God of love,

your Son, Jesus, still carries his scars

even in his risen and glorified body.

Give us the courage, with Thomas,

to look on your scars, and on the scars of the world,

not averting our eyes, 

but ready to face suffering.

Give us hope and faith that a better world can grow

from wounds that are tended and honoured.

Lord Jesus,

you suffered and died for our salvation:

forgive our craving for health, wealth and success;

our tendency to regard suffering with distaste;

our avoidance of people who are ill 

because we don’t know what to say;

our inability to look at pain

because it makes us face our mortality.

May your church be a place

where suffering is faced with honesty,

and where hope springs from human woundedness.

As we remember Thomas,

who recognised who you were,

and believed you were alive

because of your wounds,

we pray for all who suffer today;

for the people of Ukraine, and all places of war;

for people in hospital and for all who tend the sick;

for people who carry scars, 

on their bodies or in their minds.

We believe our suffering is in your heart:

help us, in our pain, to know your love and peace.

And we give thanks,

that Spring follows Winter,

that life rises from death all around us.

We thank you for blossom and dandelions

for twigs and moss, crafted together

to make intricate nests

for the rich and varied song of the birds,

for sunshine and lighter evenings,

for the smell of mown grass.

Give us thankful hearts

And faithful lives. Amen

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