The Third Sunday of Easter, 18 April 2021

Psalm 4


To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
  You gave me room when I was in distress.
  Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.

How long, you people, shall my honour suffer shame?
  How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?
But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself;
  the Lord hears when I call to him.

When you are disturbed, do not sin;
  ponder it on your beds, and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices,
  and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good!
  Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!’
You have put gladness in my heart
  more than when their grain and wine abound.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
  for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Acts 3: 12-19


When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.


Risen Christ,

you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:

strengthen us

to proclaim your risen life

and fill us with your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.


1 John 3: 1-7


See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

Luke 24: 36b-48



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.

Adult to group of children:
“What do you think Jesus was doing while he was in hell for three days?” Child, after long pause:
“I think he was looking everywhere for his friend Judas”
John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, 3 April 
God’s door is always open. The kettle is always on.
The beers are in the fridge. The champagne on ice.
And someone has been sent out with a very large order for curry.
God is scanning the horizon for our return.
Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, Easter sermon, 4 April