Sunday, 17th May

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Greeting

O Lord, open our lips

And our mouth shall declare your praise.

O Lord, open our eyes

That we may know your presence.

O Lord, open our ears

That we may hear your call.

O Lord, open our hearts,

That we may receive your love

O Lord, open our lives,

That we may rejoice.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever.

Amen.

 

Prayers of Penitence

Lord Jesus, may you raise us from the depths,

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, may you forgive our sins, and mend our hearts,

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, may you feed us with your life, and fill us with your Spirit,

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Receiving God’s Forgiveness

May the God of love and power forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit, and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

God our redeemer,

you have delivered us from the power of darkness

and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:

grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,

so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;

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.

 

Reading: John 14:15-21

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.  In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them … Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Thought for the Week: Joe Knight

This week we’ve been given a glimmer of hope in the midst of being apart. From Wednesday, most (but sadly, not all) of us were given permission to leave our homes freely, and that we are now free to meet one other person of a different household. For many, this new freedom will be a welcome break in what has been a difficult time. For others, being shielded, this freedom is something still to look forward to. But I wonder what we mean by that word ‘freedom’? It’s been used a lot recently. Our Prime Minister has thanked us for allowing our freedoms to be restricted, and throughout the world (particularly in the US), there have been protests and law suits against the ‘attack on personal freedom,’ many calling the lockdown ‘house arrest.’ But I’m not sure there is such a thing as personal freedom without neighbourly responsibility. And, the lockdown has given us the chance to exercise our freedom to care for others, by staying at home.

Last week, we read Jesus’ claim that he is the truth, and in chapter 8 of John’s gospel, Jesus has said that ’the truth will set you free’ (8:32). Jesus came to set us free, to live life to the full (John 10:10), which means living life as it was meant to be lived, in a loving relationship with God.

The love of God is the context for this week’s reading. It’s when we encounter God’s love for us that our lives are freed to know him, to hope in him, to live each day with him, even if we are locked in our houses. And, in our reading today, Jesus promises that he will be with us wherever we are, through the Spirit of Truth, or we might say, the Spirit of freedom. By God’s Spirit, God makes his home with us, and we find our home in his love. Isn’t that wonderful?! But Jesus goes further, because this love cannot be kept to ourselves. Jesus has said that if we love him, we will obey his commands. So, what is his command? Well, it’s found in the previous chapter and part of the same conversation. Jesus said, ‘a new commandment I give you, love one another’ (John 13:34). And there we have found the true meaning of freedom: We are loved by God, and God lives with us by his Spirit, freeing us to know his love, and to share his love in the world. The freedom God gives may be personal, but it is not private, it does not come without love of neighbour.

This week, then, I wonder, how can you share some love, joy and hope with someone? A phone call perhaps, or a card, a quick chat two meters apart?! I hope that we can all find creative ways to know God’s love and to share it in the days ahead. Because, as we do, we make a space, a home, for God to dwell. Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Loving God, heavenly Father,

Come, and make your home with me,

This day,

May I know You more clearly,

Love You more dearly,

Follow You more nearly,

This day and always.

Amen

 

God in my living, there in my breathing

God in my waking, God in my sleeping

God in my resting, there in my working

God in my thinking, God in my speaking

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming

God in my watching, God in my waiting

God in my laughing, there in my weeping

God in my hurting, God in my healing

Be my everything. Be my everything,

Amen

 

Risen Lord,

We continue to lift to you all who are suffering

through the impacts of the Covid pandemic,

We pray peace for the anxious

Friendship for the lonely,

Healing for the sick,

Strength for care workers,

Hope for the dying,

Comfort for the grieving,

Wisdom for leaders,

Restoration for ecosystems,

Courage for us all,

Through Jesus Christ, the way, truth and life,

Amen.

 

Enjoy a time of open prayer. Play some music, enjoy God’s presence and peace.

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,

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.

 

Lord, set your blessing on us

as we begin this day together.

Confirm in us the truth

by which we rightly live;

confront us with the truth

from which we wrongly turn.

We ask not for what we want

but for what you know we need,

as we offer this day and ourselves

for you and to you

through Jesus Christ, our Saviour

Amen

 

Let us bless the risen Lord,

Thanks be to God. Alleluia!