Worship at Home
Worship for 18th April 2021
The Road to Emmaus
To listen to the sermon and a hymn dial
Sunday 18th April
Rev Phil Snelson has prepared this week’s message
This short act of worship is for use from home. Please use this service whenever you like during the week.
Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.
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Call to Worship – 1 Peter 1
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,4 and God has reserved for his children the priceless gift of eternal life.
Let us pray,
O Lord, we come to you this day, to hear your word and to rejoice in your presence in our lives, now, and always.
StF 313: Thine be the Glory
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory
thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes
where thy body lay:
Thine be the glory,
risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory
thou o’er death hast won.
Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness
hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth,
death hath lost its sting:
No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life;
life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors
through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan
to thy home above:
Edmond Budry; translated R Birch Hoyle; music G F Handel
Prayer of Confession
Lord God, as we continue to celebrate the season of Easter with all the joy and hope it brings, we give you our thanks and praise.
As we are experiencing springtime and the resurrection of nature after the dark chill of winter, we give you our thanks and praise.
As we reflect on the faithfulness of your immeasurable, eternal love for all, we give you our thanks and praise.
If we have lost the wonder and delight of the Easter good news: Forgive us, Lord.
When we do not have real regard for your creation, and live selfishly: Forgive us, Lord
For those times when we neglect to respond to your care for us, by our inaction: Forgive us, Lord.
(We bring to God, those things which we are sorry for)
Forgive us, Lord.
Jesus’ words assure us of this love.
“My child, your sins are forgiven.”
The Hope of Eternal Life
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!
38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he ate it as they watched.
44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ 48 You are witnesses of all these things.
49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
Time to Reflect…
I am quite struck by Jesus’ emphasis on the physical in this part of Luke’s record. In our day and age, we seem to have slipped into a way of thinking that eternity is more a continuity of the soul / spirit with the body left behind forever. But resurrection is as much a physical thing. Yet for Jesus it is not the same as with Lazarus which seemed more of a healing from death: with Jesus it is a passing through death and on, never to go there again. And having passed through death, he showed them his hands and his feet, and invited them to touch him to see that he was really there, not a ghost or some kind of disembodied spirit. He even asked for fish to eat to show them that he was physically alive. When you think about it, it’s the being physically alive that makes it resurrection as well as eternal life and Jesus scars emphasise our continuity into eternity:–
You will still be you, and I will still be me!
Do you realise that the ultimate Biblical vision is not that we go to heaven to be with God, but that He comes to earth – a new and perfect earth on which God lives among his people (Rev 21). Just as God created everything in the beginning, there is a physical element to eternity to be enjoyed in the wonderful presence of God, without the harps and the clouds for cushions… and without any suffering or sickness or pain, without death or decay. A joyful, truly fulfilled existence sharing with God himself in the running of his world, just as he always planned.
In his first letter Peter wrote to the early church – the same Peter to whom Jesus appeared that first Easter day – and he wrote about the confidence and security that we can have about receiving eternal life because of the reality of Jesus’ resurrection. The Living Bible interprets it particularly well for us:
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,4 and God has reserved for his children the priceless gift of eternal life; it is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And God, in his mighty power, will make sure that you get there safely to receive it because you are trusting him. It will be yours in that coming last day for all to see. 6 So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here.
1 Peter 1: 3-6
Isn’t that so encouraging!
There is a lot more to this key issue of resurrection than we tend to realise – but that will have to be for another sermon on another day soon. I seem to be running out of time, and my sandwich is getting cold!
For now, we will note the fundamental point that Jesus’ resurrection makes all the difference.
Jesus’ resurrection makes all the difference: without it he was only a man who died a horrible unjust death; one religious leader among all the others. But because he is risen and has overcome death Jesus is totally unique. His promise of forgiveness has all the authority in the world, and we have a wonderful, powerful, confident hope that by faith in him, we too will be raised to be with him forever.
Jesus’ resurrection makes all the difference. The challenge for us now is to be asking,
“How am I going to think more, talk more, celebrate more and give Jesus’ resurrection a greater emphasis in my daily life?”
Take a time to sit quietly and reflect…
Time to Pray…
We pray for our world, for the environment and people, that all who have any power or influence will work with integrity and wisdom, and seek to bring healing to our planet, and peace and justice to all people.
We pray for the church; for those who are persecuted and suffer for their faith; for those who have experienced hurt instead of healing; for those who are wondering and doubtful. Lord bring your revelation and transformation.
We pray for family, friends and neighbours who are living through difficult times. Particularly those who are struggling with bereavement, isolation and loneliness, exacerbated by lockdowns.
(We call them to mind and bring them to God)
The Lord's Prayer
Please use the version that you prefer
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.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as 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
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.
Song: One day (When we all get to heaven)
One day You’ll make everything new, Jesus
One day You will bind every wound,
The former things shall all pass away,
No more tears.
One day You’ll make sense of it all, Jesus
One day every question resolved,
Every anxious thought left behind,
No more fear.
When we all get to heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory.
One day we will see face to face, Jesus,
Is there a greater vision of grace,
And in a moment we shall be changed,
On that day.
And one day we’ll be free, free indeed, Jesus
One day all this struggle will cease,
And we will see Your glory revealed,
On that day.
Matt Redman (C) 2017 Capitol Christian Music Group, Inc.
Final Prayer of Blessing
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honour at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
Service prepared by Rev Phil Snelson
Webpage: Paul Deakin