Online Service - Sunday after Easter
Our service for us all to share in at 10am on Sunday morning
Click the play button on the video above and follow the service below:
Welcome to this service for the Sunday after Easter, a time to pray and give thanks to God in the middle of this pandemic which has affected every almost every continent.
We give thanks for those who are involved in the care and welfare of those in need and for their self-sacrifice. Today we think about the parable of the sheep and the goats.
(+) We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
This is the day that the Lord has made.
All: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
O Lord, open our lips
All: and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Give us the joy of your saving help
All: and sustain us with your life-giving Spirit.
We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God.
Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ So, let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.
Lord God, we have sinned against you; we have done evil in your sight. We are sorry and repent. Have mercy on us according to your love. Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin. Help us to see you in those around us. Renew a right spirit within us and restore us to the joy of your salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. May the Father of all mercies cleanse me from my sins, and restore in me his image, to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We pray this prayer together
Blessed are you, Lord our God, creator and redeemer of all; to you be glory and praise forever. From the waters of chaos you drew forth the world and in your great love fashioned us in your image. Now, through the deep waters of death, you have brought your people to new birth by raising your Son to life in triumph. May Christ your light ever dawn in our hearts as we offer you our sacriﬁce of thanks and praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
All: Blessed be God for ever.
The Benedictus is said – you may want to join in this reading
1 Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who has come to his people and set them free.
2 He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, born of the house of his servant David.
3 Through his holy prophets God promised of old to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us,
4 To show mercy to our ancestors, and to remember his holy covenant.
5 This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
6 Free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
7 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
8 To give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of all their sins.
9 In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
10 To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1.68-79
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.
A hymn will be played on the YoutTube version of this service.
Matthew 25 vv. 31 to end
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[g] you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Following Easter Day there were a number of times when Christ appeared to the disciples – on each occasion it was totally unexpected. Christ would appear on the road to Emmaus, by the sea and in a locked room. Each time he appeared, the disciples were both amazed and surprised.
The lesson today reminds us that in our own generation and time Christ comes unexpectedly, in the guise of other people – our neighbour, the people on our screens, the people we pass when we are taking our exercise. I am currently reading a book called ‘What Clergy do – especially when it looks like nothing!! Its about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ the vocation. I guess we all are finding it strange at the moment – especially if you are a person who likes to keep busy.
However, in this enforced time of lockdown we have time to ‘sit and stare’ and maybe notice the Christ who is in the guise of NHS staff, the care staff in residential homes, the check out ladies, and the delivery people the farmers and the myriad of other people who work tirelessly at the moment.
And how can we be Christ to our community in these strange times? Well we can pray. St Benedict called prayer to be our work as a Christian. We can pray, and make time to pray for all of those things we notice in life now because we have time. For example, rather than blandly praying for ‘the check out lady in Tesco’ – lets try and envisage her and personalise our prayer for her as a living , breathing person rather than just as a category of worker. Our prayers will take on a whole new depth as we do so
All kinds of stories are coming out in the media about kindness – and that is wonderful and encouraging. However, as Christians we realise that this is because scripture has come alive – the parable of the sheep and the goats come alive. So pray, imagine and pray again – that is your role and work in these troubled times.
Let us pray
We pray for all in the NHS at this time and for their work
We pray for farmers and all involved in food manufacture and distribution
We pray for the self - employed -
We pray for all those affected by Covid 19 and especially those in our own town and we think of
the man from Burnham and his family in their grief
We bring before God our own families and friends –
We sum up all our prayers in the prayer Jesus taught
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
We all say this:
The Peace of God which passes all human understanding keep us in eternal life,
and the Blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us all
now and forever. Amen.