Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 20 April (Easter 2: Thursday)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 20 April 2023, including a reflection on John 3.31-36 (Easter 2: Thursday)


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

In your resurrection, O Christ,
let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia.

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As once you ransomed your people from Egypt
and led them to freedom in the promised land,
so now you have delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your risen Son.
May we, the first fruits of your new creation,
rejoice in this new day you have made,
and praise you for your mighty acts.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

John 3.31-36

John the Baptist said: ‘The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.’


John the Baptist said: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.

In 2001 the hymn writers Stuart Townend and Keith Getty released a new worship song: In Christ alone my hope is found. Since 2001 that song has been at the centre of much controversy because of some words that were included in verse two: Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied. It is very unlikely that Townend and Getty had foreseen the uproar that those words would engender. Despite the ensuing arguments about the nature of the wrath of God and whether Christ’s crucifixion was focused upon satisfying that wrath, the writers have steadfastly refused to alter their words, even though several modern hymn books have refused to include what some might call a modern classic in the religious repertoire. Then comes today’s reading, which speaks of God’s wrath!

Surely we all feel challenged by the words of John the Baptist, but upon what do we base that sense of challenge?

John calls us to believe in the Son who has eternal life, that is, Jesus Christ. He also says that to disobey, that is to actively reject Jesus is to invite God’s wrath. To obey Jesus is to love God above everything else, to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, and as Jesus loved us, and to proclaim the Good News of the gospel message to all as we shine, Christ-like in this world. However, to disobey Jesus is to place ourselves in a very dark place, the place where we will have chosen to reject all that Jesus stands for, the place where we will be aligning ourselves with the goats, the religious and political leaders, and everyone who puts self before God.

I struggle with the notion of God’s wrath being satisfied in the crucifixion of Jesus because, in some way, it feels as though it separates us from our responsibility to live as faithful disciples and apostles in this challenging world. It also feels as though it undermines the teachings of scripture … that there will be a day of judgement on which we will be called to give account for our words and actions in this world.

Let us pray that every moment of every day might find us focused on honouring our faith in Jesus Christ. Let us pray that by obeying the Son we might be able to remain focused on the life we have been given to use to the honour and praise of God. Let us pray that when the moment of final judgement comes our lives of faith might be rewarded with the promised eternity in God’s nearer presence.


To Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
and who now lives in the glory of the Father,
let us lift our voices in praise, saying:
risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

Lord Jesus, you are the Amen, the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You are Alpha and Omega,
the one who is, and was, and who is to come:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You search into the thoughts and affections of all people:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You reprove and chasten those whom you love:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

You open the eyes of the blind
and set the prisoners free:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

In your paschal victory,
you have proclaimed the coming of the kingdom:
Risen Lord, we bless you, alleluia.

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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.

The God of peace,
who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the eternal covenant,
make us perfect in every good work to do his will,
working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.