Carlops Online Worship, 18th April 2021

3rd Sunday in Easter


Lighting of candles:     Adam, Galina


Call to Worship:           Murray



Leader       So you want to see the risen Jesus?

                  Remember to look in the less likely places:

All              not in the Temple, but by the lakeside;

Leader       not in full view, but hidden in plain sight;

All              not dining with the rich, but preparing food to share;
       not in the centres of power, but always on the margins.

All             Come and see!



Hymn 606:  Lord, you sometimes speak in wonders


Lord, you sometimes speak in wonders,

unmistakable and clear,

mighty signs that show your presence,

overcoming doubt and fear.


Lord, you sometimes speak in whispers,

still and small and scarcely heard;

only those who want to listen

catch the all-important word.


Lord, you sometimes speak in silence,

through our loud and noisy day;

we can know and trust you better

when we quietly wait and pray.


Lord, you sometimes speak in Scripture,

words that summon from the page,

shown and taught us by your Spirit

with fresh light for every age.   

Lord, you always speak in Jesus,

always new yet still the same:

teach us now more of our Saviour,

make our lives display his Name.



Reading:                      Rennie

Luke 24: 36-48   Jesus Appears to His Disciples


While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.  He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?   Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.  Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”


And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.  While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”   They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.


Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”   Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.



Reflection:                   Mary


Resurrection in our lives

“I just don’t know what to believe!”  How often have you heard or said it?   “I hear this; read that; some sounds believable, some incredible; some is so way out it must be ridiculous.  I know I need to make a choice but I’m not sure I even understand what the choice is”. 


Our lives are full of such challenges. Some are small and close to home, not too difficult to resolve; others are painful, widely shared and potentially life changing.  Here we find the disciples distraught with grief and guilt.  Along come people who tell them that maybe it isn’t as bad as they think.  How are they supposed to make sense of what is happening? 


They had been in the heart of the movement.  They should have been the ones who could first rejoice that Jesus was alive again. Yet how often had He despaired at their inability to understand what he was telling them?  Unable to comprehend a bigger picture they had constantly struggled to believe that He must die and could not imagine being left leaderless and lost.


They had been the people who guided forward those who strove to approach Jesus. Yet how often had He reversed their decisions, asking for the little ones to come to him, the sick, the blind at the roadside – despite the disciples’ protestations?  How is it that, then as now, those who think themselves close to power tend to assume they know what ‘s needed?  Yet, it’s often those on the edges of inclusion who push the old beliefs out the way of those in the centre and turn the story round. 


What were the disciples thinking confronted by a physical presence?   Not a ghost. What then?  How should they think about the possibility of resurrection?  What would it mean for them?  If they could speak to us now, how might they describe what they felt then?


“We were so slow to get it.  Looking back now we can’t understand why we were so slow on the uptake.  We were the chosen disciples.  We should have been the first to understand but we seemed to be the last. 


The women came to us with messages from the tomb, unlikely messages, we thought, and we were still trying to process what we had witnessed ourselves – that empty tomb.  Then our friends came rushing in having walked all the way to Emmaus and back!  At first we just stared at each other confused and uncertain, unable to grasp what seemed obvious to others.  We had no concept of a bigger picture.

Have you ever heard the word, “Eureka”?  It’s perfect for how we felt that day, when suddenly the stories, the rumours, all came crashing in on us as the reality of what was happening came to life, right in front of us. 


Ann Lewin (writing “as Zaccaeus”)


I walk tall now.

After all the years of having to make my mark

by fair means or foul, I know myself valued.

Elbowed out of the way, forced to assert myself

the only way I knew by getting rich at your expense,

even having to climb a tree because you wouldn’t let me see.


And then he saw me, looked and saw me

scared that my littleness would keep me down.

He looked and said “It’s you I want,

Come down and let me join you at your house”.

And now I’ll never be the same again.


Zaccaeus himself might have told us …


My resurrection story is told on the edge of acceptance, too small to see, too loathed to be included, too distant up that tree to be touched, yet he called me down and spoke, and ate in my house.  I was on the edge and it was there, new life was born.  I am alive again.


One of the definitions for resurrection offered by The Cambridge Dictionary is bringing back into use something that had disappeared or ended.  There is nothing theological about that definition – any thinking person may recognise examples in their own lives or circumstances.   So, how does the power of resurrection influence the way we live our lives?  This isn’t a question of belief but rather how we understand what it offers each of us.  Are its implications embedded in our everyday living or is it a puzzling or troublesome concept infusing the edges of our lives?  Paying lip service to it through reciting doctrine has less impact and fewer consequences than trusting its liberating lifestyle.


Returning to the disciples we hear them continue “We thought we had it all buttoned down, that we understood what was happening”.  But again Jesus revealed that his ways were far beyond our ways.  “The message about repentance and forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations” he said. “You are my witnesses”.


There are so many parallels for us in our own situation with our experience during the pandemic.  As a church we are perhaps in the place, where the disciples stood long ago.  What have we learned?  How creative need we be?  Can we trust in resurrection as a lifestyle – welcoming the Holy Spirit to be active in all we do, in our care for all God’s people and His whole creation?  The power of the resurrection lies in each one of us day by day.



Prayer:                         Julie


Let us pray

Dear Lord, we approach you today in a moment of stillness in a busy world – to bring our hopes and prayers before you.

We are thankful that you can appear to us as you did to the disciples, surprising us and bringing understanding and transformation – through the example you have given us, through your spirit, through the words and actions of others and through this beautiful natural world you gave to us to care for and enjoy.

Today let us make time to consider your presence with us.

Lord we pray for all those who mourn at this time. Fill their hearts with the love they felt from those who have gone. We especially bring Elizabeth our Queen before you as she grieves for her husband. Grant her privacy at this time.

We pray today for the future of Scotland as we decide which politicians to elect to govern us. Lord help us as a country to see through the political machines, the spin and the bluster and choose people who will put the disadvantaged first.

We pray also for the future of our church and our new linkage, may we grow together and encourage each other through fellowship and worship.


Let us take a moment now to pray for things close to our own hearts.


Our God, we pray for people everywhere who are helpless against forces of destruction – people caught in war, poverty, famine, genocide and ethnic cleansing. Whatever we can do to help, let us do it.

We ask that the world is moved to share resources, funds, vaccines and advances for the good of all.

Lord, you have blessed us with all we have – in thanks let us use our faculties, our skills and our means, if we can spare some, to enrich the lives of other people.

We ask these things in Jesus’ name, amen.



Hymn 417: Now the green blade riseth


Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,

wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;

love lives again, that with the dead has been:

Love is come again,

like wheat that springeth green.


In the grave they laid him, Love that men had slain,

thinking that never he would wake again,

laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:


Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,

he that for three days in the grave had lain,

quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen;


When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,

thy touch can call us back to life again,

fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:



Benediction:                Mary


May we go from here, full of hope and joy.
May we go from here, knowing that through the resurrection,
we are forgiven, loved and free.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
we go in peace, in joy, and in love.




Sung Blessing:    May the God of peace go with us

                           as we travel from this place;

                           may the love of Jesus keep us

                           firm in hope and full of grace.