Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

A short service for the fifth Sunday of Easter 10th May 2020

Today is the fifth Sunday of Easter

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Amen.


Psalm 31: 1-5

In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;

let me never be put to shame;

deliver me in your righteousness.

Turn your ear to me,

come quickly to my rescue;

be my rock of refuge,

a strong fortress to save me.

Since you are my rock and my fortress,

for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,

for you are my refuge.

Into your hands, I commit my spirit;

deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.


Collect

Almighty God,

who through thine only begotten Son Jesus Christ

hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life;

we humbly beseech thee that,

as by thy grace preceding us

thou dost put into our minds good desires,

so by thy continual help

we may bring the same to good effect;

through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord,

who liveth and reigneth with thee,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.


Our Bible reading is John 14: 1-14

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.


A thought for the day by Revd. Arif Anees

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit – amen. I hope you are doing well. We are still under the lockdown and learning new ways to be a church and a community. Nothing has changed since I recorded my last thought for the day. But a lot has changed for those who had been affected by the virus, who have lost their loved ones and the world would never be the same for them. Many people are going through the financial upheaval, some have lost their jobs while others live under the fear of losing it. I would take nothing away from the grief people feel, I would not say that everything is all right. Because it’s not and you know it. There is hurt and it will hurt for a long time. God made us so that we can have relationships with one another and when that relationship is lost we feel pain, loss of a loved one hurts.

Still I would like to speak few words of comfort which comes from our Gospel reading. Firstly, Jesus promised peace. Notice the words “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me”. I know that in sadness, grief, and mourning, it is not easy to find peace but it is not impossible. How? Because we have faith - we believe. We believe that even in the midst of the storm - even in the valley of the shadow of death there can be a peace which pass all understanding - because we know that God is with us. The 23rd Psalm says that too. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” He is here. He is present. Believe in Him - Trust in Him and God will grant you his perfect peace.

Secondly, God has prepared a way for us to approach Him. As St Augustine said that, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” Everyone has a spiritual longing ingrained into their hearts whether they know it or not, some just don’t know the way. But Jesus tells us in John 14 that, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” We are all travellers on a road called life. There are many detours and many side streets. We don’t need to be confused - we don’t need to be lost. All we need to do is follow Jesus. He will show us the way - in fact He is the way. He will lead us and He will guide us.

Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Jesus. May God bless you, comfort you, and give you His peace which is only found in the name of Jesus – amen.

 

Prayers

Lord Jesus, we pray for those who are troubled today,

those worried about money, those looking for work,

those who don’t feel safe.

May they find in you a way forward.

We pray for those whose journey of life is testing,

those who live in places of violence,

those who are a long way from family,

those whose health is fragile.

May they find in you a place to rest.

We pray for those who feel unwanted,

those who have left their countries,

those who live on city streets, those who are neglected.

May they find in you a welcome.

Lord Jesus, we pray for all places of need,

and all people in trouble.

As we make room for them in our prayers,

may we make room for them in our lives.

Amen.


Final blessing

The Lord bless us, and preserve from all evil,

and keep us in eternal life.

Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.


The Holy Bible NIV - Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Common Worship – Copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.

Reproduced with permission.