This is the service, prepared by Bruno, for this day.
You can listen to it by clicking the play button below, and/or follow the service in the text (also below).
Sunday 19th April 2020
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Call to worship
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness so that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord , who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen
God of justice and forgiveness, we are aware of our sinful desires and our tendency to put ourselves before you. We confess that we are weak and ungrateful for what we have and that in our own lives we do not always do what is right or turn away from what is wrong. We ask for your forgiveness, we claim your love and mercy and we ask for courage to make a new beginning. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Jesus said: “Your sins are forgiven”, he also said “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother”.
The Lord’s prayer
At the Saviour’s command and formed by His divine teaching we pray together:
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
New Testament Reading:
Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 22-32
But Peter standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and listen to what I say.
You that are Israelites listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders and signs that God did through Him among you and you yourselves know; this man handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised Him up, having freed Him from death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
For David said concerning Him ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore, my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my flesh will live in hope. For You will not abandon my soul to hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence’.
Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David, spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying:
‘He was not abandoned to hades, nor did His flesh experience corruption’
This Jesus, God raised up, and of that, all of us are witnesses.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for each one of us to listen to Saint Peter and what he is saying in this passage. Peter’s argument is addressed to his people because he is aware that they will know the Bible of their time, the Old Testament, therefore, Peter’s words would make sense to them. His key point here is that Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified and killed, has been raised from the dead by God.
But he also says that the Israelites should not be surprised by this unique event because the Scriptures already warned them that the Messiah was going to die and be raised from the dead. Therefore, the conclusion is that Jesus is the expected Messiah.
Peter proves his argument by mentioning Psalm 16 and Psalm 110, both of them written by king David who is recognised as a prophet by the Jewish people. In our reading we only have the mentioning of Psalm 16 but if you proceed further you will find Peter’s argument on Psalm 110. Psalm 16 is very clear that the Messiah will die but not experience corruption of the flesh.
So, Peter is appealing to all the people to believe in Jesus because Peter and the other disciples are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.
The Holy Spirit did not come just for the disciples present at Pentecost, He came for all disciples of Christ throughout history so that by His power, we too can meet the risen Lord Jesus in our lives.
But to meet Him, it is not necessary to be like Thomas and touch His pierced hands. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”.
His mother Mary, for example, believed what the angel of the Lord told her even before she gave birth to Jesus. She conceived the Word of God in her heart before she conceived Him in her body. If we practice our faith to believe like Mary did, we will also see and hear the risen Lord Jesus in every moment of our lives. And that is a true reason for joy. And we will also go out courageously like Peter and the other disciples to deliver the Word of God to the rest of the world. Amen
Prayers of Intercession
Lord God, you are in our midst, and through your resurrection you renew us in your love. Pour your grace upon us during this time of prayer.
Sow in the hearts of Christians the spirit of joy, that we may proclaim the risen Christ.
Bless those who alert us to the needs of others and all your creation. Give us hearts that are enlarged with hope and love for all your creatures.
Be with those who have no faith and those whose faith in You and in humanity has been diminished. Instil in your children the light of faith so that many may see that light and come with open hearts. Daughter of Jerusalem, sing and shout for joy, for the Lord has risen. Alleluia
Hymn: Amazing Grace
The blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you always. Amen
Rev. Bruno Boldrini