Walking with Jesus – unknowingly

St Thomas of Canterbury, Wilbury

3rd Sunday of Easter

April 26th, 2020

Walking with Jesus – unknowingly

Welcome and introduction by Revd Don Dowling, our celebrant

Our Preacher is the Rev Jan Wilson

I trust this technology in worship will work for you! The text is downloadable and printable so you should be able is access this either on your computer or laptop or from a printed copy. If it helps a small table with a candle/cross might help you with focus. If you wish during the communion to have a piece of bread and a glass each with wine/grape juice. Please have these ready in advance. It might help to remind you that we are celebrating with millions of other Christians even if most of us are behind “locked doors”.

The service includes preparation with confession, absolution and the collect; then comes the gospel reading, a short address and an affirmation of  faith; this will be followed by an invitation to prayer followed by silence.

I will then set up the table, say the Peace and then an Easter Eucharistic prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer the breaking of bread and an invitation to communion after we will say a prayer of thanksgiving and service will end with a blessing.


The Service

Opening Hymn – All my hope on God is founded

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.
Daily doth the almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.
Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.
Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall. 
God’s great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendor, light and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from his store
newborn worlds rise and adore.

Greeting and Welcome

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!


Easter Anthems

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us: so let us celebrate the feast,

not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness:
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Christ once raised from the dead dies no more:
death has no more dominion over him.

In dying, he died to sin once and for all:
in living he lives to God.


See yourselves therefore as dead to sin: and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ has been raised from the dead:
the first fruits of those who sleep.

For as by man came death:

by man has come also the resurrection of the dead;

for as in Adam all die:
even so in Christ shall all be made alive

Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be forever. Amen


Let us confess our sins to Almighty God

(A time for reflection)



Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

Hear then the word of grace and the assurance of pardon

Your sins are forgiven for his sake.


Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the

risen Lord:

give us such knowledge of his presence with us,

that we may be strengthened and sustained

by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN


First Reading: Acts 2.14a, 36–41

On the day of Pentecost, 14 Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd, 36 ‘Let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’ 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ 38

Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’ 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added to their number.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Psalm 116.1–3, 10–17

R Gracious is the Lord and righteous

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplication, because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him. R

2 The cords of death entangled me; the grip of the grave took hold of me; I came to grief and sorrow.

3 Then I called upon the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I pray you, save my life.’ R

10 How shall I repay the Lord for all the good things he has done for me? 11 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.

12 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. R

13 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his servants. 14 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;

you have freed me from my bonds. R

15 I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the name of the Lord. 16 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. 17 In the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Alleluia! R

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. AMEN.


New Testament: 1 Peter 1.17–23

17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.

21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God


Gospel Hymn; We have a gospel to proclaim


We have a gospel to proclaim,
Good news for men in all the earth;
The gospel of a Saviour’s name,
We sing His glory, tell His worth
Tell of that glorious Easter morn,
Empty the tomb, for He was free.
He broke the power of death and hell
That we might share His victory.
Tell of His birth at Bethlehem,
Not in a royal house or hall
But in a stable dark and dim,
The Word made flesh, a light for all.
Tell of His reign at God’s right hand,
By all creation glorified,
He sends His Spirit on His Church,
To live for Him, the Lamb who died.
Tell of His death at Calvary,
Hated by those He came to save,
In lonely suffering on the cross,
For all He loved His life He gave.
Now we rejoice to name Him King,
Jesus is Lord of all the earth,
This gospel message we proclaim,
We sing His glory, tell His worth.

Hear the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to Luke 24.13-35

On that same day, two of the disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.  And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ Jesus asked them, ‘What things?’

They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see Jesus.’

Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Jesus; and he vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us? That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.

They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.


This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you, O Christ


Address by Revd. Jan Wilson

Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.’

They were of course talking about the Emmaus Road – one of my favourite Gospel passages.

When I was learning about God and about the presence of Jesus in my life it was immensely comforting to know that even Jesus’ companions did not recognise him on that road and it took some time for the penny to drop!

It took some time for the penny to drop for me too!

Here we have a situation where two sad people are trudging along the road when a stranger appears. We know who it is because we’ve read the book and we know what’s happening.

Jesus had been killed on the cross, he’s risen and now he talks to two of his disciples.

The two disciples don’t recognise their fellow traveller on that road to Emmaus and they begin to tell him of the things that they have witnessed over the previous days.

It seems difficult to understand how anyone could have missed the events that had shattered their world.

These two had just lost a friend, someone they had come to love, to trust and to put their complete faith in. They had thought that this was the man who was going to change things in the world around them.

They had witnessed miracles, the healing of the sick, the rising of the dead and had seen Jesus challenge those in authority.

And now he was dead.

Everything had changed and although they had heard news that some women had seen him again, they hadn’t, so they couldn’t believe it for themselves.

As Jesus travels by their side he listens and then he tells them that all the things that they had talked about had had to happen.

The two disciples still hadn’t quite realised what was going on. They still didn’t recognise Jesus.

Jesus then uses the scriptures to explain the story to them and slowly they begin to come to some understanding.

They even invite him home for something to eat.

Only then as he breaks the bread does the penny drop.

It’s him, it’s Jesus.

And then Jesus vanishes and the two men rush to tell their friends that they have met the risen Lord.

In our own lives we can probably identify with the feelings that the disciples were struggling with as they travelled.

Feelings of loss and despair that we may well have experienced on our journeys.

This time of Coronavirus and Covid 19 is also a time of worry, fear and sadness for some.

Nobody has experienced an emergency such as this before and we are all trying to find the best ways of managing and coping with these strange and for some lonely times.

And it’s at times like this, when we might be at our weakest, that Jesus comes near to us.

And just like the disciples on the Emmaus Road and in the room when Jesus came amongst them, we may be surprised by his presence.

We shouldn’t be because we believe in resurrection, in life after death, in Jesus, light in our world yet sometimes it’s not easy when we are worried or alone in our troubles.

So in times of worry, fear or sorrow let’s remember that we are not walking alone.

The unseen stranger on the Emmaus road, the risen Christ is walking with us.

And when we walk with Jesus, the road can become a journey of companionship, conversation, belief and hope.

Hope for today and for tomorrow.

For we walk with Jesus every day.

He opens the scriptures for us as we remember His story written in the Gospels for all of us.

We remember his commands, to love one another and to show Gods love in the world.

There is also another important message in this Gospel reading  –

We can walk with people who suffer and we can listen – just as Jesus did on the Emmaus Road.

We may be doing that over the phone at the moment, by email or letter but we can still listen and we can still travel with Jesus at our side.

And, if we are struggling, let’s not be afraid to share our troubles.

Just as those two disciples did on the road to Emmaus.

Jesus is with us as we learn to live differently for a while, as we clap for the NHS, Care workers and Key workers, as we hear the story of Captain Tom raising millions for the NHS, as we watch from our windows and wonder when it will end and as we pray for our world and its people at this time.

We are never alone.

Jesus walks with us on our Emmaus Road and we walk with Him. Amen.


The Prayers by Sylvia Wildey

Father God, We yearn for your presence with us in these trying times.
All around us is bad news, of illness and death, of financial hardship and anxiety, of loneliness and frustration.
Like the disciples on the Emmaus Road we are sad, anxious and fearful for the future.
Come to us Lord, as you did to them, bringing reassurance, understanding and hope.

Give wisdom and guidance to our government, as they face hard decisions, vital to people’s lives and livelihoods. Support and encourage all health workers and carers; give them patience and endurance, and the satisfaction of knowing that they are saving lives every day. Smooth the path of science and technology, in providing the resources for hospital and care home staff, and speed the research into treatments and vaccines. Help our farmers and food producers to keep the supermarkets supplied.

Lord, we thank you for the outpouring of goodwill and concern being shown in this crisis, for supportive phone calls, offers of help, and fresh ways of worship. Thank you that this is happening in a time when computer technology allows us to keep in touch with friends and loved ones in so many ways.

Yet there are those who are exploiting this situation (as they always do) for their own gain. We pray that you will speak through their conscience, and open their eyes to the suffering they cause.

But this dreadful time will come to an end, and we pray for the strength to keep going in a spirit of optimism. May we come out of this having learned lessons for the future, as individuals, being better neighbours and acting selflessly. And may governments around the world recognize the importance of international co-operation in tackling issues that affect us all.

The disciples did not recognize their companion as Jesus: how often do you come to us, Lord, and we are too down-cast to recognise you? Whether you come in an unexpected act of kindness, a friendly word from a stranger, or a robin singing as though especially for us – you lift our spirits. The bad things have not gone away, but suddenly we feel there is a future, there is hope.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Merciful Father
Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples saying:

Peace be with you.

Then they were glad when they saw the Lord

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.


Offertory hymn; Bind us together, Lord

Bind us together, Lord
Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken
Bind us together, Lord
Bind us together
Bind us together in Love
Fit for the glory of God,
Purchased by His precious Son
Born with the right to be free
For Jesus the victory has won. 
There is only one God,
There is only one King
There is only one Body,
That is why we sing.
We are the family of God
We are the promise divine
We are God’s chosen desire
We are the glorious new wine


Affirmation of Faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being in life, the one for whom we exist

We believe and trust in him

Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again

We believe and trust in him

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God, and makes Christ known in the world

We believe and trust in him

This is the faith of the Church. We believe and trust in one God, Father,Son and Holy Spirit

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples, saying “Peace be with you” Then they were glad when they saw the Lord

The Peace of the Lord be with you

And also with you

Easter Eucharistic prayer

The Lord is here
His Spirit is with us.Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
always and everywhere to give you thanks almighty and eternal Father,
and in these days of Easter
to celebrate with joyful hearts
the memory of your wonderful works.

For by the mystery of his passion
Jesus Christ your risen Son,
has conquered the powers of death and hell and restored in men and women the image of your glory.

He has placed us once more in paradise and opened to them the gate of life eternal.

And so in the joy of this Passover, earth and heaven resound with gladness,
while angels and archangels and the powers of all creation sing for ever the hymn of your glory:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest.

Accept our praises, heavenly Father, through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and as we follow his example and obey his command, grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine may be to us his body and his blood;

who in the same night he was betrayed,
took bread, and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to this disciples saying:
Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.In the same way after supper, he took the cup, and gave you thanks saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins;
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.

Therefore heavenly Father,
we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we look for the coming of your kingdom,
and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord,

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died:
Christ is risen:
Christ will come again.

Accept through him our great high priest,
this our sacrifice of thanks and praise,
and as we eat and drink these gifts
in the presence of your divine majesty,
renew us by your Spirit,
inspire us with your love
and unite us in the body of your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through him, and with him, and in him,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,

with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you Father almighty in songs of everlasting praise. Amen


Pause for reflection 

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.


Breaking of the Bread

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.

Giving of Communion

Draw near with faith.
Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ
which he gave for you,
and his blood which he shed for you.
Eat and drink
in remembrance that he died for you,
and feed on him in your hearts
by faith with thanksgiving.

The body of Christ Amen

The blood of Christ Amen

Closing Prayer and Dismissal


Living God,
May we open the doors of our lives
and be people of faith.
May we open the doors of our hearts
and be people of compassion,
that we may witness to your love and your generosity.
In Jesus’ name. Amen

Final Hymn

Come, ye faithful, raise the anthem,
cleave the skies with shouts of praise;
sing to him who found the ransom,
Ancient of eternal days,
God of God, the Word incarnate,
whom the heaven of heaven obeys.
High on yon celestial mountains
stands his sapphire throne, all bright,
with the ceaseless alleluias
bursting from the sons of light;
Zion’s people tell his praises,
Victor after hard-won fight.
Ere he raised the lofty mountains,
formed of the seas, or built the sky,
love eternal, free and boundless,
moved the Lord of life to die,
foreordained the Prince of princes
for the throne of Calvary.
Bring your harps, and bring your incense,
sweep the string and pour the lay;
let the earth proclaim his wonders,
King of that celestial day;
he the lamb once slain is worthy,
who was dead, and lives for ay.
There, for us and our redemption,
see him for all his lifeblood pour,
there he wins our full salvation,
dies that we may die no more;
then, arising, lives for ever,
reigning where he was before.
Laud and honour to the Father,
laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run. 



Blessing and Dismissal

The blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and always. Amen

Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ, Amen

© Roots for Churches Ltd adapted

Copyright:  Some of this material is copyright Common worship Archbishop’s Council ©2000

Some of the text is copyright © 2015 Archbishop’s Council and Roots for Churches Ltd


Thought for the week:

Let’s thank God for the many ways in which his Son reveals himself to us.

Help us to stay alert to his presence with us as we journey through these strange times and to respond to his command to love one another.

As the popular song goes remember that ‘You’ll never walk alone’




Prayers for the week

The street where you live Icknield way
Monklands Monks Close
Mullway Hallmead
Eldefield Bursland
Wilbury Hills Road Hill Crest Park

Special topics

The elderly, housebound, sick
The Hospice, local hospitals and health care services


Please keep up your planned giving because we need to maintain our cashflow. Offertory envelopes can be dropped in, to Sylvia, Shena or Peter, but we are trying to avoid handling cash if possible. Could you consider giving by occasional cheque, or setting up a standing order or direct debit? You could give by BACS. Our account is Sort Code 40-52-40, Account number 00005474

The church and Wilbury Hall hires have ceased, so that income stream is gone! If you could spare a bit more, that would be great!


Thank you for your support. In the current circumstances, the Foodbank is no longer able to accept food donations, and are instead giving vouchers to their clients to spend in supermarkets. If you would like to make a cash donation, please go to

Donate money

More general help

You could give online to nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk, who have launched an appeal for all those affected financially by the Coronavirus

Healthy Hub Covid-19 support line 01462 474111

NHDC can be contacted for guidance and support, and health and wellbeing advice
or email healthyhub@north-herts.gov.uk
or go to https://www.healthyhubnorthherts.co.uk

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