Lord, this day, Easter Day, reminds us that each time we deny you another nail is sharpened; and each time we do not walk in your path the nail is hammered into your hands. When faith is weak, temptation strong, and courage fails, forgive us Lord and once again become that risen presence in our hearts.

We confess that we are often not the Easter people we would wish to be, living in the certain knowledge of your great love.

We are often distracted by the world around us: we fail to hear your voice, or we hide when faith is challenged, and we wander off the path.

Forgive us, we pray. Restore and enliven our faith.

We will keep our eyes fixed on you, and with you walking alongside us we shall not be shaken.

We are reminded once more, on this Easter Day, of these slightly adapted words of the 16th century mystic, St Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now on earth but ours; no hands but ours; no feet but ours. Ours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Ours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Ours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.


Gospel Reading - Matthew 28: 1-10

Read by Eric Laurenson

1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

(Translation: NRSV 1989)