Second Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday Peter stands trial before the council: we must obey God (Acts 5:27–32). The psalmist sings: Praise the Lord! Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! (Psalm 150) The apostle John writes: Jesus is coming; I am the Alpha and Omega, says the Lord (Revelation 1:4–8). In John, Jesus shares the Holy Spirit; a week later, he appears to Thomas (John 20:19–31).

Lectionary Readings

Acts 5:27–32

27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Psalm 150

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Revelation 1:4–8

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7 Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.

So it is to be. Amen.

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

John 20:19–31

19 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.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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.”

26 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.” 27 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 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.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 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.

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!

Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!

Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Prayer of Renewal

Based on John 20:19-31

Lord Jesus, we are grateful
that you are present among your people;
that you have given us the Holy Spirit
to be our Advocate and Teacher.
Help us to forgive others as we have been forgiven.
As with Thomas, remove our doubts
and fears and grant us peace.
Give us faith to believe in what we do not see;
that we may have life in your name. Amen.

Affirmation of Fatih

Based on Revelation 1:5-8

Brothers and sisters, what do we believe concerning the church and the return of Christ?

We believe that Jesus loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father.

We believe all glory and dominion belong to him forever and ever.

We believe that one day he will be coming with the clouds;
and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.

We believe Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega,
the one who is and who was and who is to come.

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