This Weeks Services ,Readings and Prayers

May 3rd, 2020 -Fourth Sunday of Easter

A Simple Order of Morning Prayer in Eastertide

O Lord open our lips,

And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Most glorious Lord of life, whose Son Jesus Christ conquered death and rose victorious from the grave: may we walk in his company, hear the mystery of the Scriptures unfold to us, and, with burning hearts, know his presence in the breaking of the bread, for our Saviour is risen indeed – Alleluia!

Blessed be God for ever.

The Easter Anthems

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

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 for all in living he lives to God.

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

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 for ever. Amen.

A Bible Readings

FIRST READING Genesis 7

Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate;and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.’And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth.And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground,two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah.And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth. In the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. The rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons, entered the ark, they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind—every bird, every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.

The flood continued for forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered;the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings;everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days.

PSALM

Psalm 23

R The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

The Lord is my shepherd;I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. R

He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R

You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.

Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. R

SECOND READING Acts 2.42–47

Many were baptized and were added to the community. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together

and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods

and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number

those who were being saved.

The Gospel of Christ according to John (10. 1-10)

Glory to you, O Lord.

 ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit.The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again, Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Praise to you, O Christ.

Reflection from Rev Jeremy

There’s a story about a well-known actor at a social gathering who was reciting some of his favourite excerpts from literature. The actor asked the audience if they had any favourites, he could recite for them and an elderly preacher asked if he could recite the 23rd Psalm. The actor said he would but only if the man would recite it after him. The actor’s recitation was beautifully intoned with great dramatic emphasis and he received a lengthy applause. Then it was the elderly preacher’s turn; his voice was rough and broken and his diction was anything but polished. But when he finished there was not a dry eye in the room. When someone asked the actor what made the difference, he replied, “I know the psalm, but he knows the Shepherd.”

The 23rd Psalm is probably the most well-known passage of Scripture; a wonderful meditation about faith and trust, about having faith and trust in God in all situations. Not surprisingly people often turn to the 23rd Psalm in times of difficulty and grief; I often read it at a funeral or at the bedside of someone who might be seriously ill. The words are well known, and they can bring a sense of great peace, a reminder that God is beside us every moment of this life and beyond. The Psalm is realistic about the darkness of life. It may be that we have experienced a time when it felt as if we were travelling through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and yet were still aware of our Lord’s presence, walking alongside us through those dark times giving us the assurance of his peace and love.

This Sunday we remember Jesus as the Good Shepherd and let’s not forget that he was to experience the agonies of life and death and that he understands how we might feel. When we walk through the darkness of life, He walks beside us – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

The Benedictus

God has raised Christ Jesus from the dead, so that we have a sure hope in him. Alleluia!

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel for he has come to his people and set them free.

The Lord has raised up for us a mighty Saviour born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets God promised of old to save us from our enemies from the hands of all who hate us.

To show mercy to our forebears and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear holy and righteous before him all the days of our life.

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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.

God has raised Christ Jesus from the dead, so that we have a sure hope in him. Alleluia!

Prayers

Lord, you are our Shepherd, and we pray that you will protect us from all danger: especially in this time of the Covid-19 Lockdown.

Lord Jesus, we pray that you will keep watch over us: be with us in our homes, and with our friends, family, our church and all its Ministers. Guide us Holy Father to where we can meet you in prayer, be led through your Holy Word, and be guided by the Holy Spirit.  (Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Lord, as our Shepherd, we’re aware of how you tended and healed in your earthly ministry.  We pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit, all who work in Hospitals, Hospices, Care Homes, and all Health Practices, know the power of healing that comes from you: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Short Silence)

We pray especially for those working in Chaplaincy positions in Hospitals, Prisons and the Armed Forces.  (Short Silence) We pray too for our Police and all other members of the Emergency Services. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Lord, you are our Shepherd, and we pray for the world that was given to us as an inheritance. We pray for a greater understanding that we must care for this heirloom, as shepherds care for their sheep. Teach us to look after our beautiful planet; to look after it wisely and in union with all who exist here. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Lord, you are our Shepherd and the Father of all mercy. As we approach the seventy-fifth Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day: we give you hearty thanks for the peace Western Europe has largely enjoyed over this time.  We pray for the souls of all those who have given of their lives in a search for peace.

In a moment of silence, we bring before you those who we knew, or heard about, and who died serving this country, or any other country. (Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Lord God, we pray also for those of our families and friends who need to hear the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Lord, may they be reminded that you know every one of them by name; and that you offer rest to the weary, salvation to sinners, and life eternal to all when You come into their lives.  (Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Lord, you are our Shepherd who seeks out the lost and the sick.  (Short Silence)

We pray for those we know who are lost in illness, those who are in mourning, those concerned about their future and their finances, those struggling mentally with ‘lock-down’, those suffering domestic abuse, violence, or from the outcomes of alcohol and drug abuse.

We pray for our local food bank: those who work for it, those who are calling on them for help. We give thanks for those who are able to give to this, or any other cause offering relief at this time of great hardship, and to so many.

Among our friends, family and community, we pray especially for:

(add names of those requesting prayer)

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Lord, as you are our Shepherd, so we pray for those who have died and for those who ache with sorrow in the loss of a loved one.  May those we have known, those we have loved, all find rest in the Holy Spirit’s embrace.  

Welcome them Lord and into the great sheepfold that is eternal life. (add names of the recently departed or on Anniversary list)

(Short Silence)

Lord, in your Mercy: Hear our Prayer

Lord, you are our Shepherd, and we offer our prayers now for all people and their situations. As we close these our intercessions, we do so with thoughts and prayers for those going through upheaval or in distress, and as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen

The Lord’s Prayer is said.

The Collect for the Day

 Collect for 3rd May

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

The second collect, for peace.

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life, to serve you is perfect freedom: defend us in all assaults of our enemies, that we, surely trusting in your protection, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The third collect, for grace.

Eternal God and Father, by your power we are created and by your love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to you in love and service of one another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.