Hymn, readings and prayers for Sunday

 

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER 

" See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God."

 

1 The head that once was crowned with thorns
is crowned with glory now;
a royal diadem adorns
the mighty Victor's brow.

 

2 The highest place that heav'n affords
is his, is his by right,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
and heav'n's eternal Light:

 

3 The joy of all who dwell above,
the joy of all below,
to whom he manifests his love,
and grants his name to know.

 

4 To them the cross, with all its shame,
with all its grace, is giv'n;
their name an everlasting name,
their joy the joy of heav'n.

 

5 They suffer with the Lord below,
they reign with him above;
their profit and their joy to know
the myst'ry of his love.

 

6 The cross he bore is life and health,
though shame and death to him;
his people's hope, his people's wealth,
their everlasting theme.

 

 

 

 

The collect for the Third Sunday of Easter

Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope: strengthen us also to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen. Amen.

The First Reading: Acts 3:12-19

Peter addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.

To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.‘ And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.’

St. Peter preaching: Fra Angelico

This week’s reading from Acts precedes the text we read last week. Peter and John have just healed a crippled man, to the amazement of the bystanders,  and a crowd has gathered to see the cause of the commotion. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” These are the words that Peter spoke, whereupon the Holy Spirit gave the man back the use of his legs. Some in the crowd may have seen Jesus on the cross and even joined in and jeered when others shouted “Crucify him!” Peter took this opportunity to tell those who had gathered around him that, despite what they may have seen at Golgotha, he could testify to the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead and that his healing power lives among us through the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

"You mortals, how long will you dishonour my glory; how long will you worship dumb idols
and run after false gods?"

Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

Tremble, then, and do not sin; speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

Offer the appointed sacrifices and put your trust in the Lord.

Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see better times!" Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.

You have put gladness in my heart, more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety

 

The Epistle: 1 John 3:1-7

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

Duccio: Christ

appears to the

Disciples

 

 

                                   

Gospel reading: Luke 24:36b-48

While the eleven and their companions were talking about what they had heard, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you - that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.’     

                  

When Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, Lazarus regained his earthly body. He would not have been able to pass through walls and suddenly reappear as did the risen Christ. Jesus was not resuscitated like Lazarus but was raised spiritually while still recognisable in his physical body, the wounds very much in evidence.  It must have been a scary experience for the disciples until Jesus sat down to the meal with them and convinced them that he was not a ghost: he really had reconciled the spiritual and the physical dimensions, the Love of God in person among his children. Jesus appeared to his disciples on several occasions and whatever the exact circumstances, the encounter transformed the previously fearful and disillusioned disciples who boldly went on to found what we now know as the Christian Church of which we are part

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you for calling us to be “Children of God”.  We thank you for the immeasurable Love you show us day by day and pray that we may respond with love and care for all with whom we come in contact and joyfully witness to your unfailing presence in our lives.

  • We pray for the Church that it may radiate the Love of Christ and give new hope to communities where division and hardship marginalise and isolate.
  • We pray for peacemakers across the world and in particular those seeking to resolve the  conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine. We pray for displaced people and refugees and for those forced to take up arms alongside their fellow citizens to defend their country.
  • We pray for the victims of Climate Change, some losing their home to floods while others face ever reducing harvests due to lack of rainfall.
  • We continue to pray for those known to us who are in poor health, thinking especially of ...............................................
  • We pray for the repose of the souls of those who have recently departed this life. We ask you, Father, to be with the bereaved that they may know the comforting presence of the risen Christ at this time of great sorrow and sadness.

 

 

Living God, your Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in all his redeeming work; who is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen

 

 

 

 

Prayer from Archbishop Hosam Naoum of Jerusalem

O God of all justice and peace we cry out to you in the midst of pain and trauma of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land.

Be with those who need you in these days of suffering; we pray for people of all faiths – Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all the people of the land.

While we pray to you, O Lord, for an end to violence and the establishment of peace, we also call for you to bring justice and equity to the peoples.

Guide us into your kingdom where all people are treated with dignity and honour as your children, for to all of us you are our Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

 

A PRAYER FOR UKRAINE

Lord, you promise us a future in which the weapons of war will be transformed into instruments of peace.  
Today is not such a day, as missiles rain down on Ukraine  and innocent people take refuge underground..
You taught us to pray your kingdom come on earth  as it is in heaven,
and so we pray that you will restrain the aggressor, grant courage and wisdom to the resistance, and bring peace to this part of your world.  
Look with mercy on the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, and grant our leaders wisdom and courage to seek a resolution that will allow truth and freedom to return to these lands.
Grant Lord, that through this conflict that we would have unimaginable two years  ago, we may recognise anew our need for you, and live to thank you for answering our prayers.
 

Amen

 

 

 

 

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