Submitted by Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies. Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! We have not seen the risen Christ, But we see him in the lives of those transformed by grace. We have not seen Jesus face-to-face, But we have seen him in the faces of everyone whose love encourages us. We have not touched the wounds from the cross, But we have been called to bring healing to the scarred of the world.
Submitted by Stephen Fearing. Resurrected God, though we have hidden ourselves in a locked room and huddled together as ones who build barriers, send your Living Word through our locked doors and into our guarded hearts that we might be witnesses of your grace and couriers of your goodness. By the power of your Holy Spirit, grant us the trust to believe the Gospel not because we see it but because we have been seen by it and transformed through it. Amen.
The following Call to Worship is from Martha Spong. One: Christ is risen! Many: Now what? One: The disciples clung to each other. They huddled in the upper room, waiting. Many: Would the authorities come to take them, too? One: Instead, Jesus himself appeared, despite the locked door. Many: What next? One: Next came doubts and questions, assurances and instructions, and a last word: Many: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” One: Christ is risen! Now what? Many: Now we come together to wait for him. One: May the risen Christ bless us as we worship what we have not seen, yet believe.
Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, First Congregational Church, North Yarmouth Maine via LiturgyLink.Net.
submitted by Scott Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church, Lexington, Kentucky via LiturgyLink.Net. a prayer of confession for the Second Sunday of Easter.
God, we are so much like the disciples that it isn’t even funny. We’re afraid…scared to go outside and live resurrected lives; scared to disconnect ourselves from systems that devalue other people; scared to challenge the status quo, because standing up to it will place us on the outside of our own comfortable, privileged, lives. Like Thomas, we want tangible proof, tangible results, and tangible rewards. And until you deliver, we will stay where we are. And where we are is exactly where we don’t belong. So please, forgive our complacency, and draw us to richer, fuller, resurrected lives, even now, as we offer our silent confessions…
One of my favorite Nickel Creek Songs, "Doubting Thomas" is a great way to get the gears going for preparation for the Second Sunday in Lent (Year C). You can listen to the beautiful song here. Doubting Thomas by Nickel Creek
What will be left when I've drawn my last breath Besides the folks I've met and the folks who've known me Will I discover a soul-saving love Or just the dirt above and below me
I'm a doubting Thomas I took a promise But I do not feel safe Oh me of little faith
Sometimes I pray for a slap in the face Then I beg to be spared cause I'm a coward If there's a master of death I bet he's holding his breath As I show the blind and tell the deaf about his power
I'm a doubting Thomas I can't keep my promises Cause I don't know what's safe Oh me of little faith
Can I be used to help others find truth When I'm scared I'll find proof that it's a lie Can I be led down a trail dropping bread crumbs That prove I'm not ready to die
Please give me time to decipher the signs Please forgive me for time that I've wasted
I'm a doubting Thomas I'll take your promise Though I know nothin's safe Oh me of little faith
The following poem is a piece by Thomas Troeger and is a beautiful piece of art. Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
These things did Thomas count as real: the warmth of blood, the chill of steel, the grain of wood, the heft of stone, the last frail twitch of flesh and bone.
The vision of his skeptic mind was keen enough to make him blind to any unexpected act too large for his small world of fact.
His reasoned certainties denied that one could live when one had died, until his fingers read like Braille the markings of the spear and nail.
May we, O God, by grace believe And thus the risen Christ receive, whose raw, imprinted palms reach out - and beckoned Thomas from his doubt.
-Thomas Troeger copyright 1994 Oxford University Press