Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ +
By his great mercy He gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.1. Peter 1,3
Initial E, Egerton 1066 (13. century)
Awake, my heart, with gladness, See what today is done; How after gloom and sadness, Comes forth the glorious Sun. My Savior there was laid Where our bed must be made When to the realms of light Our spirit wings its flight.
They in the grave did sink Him, The foe held jubilee; Before he can bethink him, Lo! Christ again is free. And “Victory” He cries, And waving tow’rds the skies His banner, while the field Is by the Hero held!
Upon the grave is standing The Hero looking round; The foe, no more withstanding, His weapons on the ground Throws down, his hellish pow’r To Christ must he give o’er, And to the Victor’s bands Must yield his feet and hands.
A sight it is to gladden; And fill the heart with glee, No more affright or sadden Shall aught, or take from me My trust or fortitude, Or any precious good The Savior bought for me In sov’reign love and free.
Hell and its prince, the devil, Of all their pow’rs are shorn; Now I am safe from evil, And sin I laugh to scorn. Grim Death with all his might Cannot my soul affright; He is a pow’rless form, Howe’er he rage and storm.
The world against me rageth Its fury I disdain; Though bitter war it wageth Its work is all in vain. My heart from care is free, Misfortune now is play, No trouble troubles me, And night is bright as day.
I cleave now and forever To Christ, a member true, My Head will leave me never, Whate’er He passeth through. He treads the world beneath His feet, and conquers death And hell, and breaks sin’s thrall; I’m with Him through it all.
To halls of heavenly splendor With Him I penetrate; And trouble ne’er may hinder Nor make me hesitate. No enemy I fear, Because my Head is near; My Savior is my Shield, By Him all rage is stilled.
He brings me to the portal That opens into bliss, Where graved in words immortal This golden scripture is: “Who’s there despised with me, Here with me crown’d shall be; Who there with Me shall die, Here’s raised with me on high!”Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) tr. John Kelly (1833-1890) LSB 467
The Introit lets us pray and join in God´s praises:
I love the Lord because he heard my plea for mercy and listened to me. As long as I live, I will call to him when I need help. The ropes of death tightened around me, the snares of Sheol confronted me. I was confronted with trouble and sorrow. I called on the name of the Lord, “Please, Lord, rescue my life!” The Lord is merciful and fair; our God is compassionate. The Lord protects the untrained; I was in serious trouble and he delivered me. Rest once more, my soul, for the Lord has vindicated you. Yes, Lord, you rescued my life from death, kept my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling. I will serve the Lord in the land of the living. I will celebrate my deliverance and call on the name of the Lord.Psalm 116:1-9.13
God´s Word recorded by His holy prophet Isaiah:
“To whom can you compare me? Whom do I resemble?” says the Holy One. Look up at the sky! Who created all these heavenly lights? He is the one who leads out their ranks; he calls them all by name. Because of his absolute power and awesome strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, Jacob, Why do you say, Israel, “The Lord is not aware of what is happening to me; My God is not concerned with my vindication”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is an eternal God, the Creator of the whole earth. He does not get tired or weary; there is no limit to his wisdom. He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.Isaiah 40:25-31
St. Peter encourages suffering Christians:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that is, into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. This brings you great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials. Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold—gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away—and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. You have not seen him, but you love him. You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, because you are attaining the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.1. Peter 1,3-9
The holy Gospel of our Lord according to St. John:
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together and locked the doors of the place because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.” And after he said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.” Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!” Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.” Thomas replied to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.” Now Jesus performed many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.John 20:19-31
The sermon preaches God´s Word as recorded by the holy prophet Moses
During the night Jacob quickly took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not defeat Jacob, he struck the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, “unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” He answered, “Jacob.” 28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, “but Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” “Why do you ask my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. 30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, explaining, “Certainly I have seen God face to face and have survived.” 31 The sun rose over him as he crossed over Penuel, but he was limping because of his hip. 32 That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.Genesis 32:23-32 (1st Book of Moses)
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
Prayer of the Church—Responsive Form Second Sunday of Easter (Quasimodogeniti)
Heavenly Father, Your Son is the firstborn from the dead. In Him, we have been reborn into a new and living hope. Nurture us with the pure milk of Your Word, that we may grow to maturity of faith and have everlasting life. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Gracious Lord, You overcome our doubts by the patience and grace of Your Son. Inspire us by the testimony of His holy apostles, and build up Your Church in our time. Remove the weight of sin from as many as will repent. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, build up the households of Your people, that Your holy children, begotten in Baptism, may grow in Your grace and share together in Your forgiveness and life. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Righteous King, You promise that the faith of Your people will overcome the world. Let it be so! By the testimony of the Word and Sacrament, overcome the powers of this world. Turn its evil to good, and enliven many to follow Christ in faith. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
God of all comfort, You permit even Your beloved people to fall into difficult days of confusion and suffering and draw near to death. Send Your Spirit to lift them up in faith, especially those struggling with the consequences of the Russian war and genocide in Ukraine, that they may follow You through their trials into eternal life. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Merciful Lord, as Your Son made the disciples glad in His risen and life-giving flesh on the first day of the week and again eight days later, so let us find gladness in His wounds and His abiding presence among us each week in the blessed Sacrament. Give us a hunger for Your Word of peace in this Supper, through which He gives us His life-giving body and blood. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
+ Dominum vobiscum +
Numbers 6,24-26 (4th Book of Moses)
The Lord bless Thee, and keep Thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon Thee, and be gracious unto Thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon Thee and give Thee peace.