Sunday, April 11th
God, Faith, and the Pandemic Steve Ware prayers of the people the Lord’s Prayer readings John 20:19-31 1 John 1:1-2:2 song NCH 254, “These Things Did Thomas Count” meditation community notes song NCH 256, “We Live by Faith and Not by Sight” benediction sending music Hymn Lyrics: NCH 238: “Now the Green Blade Rises,” Text: John M.C. Crum, 1928, alt; Tune: “Noel Nouvelet,” French carol, 15th cent. v. 1: Now the green blade rises from the buried grain; wheat that in dark earth for many days has lain; love lives again, that with the dead has been: Love is come again like wheat that rises green. v. 2: In the grave they laid their Love, whom hate had slain, thinking that their Love would never wake again, laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen: Love is come again like wheat that rises green. v. 3: Christ came forth at Easter, like the risen grain, Jesus, who for three days in the grave had lain, quick from the dead the risen One is seen: Love is come again like wheat that rises green. v. 4: When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain, Christ’s warm touch can call us back to life again, fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: Love is come again like wheat that rises green. NCH 254: “These Things Did Thomas Count,” Text: Thomas H. Troeger, 1984; Tune: “Distress,” The Sacred Harp, 1844, arr. Jonathan McNair, 1993. v. 1: These things did Thomas count as real: the warmth of blood, the chill of steel, the grain of wood, the heft of stone, the last frail twitch of flesh and bone. v. 2: The vision of his skeptic mind was keen enough to make him blind to any unexpected act too large for his small world of fact. v. 3: His reasoned certainties denied that one could live when one had died, until his fingers read like Braille the markings of the spear and nail. v. 4: May we, O God, by grace believe and thus the risen Christ receive, whose raw, imprinted palms reached out and beckoned Thomas from his doubt. NCH 256; “We Live by Faith and Not by Sight,” Text: Henry Alford, 1844, alt; Tune: “Dunlap’s Creek, Samuel McFarland, c. 1816. v. 1: We live by faith and not by sight; no gracious words we hear from Christ who spoke as none e’er spoke, who still we know is near. v. 2: We may not touch Christ’s hands and side, nor follow where Christ trod; but in confessing we rejoice: our Savior and our God! v. 3: Help then, O Christ, our unbelief; and may our faith abound to call on you when you are near and seek where you are found: v. 4: That, when our life of faith is done, in realms of clearer light we may behold you as you are, with full and endless sight.