Readings and Prayers: 31st March and 7th April 2024

Hello everyone,

Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We have arrived at last through the pilgrimage of Lent, through Holy Week, to Easter. Let us pray for all Christians, in our churches and around the world, as we celebrate together all our Saviour has done for us and for many.

Two lots of readings, prayers, and notices for you this week as the Team Office will be unstaffed for the week after Easter.  

Services this week:

Easter Sunday there will be Easter Celebration services at Appleby and Snarestone, Easter Holy Communion at Measham, Normanton, Swepstone and Donisthorpe at the Wesleyan Reform Chapel in Moira, and a Family Easter Holy Communion service at Packington, all at 10.00am.

 

Looking ahead:

Activeage meet at 11.00am also on Wednesday in Measham Church Hall;

Packington Church have Toastie Thursday for the School Easter holidays at 12.00noon to 2.00pm with toasties, cakes and drinks, and crafts.

On Sunday (7th) there will be 10.00am services of Holy Communion at Measham and Snarestone, Morning Prayer at Normanton and Swepstone, and a Service of the Word at Packington.

On Friday (12th), Measham will be hosting a quiz night in the Church Hall at 7.30pm. This is open to everyone and details can be found on the websites' calendars. If you would like to enter a team, please contact Helen Phillips on 0783 7723775

 

Woodfield Team prayer

God our Father, you long to draw all people into your love.

Increase in number your church throughout the Woodfield Team; deepen us as followers and learners of Christ; and give us courage to share the good news of your kingdom.

We pray this in the power of your Spirit, to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Collect for Sunday 31st March – Easter Sunday

God of glory,

by the raising of your Son

you have broken the chains of death and hell:

fill your Church with faith and hope;

for a new day has dawned

and the way to life stands open

in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

Reading for 31st March – John 20:1-18 New International Version (UK)

The empty tomb

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

 

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’

‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ 14 At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’

She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).

17 Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Collect for Sunday 7th April – The Second Sunday of Easter

Risen Christ,

for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:

open the doors of our hearts,

that we may seek the good of others

and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,

to the praise of God the Father.

Amen

 

Reading for 7th April – John 20:19-31 New International Version (UK)

Jesus appears to his disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’

 

Jesus appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’

But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’

28 Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

29 Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

 

The purpose of John’s gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

Prayers for today:

We pray:

Christ is risen, and the power of his resurrection fills the world today with new life, hope and expectation and so we bring him all our needs.

  • Faithful God, we think of your church today celebrating the Resurrection all over the world. Language, race, and nationalities may be different but our worship and our joy at Jesus’ resurrection make us one in the Gospel. We pray that the Holy Spirit may guide and strengthen us in mission and service and that day by day we may grow in love for you, and for our neighbour.
  • Creator God, we pray for the leaders of the nations of the world that they may give priority to those with greatest need in the distribution of the world’s resources. We especially pray on this special day for peace in the world and for countries where there is war and conflict.
  • We pray for family, friends, and neighbours who have not yet recognised that Jesus died and rose again for everyone. Help them to see and realise the possibilities that accepting him into their lives will bring.
  • Compassionate God, just as the stone of Christ’s tomb was rolled away so roll away the stones of illness, despair, worry, and fear and pour the light and joy of his resurrection into those whose lives are hard and who are presently suffering. Give them the comfort and peace which the world cannot give.
  • Merciful God, we pray that those who have recently died may share in the promise of new life won for us all by the resurrection of your Son and his triumph over death and the grave.
  • Heavenly Father, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son. Grant that, as his death has recalled us to life, so his continual presence in us may raise us to eternal joy.
  • He is Risen! May we rejoice in the good news, steadfastly living resurrection lives reflecting your love in our families, our churches, and our communities, so that the world can witness that we are followers of Christ and draw others into his loving care.

 

Amen.

 

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