Online service 3rd May 2020

Welcome to the Service for the 4th Sunday of Easter : also available via Youtube

Online service 3rd May 2020

St Andrew’s Church Service for 4th Sunday of Easter.

 

YouTube Service

 

Greeting and Prayer of preparation:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

The Lord is here!

His Spirit is with us.

Welcome to this service for the 4th Sunday of Easter, with the Alleluia’s of Christ’s glorious Resurrection ever fresh on our lips.

 

As we draw near to God in Worship, we ask Him to prepare our hearts, minds and spirit’s to receive all that He offers us.

Let us pray together:

Almighty God,

To whom all hearts are open,

All desires known, 

And from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts, 

By the inspiration of your Holy Spirit.

That we may perfectly love you,

And worthily magnify your Hold name, 

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Confession and absolution:   

Most merciful God,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

we confess that we have sinned

in thought, word and deed.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

In your mercy

forgive what we have been,

help us to amend what we are,

and direct what we shall be;

that we may do justly,

love mercy,

and walk humbly with you, our God.

Amen.

 

Absolution:

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.

 

 

 

Bible reading  Acts 2:42-47:   

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds[a] to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home[b] and ate their food with glad and generous[c] hearts, 47 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.

 

Reflection

The Believers held all things in common

This passage follows straight on from our reading last week- when the truth of Peter’s sermon ‘cut the people to the heart’, and led them to repentance and Baptism, and a new way of living their lives.

That repentance led to the believers really listening to the teaching of the disciples, and accepting the way of Jesus. It led to sharing fellowship together- breaking bread, faithfully and consistently praying. 

For many weeks now we, as a fellowship of believers, have been unable to gather together and take communion in church- when we

we break this bread to share in the body of Christ, because although we are many, we are one body, because we all share in the one bread’.

In communion we share in the body of Christ given for the brokenness of the world, and even our inability at this time to receive the bread and wine enables us to enter into the brokenness and desolation of the world, affected as it is by this global pandemic that has isolated and distanced people one from another. 

Christ is always near to the broken hearted, the lonely, the fearful and the sick.  Far from the restrictions on bread and wine separating us from communion, by sharing in the isolation and desolation of the world we are in fact entering into a deeper, profound communion with each other, with the world and with The Lord who was broken for us.

 

The believers in Acts came together, holding all things in common- their possessions, their riches, their joys, and their pain. 

In a post pandemic world, as we re-emerge back into our societies- back into our Churches- what kind of society and Church will we be rebuilding? 

Can we, like those early believers in Acts, somehow re-imagine a community infected by an unstoppable compassion that embraces radical generosity, hospitality, social justice, not just for ourselves but for the whole community of Burnham on Sea and beyond?

Because we are indeed a people who have shared a profound and unprecedented time, we are all sheep of this pasture, and it’s up to us what the Church of the future will look like in response to all that Jesus has gifted us with. Amen

 

Hymn: The Lord’s my Shepherd

The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want;
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul he doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E'en for his own name's sake.

Yea, I walk in death's dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill:
For thou art with me, and thy rod
And staff me comfort still.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God's house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.

Prayers and Blessing:

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

For the health and well-being of our nation,
that all who are fearful and anxious
may be at peace and free from worry:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs,
and care for them in their vulnerability:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For our homes and families, our schools and young people,
and all in any kind of need or distress:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For a blessing on our local community, that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship,where all are known and cared for: 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.

 

Blessing (All say)

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

The love of God

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Be with us all, evermore, Amen.

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