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  • Rev. Daniel Benson

2nd Sunday of Easter, April 19th

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!!

Welcome to the Season of Easter:

From Easter Sunday (April 12th) to Pentecost (May 31st)

Preamble / info.

In the light of the good advice from health authorities that we practice ‘physical distancing’ during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not worshiping in person at the church.

However, Jesus promises that where two or three are gathered, He will be there. So, we can gather in spirit, sharing the Word, hymns, and prayers that bind us together as followers of Jesus and people of God.

We may not be in the same room, and we may not even be doing this at the same moment in time; but, along with millions of people around the world in any number of languages, we are worshiping God and caring for one another.

In preparation, you may want to have a candle handy (either a real candle or one of those little battery-operated ones). We always light candles in church because they remind of the presence and beauty of God.

God be with you!

A Prayer:

“Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true; with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.” These words, O God, gifted to us in a song we sometimes sing in church, capture my prayer this morning to you. As I come into the sanctuary of your presence, dear Lord, and find safety and refuge in the sanctuary of Christ’s resurrection, help me become the sanctuary that you would have me be: pure and holy, tried and true. In these extraordinary times when we can’t gather together in your house, help me become your dwelling place, a sanctuary where your Spirit lives, where Jesus’ love is known, and where all the people I meet will see your Grace in me, as I seek it in them. Amen.

Lighting of the candle.

In the light of the Risen Christ we light a candle, celebrating our faith that God raised Jesus from death to life. We confess, in the truth of the resurrection, that no darkness can overcome God’s light in the world. Thanks be to God!


Hail Thee Festival Day: The words of this Easter hymn were written by Venantius Fortunatus, ca 582 (Yes, that’s correct – almost 1500 years ago! This is for those who like the ‘old favourites!’). Translated by Maurice Bell and set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906.

Scripture Readings.

Today’s reading recounts Jesus’ appearance to the disciples, and the doubt of Thomas. John 20: 19 – 31. You can listen to me read it, or read it yourself (Suggestion: it’s a glorious story, so read it aloud with a bit of drama!).

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

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!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

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

Jesus Appears to Thomas

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.”

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!” 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.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

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

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 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.

May we grow in wisdom, faith, love, and charity through these words of Holy Scripture.

Sermon: Never place a period...

Music: “Because He Lives.”

In my sermon, I mentioned the wisdom of Gracie Allen. George Burns was often seen as the ‘smart’ one and Gracie as the rather silly ‘straight man’ to George’s act. The wisdom of her theological insights (noted above), and watching her perfect comedic timing and nuance, suggests their roles may have been reversed. Note how she never actually lets the story come to a period, but keeps inserting commas in the following skit:

Video: George Burns and Gracie Allen.


In Easter God promises that life will triumph over death, good over evil, love over hate, and faith over fear. This is the Good News, given by Jesus, shared with one another. It is both a gift and a birthright of those who follow Christ.

Our offering is a both a practical and symbolic act of our commitment to serve Christ and build His church. Although we can’t actually ‘pass the plate’ online, you are encouraged to continue your gift to the church, as the work of the St Paul’s and the staff continue:

· Drop your envelope (cheque or cash) at the church;

· Mail your cheque to the church;

· Go on PAR (call Rosie for details);

· Use the Donate button at the top of the page (it will take you to SPUC’s Canada Helps page where you can donate online and get an instant tax receipt).

May my gifts of time, talent, and treasure generously and lovingly offered be used faithfully to do build God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven!


Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion “The Prayer”

Closing Prayer: Prayer in Virulent Times (after St. Patrick)

We bind onto ourselves the loving power of God our Creator, the enlivening power of the Spirit of Truth, and the steadfast faithfulness of Jesus Christ.

We bind onto ourselves the glories of the earth, this gift: the power of heaven, the light of the sun, the brightness of the moon, the splendour of fire, the flashing of lightning, the swiftness of wind, the depth of the sea, the stability of the earth.

Against the power of viruses, against the sweep of pandemics, against the selfishness that hoards for oneself, against the anxiety that gnaws at our hearts, good Lord, protect us.

Against sickness and pain, good Lord protect us. For all who do the work of caring for the sick, good Lord preserve them. For all who are grieving, and cannot be comforted, good Lord, hear our prayer.

We bind to ourselves today God's eye to watch over us, God's ear to hear us, God's word to give us speech, God's hand to guide us. Christ with us, Christ before us, Christ behind us, Christ within us, Christ beneath us, Christ above us, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.

With the steadfastness of God, our Rock, and the love of Christ that will not let us go, and the Spirit of Hope, who gives us peace, we go into this day.

© Carol Penner


Let us go into the world with a daring and tender heart; let us go in peace, the world is waiting.

And whatever we do, may we do it as a Resurrection People: followers of Jesus, bearers of God’s Light, and living signs of the Spirit’s fellowship.

Closing notes:

· Don’t forget to extinguish your candle!

· As an exercise in keeping in touch with your SPUC family, we’re inviting everyone to open their Church Directory, find your own name and then count down the list by 10 names and call that person. They might be a good friend, they might be a casual acquaintance at church, or they may be someone you don’t know. Give them a call and wish them peace in the name of Christ, and just see how they’re doing.

· I’m grateful for Carol Penner for her eloquent prayers, ©

· The opening prayer was inspired by the words to “Lord Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary,” by John W. Thompson and Randy Scruggs, MV 18.

· Remember to Zoom into Coffee Time at 11:30 after 'church' on Sunday, and Emma’s Hymn-a-long on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

Rev. Dan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: After Church Coffee Time Time: Apr 19, 2020 11:30 AM America/Toronto Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 829 432 3094 One tap mobile +15873281099,,8294323094# Canada +16473744685,,8294323094# Canada Dial by your location +1 587 328 1099 Canada +1 647 374 4685 Canada +1 647 558 0588 Canada +1 778 907 2071 Canada +1 438 809 7799 Canada Meeting ID: 829 432 3094

Emma Wallace is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: Hymn-a-long Time: Apr 19, 2020 02:00 PM America/Toronto Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 829 432 3094 One tap mobile +15873281099,,8294323094# Canada +16473744685,,8294323094# Canada Dial by your location +1 587 328 1099 Canada +1 647 374 4685 Canada +1 647 558 0588 Canada +1 778 907 2071 Canada +1 438 809 7799 Canada Meeting ID: 829 432 3094

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Apr 19, 2020

Thank you Rev Dan and all of you who worked together providing us this wonderful service this morning. Happy Easter to my extended Greek Orthodox family. Today I will take down my palm from my the front door.

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