any of us crossed paths with someone who seemed to know nothing of our journey, we’d have a few questions too! 

Yet in that place of despair, even when they do not know it, Christ journeys with the disciples.  More than that, he opens up the scripture in a way that clearly energises and invigorates them despite their hurt and pain.  Then, in that simple, every day act of breaking bread, they see anew the presence of Christ among them.

I wonder if, as we have travelled our current road individually and together, you too have been surprised by Christ?  Have you experienced any bread-breaking moments of recognizing the presence of Jesus?  What scriptures or prayers or hymns have you found particularly speaking to your heart? 

I invite you to reflect on this for a moment.

For me, I have been surprised by the many ways people have found to continue to be church without our familiar patterns of meeting and worshipping.  Christ has been present in acts of hospitality and prayer, in phone calls and stillness and my heart has burned within me even as I have felt despair.     

Take a time to sit quietly and ask Christ to be present for you in new ways this week.

A time of prayer

As you prepare to pray, you may find it helpful to reflect on this hymn verse (see StF 66):

‘This, this is the God we adore,
our faithful unchangeable friend,
whose love is as great as his power,
and neither knows measure nor end’
Joseph Hart

Faithful God, you are present in all aspects of life even when people don’t see it.  We call on you today to send your Spirit to bring comfort and peace to all who find their path ahead difficult.

We pray for your church
and all those seeking ways to be church in these times.
May they recognise your living presence.

We pray for the world
and all those seeking to offer leadership in the midst of uncertainty.
May they recognise your living presence.

We pray for all those who suffer at this time in body, mind or spirit.
May they recognise your living presence.

We pray for all who are bereaved
whether through the loss of loved ones or the loss of human contact.
May they recognise your living presence.

Merciful God, accept these our prayers today
in and through the name of the living Christ. 
May we too recognise your living presence
in the week ahead and trust in you for all that is to come.

Hannah’s Creative Prayer

This week I chose a 5 finger prayer.
Start with your thumb and work round to your little finger.
Hold your thumb and prayer for family and friends.
Hold your next finger and prayer for leaders and teachers.
Hold your next finger and prayer for the government and authority.
Hold your next finger and prayer for the weak or sick
and finally hold your little finger and pray for yourself.

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

Hymn StF 471: Lord I come to you

Listen to or sing along to this hymn

Lord, I come to you,
let my heart be changed, renewed,
flowing from the grace
that I found in you.
And Lord, I’ve come to know
the weaknesses I see in me
will be stripped away
by the power of your love.

Hold me close,
let your love surround me;
bring me near, draw me to your side.
And as I wait,
I’ll rise up like the eagle,
and I will soar with you,
your Spirit leads me on
in the power of your love.

Lord, unveil my eyes,
let me see you face to face,
the knowledge of your love
as you live in me.
Lord, renew my mind,
as your will unfolds in my life
in living every day
by the power of your love.

Geoff Bullock (b. 1956)

A prayer of blessing – adapted from a traditional Celtic prayer

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the presence of Christ
Wherever you are on the road.

Original Materials by Rev Lorna Valentine, North Bedfordshire Circuit
Songs published under CCLI No 882296

One thought on “Sunday 26th April – Worship@home Service materials

  1. Thank you Susan for affirming all of scripture as important, and how knowing Jesus we can see Jesus in both Old and New Testament.

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