SUNDAY OF EASTER
Almighty and eternal God,
the strength of those who believe
and the hope of those who doubt,
may we, who have not seen, have faith
and receive the fullness of Christ's blessing,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS
Now the whole group of
those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed
private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned
was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their
testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace
was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as
many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds
of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was
distributed to each as any had need.
REFRAIN How good it for
all is to live together in unity.
how good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity!
is like fine oil upon the head that runs down upon the beard,
the beard of Aaron, and runs down upon the collar of his robe. R
is like the dew of Hermon that falls upon the hills of Zion.
there the Lord has ordained the blessing: life for evermore. R
READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF JOHN
We declare to you what
was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with
our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands,
concerning the word of life - this life was revealed, and we have
seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life
that was with the Father and was revealed to us - we declare to
you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have
fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that
our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from
him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no
darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while
we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but
if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son
cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our
sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and
cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not
sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little
children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not
sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for
our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole
1 JOHN 1:1-2:2
HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO JOHN
When it was evening on
that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house
where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with
you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his
side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus
said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has
sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed
on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you
forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the
sins of any, they are retained." But Thomas (who was called
the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the
Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of
the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails
and my hand in his side, I will not believe." A week later
his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them.
Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and
said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas,
"Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand
and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas
answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him,
"Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have come to believe." Now
Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which
are not written in this book. But these are written so that you
may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and
that through believing you may have life in his name.
OVER THE GIFTS
God of grace,
you have freed us from our sins
and made us a kingdom in your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Accept all we offer you this day,
and strengthen us in the new life you have given us,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
we have seen with our eyes
and touched with our hands
the bread of life.
Strengthen our faith
that we may grow in love for you and for each other;
through Jesus Christ the risen Lord.