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Sunday Worship

Please join us for Worship
The service is led by Rev Tom Nelson, our Locum Minister at Cambuslang Parish Church, with Lorna Morrison again reading.

The music this week was recorded by the Music group remotely, as was one song last week, which has been an interesting experiment and one we hope to improve on.

The Communications Team, the AV Team, the Music Group and Piggery Brae have all contributed greatly to the production of these videos. We hope you enjoy, and we hope to continue to improve the variety and quality. Auto-generated Closed Captions are available.

Transcript

Today’s reading is particularly poignant for us, as we too can identify with being behind locked doors. With a raft of emotions – Concerned for the future, uncertain, perhaps, fearful and discouraged.

The Disciples had lost all hope for the future. Full of fear, empty of hope, they could see no prospect of life.  They had just witnessed their dear friend brutally tortured and then die a death of excruciating pain because of the Jewish authorities.  Would they continue their program of destruction and hunt down the disciples?

It is not difficult to understand what brought them together.  There had been so many strange happenings and marvellous experiences that day that a meeting was in order. Jesus had already appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the women, to Cleopas and his companion, and to Peter.  What they had seen was too wonderful for words. .  It is not at all surprising that the disciples found solace in each other’s company on the Sunday evening. Going over and over what had happened.

Inexplicably, Jesus came and stood amongst them. And the first words he uttered, “Peace be with you.” Locked doors could not keep the Risen Christ out.

There could be no doubt that this was their Lord who returned from the grave having given his life on the cross. He sought to reassure them and convince them that he had risen from the dead.

Offering peace for troubled, and fearful hearts. When peace bestowed by Christ enters the heart, anxiety is driven out.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14 27

The disciples were ecstatic. Luke tells us disbelieving for joy.  They were overwhelmed. Fear was replaced with God’s peace and their hearts were filled with joy.

Pope Francis in his Easter message related this to the Coronavirus pandemic: “Do not be afraid, do not yield to fear this Easter.”

Our focus is on the Risen Christ who comes to us offering peace.

We find ourselves behind locked doors, perhaps imprisoned by our own fears, fear for our friends or family.

Fears over the economy, employment, will life ever be that same again? Worried about the postponement of operations, or other treatment?

We face fears of all kinds but today we are reminded that Jesus stands amongst us offering peace.

Then Jesus gave them a future, a purpose in life.

“As the father has sent me, so I send you.”

They were to continue Jesus mission on earth, preaching forgiveness of sins. Exercising forgiveness.

They knew exactly what he meant.

He offered them forgiveness after they betrayed him, forsook him, denied him. They were experiencing the transforming power of forgiveness from the Lord they had let down so badly.

The disciples would receive the power of the Spirit of God.  Jesus used the descriptive language of breath for the spirit.  The same description we have in Genesis when God breathed his life into Adam and Eve.

The resurrected Christ breathed God’s creative spirit into these fearful, guilty hearts to transform them into bold witnesses for him.

There is a challenge for us all however and it in Thomas it is best expressed.  He was deeply sceptical that Jesus had appeared to his friends in his absence.

Despondent, stubborn, he insisted on direct proof.  Nervous, restless no doubt, he joins the others when Jesus stands amongst them. Jesus responds to his demands to see and touch the wounds.  It was enough to have his presence, “My lord and my God!”

The challenge?  It remains for all of us in our disappointments, our despondency and scepticism.

Stop doubting and believe. We have a glorious message to proclaim.

The key is faith in the work of Jesus in the cross, faith in his resurrection, faith in his power to equip you for the task he has ahead of you. Total dependence upon the love and power of God.  This is how we are to thrive in our relationships, to survive behind locked doors, and thrive in all our lives.

God’s generous love is demonstrated supremely at Easter time. The Love of God endures forever and is available to us all.

Quotes from the Bishop of London’s sermon at the Royal Wedding:

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely a power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres

We share that purpose of making the risen. Christ known by sharing his love for one another.

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