Welcome to our Easter Communion

Welcome to our Sunday Service!

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Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.


Song: Build my Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smrq6hc-vcU


We meet in the name of the Father,

and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Amen



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 holy name;

through Christ our Lord.

Amen.


Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed

for us.

Let us therefore rejoice by putting

away all malice and evil

and confessing our sins

with a sincere and true heart.


Almighty God, our heavenly Father

we have sinned against you,

through our own fault,

in thought, and word and deed and in what we have left undone.

We are heartily sorry

and repent of our sins.

For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,

forgive us all that is past;

and grant that we may serve you in newness of life

to the glory of your name.

Amen


May Almighty God

have mercy upon you,

forgive you your sins,

and bring you to everlasting life.

Amen


Song: He is exalted https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCAL9sULAEA


The Collect

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



First Reading: Acts 10:44-48


44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening to his message. 45 The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speaking in strange tongues and praising God's greatness. Peter spoke up: 47 “These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did. Can anyone, then, stop them from being baptized with water?” 48 So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay with them for a few days.


This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God


Song: A New Commandment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoWrAgiIGak



Gospel Reading John 15:9-17


Alleluia alleluia

I am the first and the last, says the Lord

I was dead

And behold I am alive for evermore.

Alleluia

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Glory to you O Lord


9 I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. 13 The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. 14 And you are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another.


This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you O Christ



Sermon: Everybody’s Welcome

After Easter, we look at the bible accounts about what happened next; what difference did the Easter events make? It’s the story of transformation.



So this week we’re starting with some of Jesus’ teaching over the last supper (John 15:9-17). Here Jesus gives the key messages to his closest followers. He told them what was to happen next and what they must do.

We’re focussing on the part where Jesus says:


Remain in God’s love.


God loves Jesus, Jesus loves us. With the same powerful, eternal everlasting won’t break, won’t run out or go cold, love. We are loved. Before we’ve done or been anything at all, this is true:


We are loved.


But we have to choose to stay in that love. Jesus loves each one of his followers but not all of them stay or obeyed him. We have a choice.

It may sound quite restrictive; to stay within God’s love, we have to do what he wants. If we are under a tyrant, then we are ruled by fear and do things for his sake – not for our good. If God loves us from before time to the end of all things, and He wants us to obey, it’s for our own good, not on a whim. Jesus says- I tell your this so your joy may be complete! It is a joy to follow Jesus. And when we don’t get it right or mess things up- his love is still there as we turn back to him.

What are God’s commandments? It can be summed up in this.


Love one another.


It’s this kind of love. Not just a warm wonderful feeling, but a clear decided action. Jesus loves us enough to die for us.

We should have no limits on our love for others. It’s not the same as just letting someone walk all over an individual. We can make wise decisions- we’re not doing anything anyone asks of us; we act to do what we think is right. We’re not bullied or abused!

We act in others’ best interests.


It’s how Jesus treats us. We’re not servants blindly obeying commands; we’re his friends, his co-workers in this world. We can understand what Jesus is doing; by his Spirit and from his word, he speaks to us. Jesus has first reached out to us- he has chosen us.

And Jesus’ love is empowering and dynamic; we don’t just sit around with a rosy glow over us. He loves us, has chosen us, but has given us a task to do. We work alongside what Jesus has already started; we are appointed – we’ve got a job to do. Having a purpose gives us dignity; we matter in this world; what we do matters . When Jesus calls us to follow him, we have a lasting effect. There is a picture of the fruit of the Spirit the characteristics that the Holy Spirit grows in us but we could also think about the impact of the things we do as well as the people we’re becoming.

How wonderful! We might think that St Catherine’s church is small and insignificant; that turning up week by week to pray or worship or study together makes little difference in the world. Jesus tells us we’re loved, we matter and what we do makes a difference. After all God is with us- he will answer our prayers. We might get concerned about what it is precisely that God wants us to do. But it’s all summed up in this:


Love one another.


So what’s a practical example? What difference did this command make for those first followers?


Acts 10: the outworking of this. Peter has left Jerusalem and is now travelling through the country to visit new believers; he’s staying a place called Joppa on the coast. A day’s journey away is a Roman centurion (they were the occupying force in the area) called Cornelius- who is devout and God fearing

Cornelius has a vision – an angel tells him to send for Peter!

Hungry Peter also has a vision of a sheet descending from the sky filled with all kinds of animals- that he is forbidden to eat under Jewish law. A voice tells him that God hasn’t made anything unclean or forbidden.

Peter is then told that some men are coming to look for him. Once Peter and Cornelius meet -Peter has worked it out. He cannot say that anyone is outside of God’s love because of who they are. In Peter’s case- centuries of Jewish thinking said- they were God’s people and other nations or races weren’t. But now, before their eyes, the Holy Spirit was poured out on all these non-Jewish people- just as God had promised.



Jesus commanded his closest followers to love each other – Peter gets the shock of his life when he realises that means everybody within the reach of God’s love. Those who might be his enemies – the Romans- can be loved; those who are different race can be loved; those that his previous religious thinking had excluded can be loved.


So what’s the message for us this morning:

We are loved

We remain in God’s love as we obey his commandments

They are all summed up in this- love one another.

And that love is not limited by race or religion or background or any other barrier.


What we believe


Let us declare our faith

in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Christ died for our sins

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he was buried;

he was raised to life on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures;

afterwards he appeared to his followers,

and to all the apostles:

this we have received,

and this we believe.

Amen.


Our Prayers



The Peace

The Risen Christ came and stood among

his disciples and said,

Peace be with you.

The they were glad when they saw the Lord.

Alleluia

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.


Song: Waymaker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wyotu9Twko



Holy Communion


The Lord is here.

His Spirit is with us.


Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.


And now we give you thanks

because through him you have given us eternal life and delivered us from the bondage of sin and the fear of death

into the glorious liberty of the children of God.


Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might

Heaven and earth are full of your glory

Hosanna in the highest

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest


We praise and bless you, loving Father,

through Jesus Christ, our Lord;

and as we obey his command,

send your Holy Spirit,

that broken bread and wine outpoured

may be for us the body and blood of your dear Son.


On the night before he died he had supper with his friends

and, taking bread, he praised you.

He broke the bread, gave it to them and said:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.


When supper was ended he took the cup of wine.

Again he praised you, gave it to them and said: Drink this, all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.



So, Father, we remember all that Jesus did,

in him we plead with confidence his sacrifice

made once for all upon the cross.

Bringing before you the bread of life and cup of salvation,

we proclaim his death and resurrection

until he comes in glory.


Dying you destroyed our death,

rising you restored our life:

Lord Jesus, come in glory.

Lord of all life,

help us to work together for that day

when your kingdom comes

and justice and mercy will be seen in all the earth.


Look with favour on your people,

gather us in your loving arms

and bring us with all the saints

to feast at your table in heaven.

Through Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honour and glory are yours, O loving Father, for ever and ever.

Amen.


Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.


We break this bread

to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,

because we all share in one bread.


Alleluia! Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us

Alleluia! Let us keep the feast!


Prayer of Spiritual Communion

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen



Song: What a beautiful name https://youtu.be/r5L6QlAH3L4


Father of all,

we give you thanks and praise,

that when we were still far off

you met us in your Son and brought us home.

Dying and living, he declared your love,

gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.

May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life;

we who drink his cup bring life to others;

we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world.

Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us,

so we and all your children shall be free,

and the whole earth live to praise your name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Blessing

God the Father, by whose glory

Christ was raised from the dead,

strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life;

and the blessing of God Almighty

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now

And remain with you always.

Amen


Song: Build your kingdom here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52LIC1VtgRc


Dismissal

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He has given us new life and hope.

He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.

He has brought us out of darkness.

He has made us light to the world.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.



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