Easter 2020

Celebrating Easter 2020

Seventh Sunday of Easter – 24th May 2020

Collect:

O God, the king of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Reading
Acts 1:6-14

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

Second reading
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading
John 17:1-11

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

Reflection:

One of the great things about the Church of England is its great breadth so there is somewhere a place for everyone to be able to find a style of worship which helps them draw close to God. From high Anglo-Catholic bells and smells, to low Evangelical with no formal liturgy or robes and everything in between. The church can be quick to try to pigeon-hole people into one category or another without always realizing that actually a mix of traditions and styles can be helpful. Ascension day always makes me think of going to Walsingham for the weekend when I was at Theological College, for there, in amongst all the chapels and shrines is one for the Ascension with a pair of feet sticking out of the ceiling.
Ten days later we celebrate Pentecost, the Holy Spirit coming on the disciples and this always makes me think of great worship services held in my first curacy in Blackpool when we had lots of children with streamers and what must have been a forerunner to Messy Church activities.
Jesus Ascension into heaven is an essential part of the story, and one all his disciples were gathered together to witness. After it has taken place, we are told in Acts, the disciples, Mary and others constantly devoted themselves to prayer, such as we might make a commitment to pray at this time. They may have reflected on Jesus word’s from John’s gospel about how the hour is coming when all this will come to pass, and when it does, God will be glorified through Jesus because he has kept his promise.
Jesus also needed to ascend so the Holy Spirit may be sent into the world, the next chapter can then be written of the Spirit empowering the disciples to draw together the early church, to preach and teach in Jesus name and continue the work he has tasked them with.
The time in between Ascension and Pentecost is a dedicated time to pray:
To pray for a deepening of our own faith and relationship with God.
To pray for 5 people that you know, that they may come to know God as well.
That the Holy Spirit would come and empower us as witnesses.
Although we are unable to get out and about at the moment, we are able to pray in our own homes, in our places of work and where we might find ourselves, for God keeps his promise of being with us always.
So however you pray, pray thy kingdom come, pray for the Holy Spirit to come and pray for a closer relationship with God.

Notices

Today (24th May) is a special day as it is my 8th anniversary of being with you at St Peter’s. I had hoped to celebrate with you all at church, so please treat yourselves to a piece of cake on my behalf!

Daily Hope prayer line which is available 24 hours a day and comprises, hymns, reflections and prayers. The number is free – 0800 804 8044.

Our services of daily Morning & Evening Prayer continue to be live streamed on Facebook and then uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Please don’t forget to be in touch if you need anything, wish to pass on a prayer request or want someone to chat to. You are all in my prayers daily.

Prayers

For the parish: Lisbon Drive, Nancy Street and Naples Road

For those who are suffering from coronavirus and those who have lost loved ones

For those who are unwell in our parish: Noah; Barbara; Luke; Sienna; Rosabella; Cameron; Jude; Geoff; Hazel; Margaret; Len; Emma; Raymond; Derek; Lorraine; Eleanor; David; Rachael; Lisa; Annette; Ruth; Emily; Brenda; James; Chloe; Monica; Rick; Norah; Wendy; Roy; John; Ian, Bridget; Charlie, Maurice

For those who have died:
Gary Cooper; Craig Miller; Kevin Morris

For those whose anniversaries are this week:
Hannah Sykes; Norman Briggs

Prayer and worship at home

Prayers of Penitence

What God has prepared for those who love him, he has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything. Therefore, let us in penitence open our hearts to the Lord, who has prepared good things for those who love him.

You raise the dead to life in the Spirit:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

You bring pardon and peace to the broken in heart
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

You make one by your Spirit the torn and divided:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Words of 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. Amen.

Prayers of intercession

(Here you may wish to offer prayer in your own words, or be prompted by the words here)
We pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in our world, our church and our lives…..

We pray for the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide leaders and decision makers….

We pray for the peace of the Holy Spirit in our homes, our hearts and our minds….

We pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to equip us for the work you have given us…

We pray for the healing of the Holy Spirit to be with all who suffer in body, mind and spirit….

We pray for the breath of the Holy Spirit given by the Risen Lord, to gather to him those who have died and those we remember…..

The Lord’s Prayer 

Joining with Christians throughout the world,
we pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven….
or
Our Father in heaven…. 

The Grace

We conclude our prayers

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, evermore. Amen.

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

Words of 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. Amen. 

The Special Prayer for this week 

O God, the king of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Amen. 

The Word of the Lord
FIRST READING: Acts 1:6-14

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

THE GOSPEL: John 17:1-11

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
Glory to you, O Lord
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ. 

Affirmation of faith

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Though he was divine, he did not cling to equality with God, but made himself nothing. Taking the form of a slave, he was born in human likeness. He humbled himself and was obedient to death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God has raised him on high, and given him the name above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name,
I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name;
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His love as He told me to.
He said: ‘Freely, freely, you have received,
Freely, freely give;
Go in My name, and because you believe
Others will know that I live.’

All power is given in Jesus’ name,
In earth and heaven in Jesus’ name;
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His power as He told me to.
He said: ‘Freely, freely, you have received,
Freely, freely give;
Go in My name, and because you believe
Others will know that I live.’

God gives us life in Jesus’ name,
He lives in us in Jesus’ name.
And in Jesus name I come to you
To share his peace as he told me to.
He said: ‘Freely, freely, you have received,
Freely, freely give;
Go in My name, and because you believe
Others will know that I live.’

At the name of Jesus
every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess
him king of glory now;
tis the Father’s pleasure,
that we call him Lord,
who from the beginning
was the mighty word.

At his voice creation
sprang at once to sight,
all the angel faces,
all the hosts of light;
thrones and dominations,
stars upon their way,
all the heavenly orders,
in their great array.

Humbled for a season,
to receive a name
from the lips of sinners
unto whom he came;
faithfully he bore it,
spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious
when from death he passed.

Bore it up triumphant
with its human light,
through all ranks of creatures
to the central height;
to the throne of Godhead,
to the Father’s breast;
filled it with the glory
of that perfect rest.

In your hearts enthrone him;
there let him subdue
all that is not holy,
all that is not true;
crown him as your captain
in temptation’s hour,
let his will enfold you
in its light and power.

Truly, this Lord Jesus
shall return again,
with his Father’s glory,
with his angel train;
for all wreaths of empire
meet upon his brow;
and our hearts confess him
king of glory now.