The first of the seven weeks of Easter has passed. For seven days so far the church has relished the joy of discovering that Calvary was no dead-end but rather the birth-place of boundless possibilities. The shell of sin and death has been shattered and new life has burst forth. The wounds in Jesus’ flesh remain, but have become signs of divine power promising us forgiveness, freedom and joy in the Spirit. AS they once called Thomas, so now they call us to faith in Jesus the Christ, the Father’s beloved Son. In their Spirit we cry and shout, 'Alleluia!'
Dear friends, we gather as an Easter people, blessed with faith in Jesus, Son of God and risen Lord. Let us gather the whole of creation into our loving prayer.
1. For leaders of every faith tradition, that they will bear witness to the living truth and call all believers to lives of loving service, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
2. For Christian communities around the world, that inspired by the example of the first Jerusalem community they will be united in joyful prayer and generous fellowship, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
3. For the war-stricken people of Syria and the starving peoples of Yemen and East Africa, that their terrible suffering will come to an end and the aid they desperately need be provided, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
4. For the national communities of Australia and New Zealand, that this year’s observance of Anzac Day will deepen their resolve to work untiringly for peace, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
5. For journalists and reporters in all forms of media, that they will dedicate themselves to search for the truth and put their gifts at the service of our common humanity, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
6. For workplace managers, that they will do all they can to ensure that workers are fairly paid, kept safe from harm, and treated with dignity and respect, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
7. For those who have never learnt to read, that even late in life they will be blessed with gifted teachers and with ready access to the wonderful world of books, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
8. For the young people of the world being consulted in preparation for the 2018 Synod of Bishops, that they will speak their minds freely and be well heard, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
9. For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will inherit the glory being kept for them in the heavens, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
Good and everlasting God, you have made the stone rejected by the builders the corner-stone of your dwelling-place with us. Give us the faith of Thomas the apostle to acclaim Jesus as our Lord and God, forever and ever. Amen.