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Welcome to the 9:30 Church At Home

4th Sunday of Easter

Although we can’t be together this Sunday as one big family, we’re still connected by God’s love for us and our love for him and each other! Below is a suggested structure for you to spend time worshipping God and receiving from him today. Please don’t feel like you have to stick to 9:30am on a Sunday – find a time that will work for you and your family without other distractions.

An introduction to the season

The Great Fifty Days of Eastertide form a single festival period in which the tone of joy created at the Easter Vigil is sustained through the following seven weeks, and the Church celebrates the gloriously risen Christ.

On the fortieth day there has from the late fourth century been a particular celebration of Christ’s ascension.
He commissions his disciples to continue his work, he promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, and then he is no longer among them in the flesh. The ascension is therefore closely connected with the theme of mission.

The arrival of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost completes and crowns the Easter Festival.

Words of Encouragement

The first line of the Lord’s Prayer helps us find our place in the universe despite the chaos and suffering around us and the pain within us.

We remember that we are not here by accident or chance, but we are deeply loved children of our maker.

You are not alone but connected as God’s child with all of humanity.

You are part of the church of Jesus Christ.

Our Father is indeed in heaven, but this prayer is given to us by his Son, Jesus, who lived and suffered with us and who rose again from death.

Suggestion: Please read the normal black print in your mind, then read aloud the bold black print.

Words of Welcome

Alleluia. Christ is risen
He is risen indeed. Alleluia

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
He has given us new life and hope.
He has raised Jesus from the dead.

Alleluia. Christ is risen
He is risen indeed. Alleluia

Opening Prayer

Faithful one, whose word is life:
come with saving power
to free our praise,
inspire our prayer
and shape our lives
for the kingdom of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Hymn

SB8 – Great Is Thy Faithfulness
You can also listen on Spotify here.

Prayers of Penitence

Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord, we come to you in sorrow for our sins,
and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.
We have lived by our own strength,
and not by the power of your resurrection.
In your mercy, forgive us.
Lord, hear us and help us.

We have lived by the light of our own eyes,
as faithless and not believing.
In your mercy, forgive us.
Lord, hear us and help us.

May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Dedication

Lord Jesus Christ, you emptied yourself, taking the form of a servant.
Through your love, make us servants of one another.

Lord Jesus Christ, you gave yourself for us.
We give back to you out of the time, energy and money you have given us.

Lord Jesus Christ, for our sake you became poor:
May our lives and gifts enrich the life of your world.

First Reading

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    for ever.

Psalm 23 (NIVUK)

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Second Reading

‘Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.’ Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:1-10 (NIVUK)

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Teaching

Watch this week’s talk below.

Reflection

Watch this week’s talk and reflect on these following questions.

Suggestion: For the discussion parts of this, you could do this by setting up a WhatsApp video call/ Skype/ phone call, or by chatting it through with any members of your family who are with you in your home.

  1. What most struck you from today’s teaching?
  2. What questions do you still have?
  3. What’s one thing (big or small) that you think God might be saying to you?
  4. Who could you tell this to so they can pray and discuss it with you?
  5. What do you think you could do about what God is saying?
  6. Are there other ways this week you think you could Live Easter Now? Write down at least one and have a go at doing it!

Second Hymn

SB16 – To God Be The Glory
You can also listen on Spotify here.

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith
in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried;
he was raised to life on the third day
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles:
this we have received,
and this we believe.
Amen.

Collect

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

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God,
who alone makes us dwell in safety:

For all who are affected by coronavirus,
through illness or isolation or anxiety,
that they may find relief and recovery:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For those who are guiding our nation at this time,
and shaping national policies,
that they may make wise decisions:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,
that through their skill and insights
many will be restored to health:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For the vulnerable and the fearful,
for the gravely ill and the dying,
that they may know your comfort and peace:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.

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

Gathering our prayers and praise into one, let us pray as our Saviour taught us:

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.

Conclusion

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He has given us new life and hope.
He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.

He has brought us out of darkness.
He has made us light to the world.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

“The Lord bless us and keep us;
the Lord make his face shine on us
and be gracious to us;
the Lord turn his face toward us
and give us peace.”
Amen.

(Numbers 6:24-26)