Sunday, 3rd May

Fourth Sunday of Easter: Life to the Full.  3rd May 2020


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, you raise us to new life.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you forgive our sins,

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you feed us with your life,

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.



Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Risen Christ, faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep: teach us to hear your voice and to follow your command, that all your people may be gathered into one flock, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Reading: John 10:1-10

“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. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

7 So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.


Thought for the Week: Ann Sargent

Jesus as the gate

In this metaphor, Jesus draws upon a practice shepherds in the middle east still do today. Using either a dry-stone walled pen or a cave, the shepherd leads their sheep into the pen with a narrow opening of rocks for passage. The pen offers shelter and security for the sheep. By sitting or lying in the narrow gap, the shepherd serves as the “gate” the only way in or out of pen. In these days of uncertainty, it is reassuring to reflect that though separated by social distancing each of us is welcomed into the sheepfold and it is Christ himself who lays down to protect us in these painful and difficult days. He lays there, whatever we are facing, dwelling with us and inviting us to dwell within him through illness, fear, bereavement, loneliness, anxiety as well as in joy. He protects, nurtures, holds and heals setting the hope of our inheritance as children of God before our eyes and inviting us as his Easter People to rest with confidence and boldly live this eternal life that has already begun.

You may like to open the door remembering Easter Eve when we carried the Light of The Risen Christ into the heart of our homes and reflect on how Jesus abides with you now right here in the place where you are.

O God, you search me and you know me.

All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.

When I walk or lie down, you are before me,

Ever the maker and keeper of my days. Bernadette Farrell from Psalm 139 – this link will take you to a Youtube link of the whole song.

It is as you are that Christ cares for you, not as a tidied up version of yourself, limping or skipping into the sheepfold, his love is the same, not measured or rationed just poured out, an invitation into life in all its fullness that we claim together.

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia


Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray to the Lord, who is our refuge and strength.

For the mission of the church,

The healing of the nations,

And the coming of his kingdom in our lives.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.


We pray for all who walk in darkness,

in the valley of the shadow of death.

We remember all those who are ill due to the Coronavirus,

We pray for their healing, and for all those supporting them,

We pray for the bereaved, for comfort, for hope in new life.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.


For our homes and families, our neighbours and our benefice.

May all in need be cared for and provided for,

May the isolated know friendship and kindness,

May the fearful know your peace.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.


Lord, lead us to know the fulness of your life,

To know abundant life in times of change,

Help us to share that life with others,

Give us vision, joy and hope for the future.

Lord, hear us,

Lord, graciously hear us.


Have a time of open prayer, offering your own prayers for your life, and the lives of others close to you and around the world.

You might like to listen to a hymn or worship song during this time, as you 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



Let us bless the risen Lord,

Thanks be to God. Alleluia!