Prayers, Readings and Reflection for 6th Sunday of Easter

17th May 2020

Praise God! For the Lord our God the almighty reigns! Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory. Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Confession

Christ died to sin once for all, and now he lives to God. Let us renew our resolve to have done with all that is evil and confess our sins in penitence and faith. Like Mary at the empty tomb, we fail to grasp the wonder of your presence. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Like the disciples behind locked doors, we are afraid to be seen as your followers. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Like Thomas in the upper room, we are slow to believe. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 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.

Prayer for the day

Risen Christ, by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples: help your Church to obey your command and draw the nations to the fire of your love, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Old Testament Reading:
Genesis 8: 20 – 9: 17
Psalm:
Psalm 66: 1-end
New Testament Reading:
Acts 17: 22-31
Gospel Reading:
John 14: 15-21

Reflection by the Revd Alan Bolding, Curate

A few weeks ago I tuned into an evening of Marlon Brando films and watched The Wild Ones.

I was quite envious of those young guys riding around on their Harley-Davidson motorbikes, they were a bit unruly, they terrorised towns and caused a bit of a rumpus, but the sound of those Harley-Davidson motorbikes was something else.

Then I watched the film on The Waterfront and this was about the New York dockers fight against the unions.

The Unions ruled the dockers with an iron fist, they were brutal, vicious, murderous and extremely corrupt. To keep on the side of the unions you had to tell them about anybody speaking out against them or stepping out of line.

Two men did, one was a Roman Catholic priest the other one was Marlon Brando.

One evening the dockers wanted a secret meeting and the only place they could find which was suitable was in the Roman Catholic Church.

During the meeting the priest explained to them the meaning of the crucifixion, what it was about and what it achieved, then he went on to say, if you see your brothers beaten and illtreated or murdered and you turn your back on them and did nothing, you crucified Jesus again, it was very powerful.

I saw this film in my mid-teens and I don't remember that scene, or it having any effect on me at the time. Watching this film the other evening I understood it all, and it made me very very emotional.

What happened between my teenage years and my late 70’s, what changed? I asked Jesus into my life and I received the free gift of the Holy Spirit and my eyes were opened to all truths.

In the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of life, their eyes were open to sin and death.

When the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to forgiveness, salvation and everlasting life all truths will be revealed. You can't buy or earn The Holy Spirit you just receive Him when you ask Jesus into your life, then your eyes will be open.

You might have read The Bible once twice or even three or four times from cover to cover. You go to every church service that is available and you pray everyday you have been on the Alpha course, the course in Christian studies and whenever there is a Bible study course you go on it, but there is still something missing and not quite right in your life.

Then you need to ask Jesus into your life and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who will open your eyes to the truth then you will be complete, the last bit of the jigsaw puzzle will be in place.

The Lord bless you and keep you The Lord make his face shine upon you And be gracious to you The Lord turn his face towards you And give you peace.

Amen

Prayers

In joy and hope let us pray to the Father. That our risen Saviour may fill us with the joy of his glorious and life-giving resurrection ... we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. That isolated and persecuted churches may find fresh strength in the good news of Easter ... we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. That God may grant us humility to be subject to one another in Christian love ... we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. That he may provide for those who lack food, work or shelter ... we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. That by his power war and famine may cease through all the world ... we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. That he may reveal the light of his presence to the sick, the weak and the dying, to comfort and strengthen them ... we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. That, according to his promises, all who have died in the faith of the resurrection may be raised on the last day ... we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. That he may send the fire of the Holy Spirit upon his people, so that we may bear faithful witness to his resurrection, we pray to the Father. Hear our prayer. Heavenly Father, you have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son: grant that, as his death has recalled us to life, so his continual presence in us may raise us to eternal joy; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing

May Christ, who out of defeat brings new hope and a new future, fill us with his new life; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always. Amen. Remain in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia. Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.