North Hertfordshire Methodist Circuit. Worship prepared for Methodists at Baldock, Arlesey, Stotfold and High St Stevenage     

The second Sunday of Easter April 11, 2021

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use while we are unable to attend church.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.

11 april version 3 text (Click here to download)

Message from Our Minister:


Call to Worship

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We continue worship with a hymn saying that Christ is risen. That’s Singing the
Faith 348 “He is Lord, he is Lord”. The link is below.
Singing the Faith 348 He is Lord, he is Lord

He is Lord, he is Lord!
He is risen from the dead, and he is Lord!
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord!
He is King, he is King!
He will draw all nations to him, he is King;
And the time shall be when the world shall sing
that Jesus Christ is King!
He is love, he is love!
He has shown us by his life that he is love;
All his people sing with one voice of joy
That Jesus Christ is love!
He is life, he Is life!
He has died to set us free and he is life;
And he calls us all to live evermore,
For Jesus Christ is life.
CCL 052772

Prayer of Adoration
Let’s pray:
Living Lord.
We are jubilant you live.
Present Saviour.
We are overjoyed you are with us.
Life source.
We thrive with new life.
Breath of life.
We answer your call.
Peace giver.
We believe and are blessed by you.
In Jesus name we pray.

Prayer of Thanks
And a prayer of thanks.
Resurrected Messiah.
Thank you for loving everyone.
We love that Creation bursts with your love, beauty and glory.
We appreciate your victory over sin, death, hell and the devil.
Thank you for the power to resist temptation.
We are grateful we share in your resurrection.
We appreciate that Christians can resist the devil1
Thank you that nothing can separate us from your love.
We are grateful we can live in perfect relationship with God, others and Creation.
Thank you for the gift of new and eternal life.
In Jesus name we pray

Prayer of Confession
And a prayer of confession to right our relationship with God.
Almighty Christ.
We underestimate your power.
We do not expect miracles and supernatural events.
We ignore the Holy Spirit.
We expect you to work our way.
We bargain with you.
We focus on our feelings and situations.
We skip worship or fellowship.
We do not forgive.
We fear people.
We live as if you are dead.
Please forgive us.
Help us to right the wrongs.
In Jesus name we pray.

The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus as God and say we are sorry for our sins, we are pardoned. There is no need to feel guilty. Thank you, Jesus.

John 20:19-31

We continue worship with a hymn saying that Christ is risen. That’s Singing the
Faith 553 “I am a new Creation”. The link is below the video.
Singing the Faith 553 I am a new Creation

I am a new creation
No more in condemnation
Here in the grace of God I stand
My heart is overflowing
My love just keeps on growing
Here in the grace of God I stand
And, I will praise you Lord
Yes, I will praise you Lord
And I will sing of all that you have done
A joy that knows no limit
A lightness in my Spirit
Here in the grace of God I stand
Dave Bilborough (b.1965)
CCL 052772

Lord, may my words be your words.
I asked God what message to preach. When I read the lectionary John 20:31 caught
my attention. It says:
“but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
So I offer an understanding of that verse. I break that verse into bits, see what each
bit means, and then put it back together.
The first technical word is “Messiah” or “Christ”. Messiah or Christ means “the
Anointed one”
. In the Old Testament the anointed ones are prophets, priests and
. Anointing someone shows they are a spiritual leader appointed by God. So,
the Messiah is the spiritual leader appointed by God.
Old Testament prophecies say what the Messiah is like and what he will do4
. The
New Testament frequently flags Jesus as the “Anointed one” fulfilling prophecies5

So what is the Messiah like and what will he do?

• The Messiah is love. He is righteous. That is Christ is in a perfect
relationship with God.
• The Messiah is the eternal King over all Creation. The Messiah reigns
perfectly and righteously.
• The Messiah will destroy world powers in an act of judgement, and deliver his
people from their enemies. Explicitly, Jesus has power over sin, death, hell,
and the devil. Let’s look at those nasties one at a time.
o Sin. Sin is disobeying the Holy Trinity. Jesus overcame sin, for
example Jesus is sinless. Sin estranges us from God. God loves
everyone and wants a perfect relationship with everyone. So God
(Jesus) took all sin upon himself and took the capital punishment for all
sin. From God’s perspective that righted all relationships for ever.
Relationships are a two way thing and we can do our bit. When we
believe the Holy Trinity is the one God then an eternal right relationship
with God begins!
o Death. Jesus has power over death. Specifically, he was executed,
buried and then can back to life.
o Hell. Hell is permanent separation from God. That is an awful situation
of suffering. God (Jesus) judges who does not believe in him and
2 R.E. Harlow. 1991. Names of Christ. Every Day Publications. Hong Kong.
3 Aaron and sons were anointed as priests (Exodus 40.13-15). Elisha was anointed as a prophet (1
Kings 19.16). Kings David and Saul were anointed by Samuel (1 Samuel 10.1; 16.13).
4 Examples include Daniel 9.25-27 and Isaiah 53.1-12 Jesus’ death.
5 Luke 4.21
6 NIVTM Compact Dictionary of the Bible. 1989. Edited by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney. Hodder
and Stoughton. London.
therefore goes to hell
7. God (Jesus) judges who believes in him and
has eternal life in a perfect relationship with God, others and the new
creation. In short Jesus saves believers from hell.
o Devil. The devil is God’s enemy. The devil tempted Jesus to disobey
God. For instance, the devil asked Jesus to worship him. Jesus
refused. In other words, Jesus overcame the devil. God (Jesus) will
judge the devil and the devil will be separated from God for eternity.
Our verse asserts that Jesus is the Son of God. “Son of God” and “Messiah” mean
similar things. Additionally, Son of God refers to Jesus’ unique relationship with the
Father. Jesus is God’s only son
, he is one with the Father
. Jesus does the
Father’s will10. Jesus has unique knowledge of the Father11 and the authority of the
Moving on to another part of our verse, specifically, the word “belief”. Belief is
accepting something is true and having confidence in it.
Turning now to the phrase “Life in his name”. Generally, this phrase is understood in
three ways:
1. “eternal life in a right relationship with God”
2. “life which is faithful to Jesus’ teaching”
3. Or both 1 and 2.
Earlier we talked through number one. Numbers 2 and 3 are consistent with the
wider Bible. Whichever understanding we choose, the gist is that, unbelief differs
from Christian life.
Let’s look at it from another angle. Believing that Jesus overcame sin and the devil,
gives us the power to do the same. How? Well, we love God so we love to copy him.
Just like a child loves to copy those they love. We study the Bible to find out who
God is and what he wants us to do. One of the ten commandments is to tell the truth.
Sometimes the devil tempts me to lie to avoid conflict. But when I believe that Jesus
overcame sin and temptation, I tell the truth, whatever the risk.
That’s not all Jesus has done for us. When we repent, we apologise for our sins,
and try to right the wrongs. God forgives us and gives us a new start. For example,
someone I knew well tried to regain contact with me. I did not respond. A few
weeks later she took her own life. I felt guilty that if I had been in contact I may have
helped and she may have lived. I asked God for forgiveness, and he forgave me. But
occasionally I recall she took her life and I feel guilty. Then I recall that God forgave
me and I can move on.
Jesus is alive. That shows that his power delivers from death and hell. Believers’
future includes resurrection in a new body, in a new heaven and a new earth. There
we will live in perfect relationships with God, others and the new creation. There will
be no suffering, or death, or decay, or sin. I long for eternity, living in perfect
relationships with God and others, in a new perfectly healthy body, tunefully singing
God’s praises.
Now I have taken the verse to bits, I’ll reconstruct it. A simple summary of the verse
The Gospel of John is written so we know the truth, explicitly;
• The Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (Holy Trinity) are one God.
• The Holy Trinity are love and love everyone. Such love is eternal,
perfect, self-sacrificing and morally pure.
• God created everything.
• God (Jesus) has power over the universe, life, death and any physical,
natural or supernatural power.
• Jesus judges who knows the truth. People who reject the truth spend
eternity separated from God which is an awful state.
Accepting this truth:
• Helps us live on earth in Jesus’ way.
• Means that after death we live eternally with God, in perfect relationship with
God, others and everything in a perfect place.

Prayer of Intercession
We continue worship with a prayer of intercession.
When I pray:
“Risen Jesus”
Please respond
Make all things new
Let’s pray:
Risen Jesus,
Watch over your world church.
Grow their love for you and others.
Revive the persecuted church and hold them close.
Live through the world church to make more Christians.
Heal those who are ill or suffer.
Risen Jesus.
All: Make all things new.
Resurrected Saviour,
See your family at High Street, Baldock, Arlesey and Stotfold Methodist Churches.
May we receive new life at chapel, at home or elsewhere.
Replenish our love for you and others.
Boost evangelism to make more disciples.
Be with those who feel the absence of loved ones.
Heal those in our circuit who are poorly or suffering.
Protect us from covid 19.
Risen Jesus.
All: Make all things new.
Living Messiah,
Your Creation suffers from conflict, climate change and a pandemic.
Progress the reach of peace keepers.
Renew our eco-friendly living.
Extend the fight against covid 19.
Guide every government and leader with your love and justice.
May they work towards health, safety, shelter, food, work and hope for all.
Risen Jesus.
All: Make all things new.
In Jesus name we pray.
The Lord’s Prayer
Please join in the Lord’s prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

We continue worship singing that Jesus lives
Singing the faith 302 He Has Risen (scroll
down and click on the video the lyrics are beneath it)

He has risen, he has risen,
He has risen, Jesus is alive.
When the life flowed from His body,
Seemed like Jesus’ mission failed,
But His sacrifice accomplished,
Vict’ry over sin and hell.
In the grave God did not leave Him,
For His body do decay,
Raised to life the Great Awakening,
Satan’s pow’r He overcome.
If there were no resurrection,
We ourselves could not be raised,
But the Son of God is living,
So our hope is not in vain.
When the Lord rides out of heaven,
Mighty angels at His side,
They will sound the final trumpet,
From the grave we shall arise.
He has given life immortal
We shall see Him face to face,
Through eternity we’ll praise Him
Christ the champion of our faith.
Gerald Coates (b1944)
Noel Richards (b1955)
Tricia Richards (b1960)
CCL 052772

Let’s pray:
Thank you for the gifts of money, time and resource given to High Street, Baldock,
Arlesey and Stotfold Methodist Churches. The money comes as cash, electronic
transfer and cheques. Bless all these donations and use them to your glory.
In Jesus name we pray,

We go from this worship session:
With a new life in Jesus.
To love the Holy Trinity.
To love with Jesus love.
To study the Bible.
To fulfil Jesus’ ways.
To live with joy and hope.
In Jesus name.
Original material by Jackie Greatorex


While we are all unable to meet in our various churches during the current crisis please consider the following ways of keeping up your offering for the work of the church.
Pay directly into your church’s bank account.
For High Street Stevenage, the relevant information is:
Account name: Stevenage High Street Methodist Church
Sort code: 20-41-12
Account number 60853259
Description: Your name (especially if gift aided) or “offering”
When we know the information for the other churches, we will add it.
Alternatively, you can fill and save your envelopes or accumulate your regular offering until the churches can meet again.