This Weeks Services ,Readings and Prayers

May 10th – 5th 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 Acts 7.55–60

Standing before the high priest and the council, Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.

PSALM Psalm 31.1–5, 15–16

R Let your face shine on your servants and we shall be saved.

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;  let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Incline your ear to me;  make haste to deliver me. R

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me. R

Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength. Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. R

 My times are in your hand;  rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me. R

SECOND READING 1 Peter 2.2–10

Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight.

Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

For it stands in scripture:  ‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’

To you then who believe, he is precious;  but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,’ and ‘A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.’

They stumble because they disobey the word , as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,

God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

The Gospel of Christ according to John (14. 1-14)

Glory to you, O Lord.

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Praise to you, O Christ

Our reflection for this week:

This week our reflection comes from the Revd Suzan Williams, Head of Rural Ministries for New Wine.

A mother’s request

Bible Reading: Matthew 20:17-28 (The Message)

Jesus, now well on the way up to Jerusalem, took the Twelve off to the side of the road and said, ‘Listen to me carefully. We are on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. They will then hand him over to the Romans for mockery and torture and crucifixion. On the third day he will be raised up alive.’

It was about that time that the mother of the Zebedee brothers came with her two sons and knelt before Jesus with a request.

‘What do you want?’ Jesus asked.

She said, ‘Give your word that these two sons of mine will be awarded the highest places of honour in your kingdom, one at your right hand, one at your left hand.’

Jesus responded, ‘You have no idea what you’re asking.’ And he said to James and John, ‘Are you capable of drinking the cup that I’m about to drink?’

They said, ‘Sure, why not?’

Jesus said, ‘Come to think of it, you are going to drink my cup. But as to awarding places of honour, that’s not my business. My Father is taking care of that.’

When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers. So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, ‘You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.’

Reflection

Identity and connection are at the heart of today’s reading. It challenges us to consider where we find our own sense of identity: do we find its source in God, or are we distracted by how many likes we have accumulated on a Facebook or Instagram post? How do unfamiliar ways of ‘being church’ – and live streaming in particular – challenge and increase our understanding of what making connections might look like?

The disciples in our reading are jostling for position and recognition. A mother steps into this conflict and asks something of Jesus, without fully understanding what it would mean for her sons if her request was granted. How do we keep our eyes focused God, deepening our understanding of and connection with him? How might we grow in our understanding of what it means to be a true follower of Jesus?

This encounter with James, John and their mother prompts Jesus to explain to the disciples more about his own identity and the kind of leadership he has come to exercise. He is a servant who does not come to dictate but to emulate the heart of Christ in serving the least, the lost and the disenfranchised. As we look across our communities at this time and see the love, compassion and care that is being shown we can clearly see the love and outworking of that servant-heartedness to which Jesus so clearly refers.

We are called to discern where God is already active and at work and partner with him. Mother Teresa is quoted as saying ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.’So let’s spread the love of Christ everywhere we go!

 

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

Risen and reigning Lord, assure our troubled hearts that you have gone to prepare a place for us, so that where you are, we may be also. You alone are the way, the truth, and the life, so that through you, we will see and know you.  (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Risen and reigning Lord, how often are we like Thomas, questioning your son Jesus, whilst thinking that we’re on our own to work things out. 

Help us to listen to your promises, to receive your assurances, to let you remove troubles from our hearts, and may we always remember your constant presence with us.  

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

We pray for Bishop Cherry, Archdeacon Ambrose, Area Dean Jeremy, and all those you have empowered to be Ministers of your word. May they open our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and thereby encourage us to worship you, our God and our King.  (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Risen and reigning Lord, we pray for those people of the world suffering war and violence, those who are hungry and homeless, those ravaged by disease and victims of greed.

We pray this morning, at the start of Christian Aid Week, for all Christian Aid workers. We pray that by their work they may bring hope and relief to those living desperate lives. We pray that by the work of Christian aid others may know You.  (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Risen and reigning Lord, we pray for family and colleagues, friends and lovers. We pray for neighbours and strangers: for those we have missed at work, in the community, and in our church; and we give thanks for all modern forms of communication which allows us to keep in touch.

Lord, we thank you that we’re at last seeing a real likelihood that some of the Covid-19 restrictions will be relaxed, and as we look forward to again being with those we love.

Meanwhile, we pray for those for whom Covid-19 has brought pain and loss.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Risen and reigning Lord, whose touch alone could heal the sick and sorrowful; hear our prayers for your suffering servants. We pray for all who are ill, and we ask for your mercy on all who are in pain or anguish, remembering especially those known to us. (add names of those requesting prayer) (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Risen and reigning Lord, we pray for those whose hearts have been saddened by the recent death of someone close and dear to them.

We pray for those we have loved but see no more, those whose anniversary of their parting we recall. (add names of the recently departed or on Anniversary list)

Lord Jesus Christ, help us to experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit within us, and the fellowship of the church family around us, until we are reunited eternal life.   (Short Silence)

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

Risen and reigning Lord, we thank you for showing us the Way. When our hearts are troubled, reach out to us. Teach us good Shepherd, to crave for pure spiritual milk, that we might grow into a full experience of salvation, and know your abundant love and kindness.

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 10th May

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and 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.