Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

4th Sunday of Easter

3 May 2020, 6 p.m.

Opening Prayer Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord's Prayer Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be they name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. Deliver us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen

A Thought for Today Today we hear about Jesus teaching about the Good Shepherd. A shepherd that cares deeply about his sheep. A shepherd that calls his sheep by name. A shepherd that is listened to and trusted by the sheep. A shepherd that leads his sheep. A shepherd that the sheep will follow. This shepherd is Jesus and we are the sheep who are called by name. But to where are we being taken? The 23rd psalm (The Lord is my Shepherd) tells us that the shepherd is taking us to live with him in his house forever. As we travel, the shepherd looks after us, takes care of us and protects us. Then, when we arrive, the shepherd offers us a banquet and anoints us with oil.

Prayer for 4th Sunday of Easter Risen Christ, faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep: teach us to hear your voice and to follow your command, that all your people may be gathered into one flock, to the glory of God the Father. Amen

Prayer of blessing May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen.

Closing Note This message is sent to you with love and prayers as: a word of encouragement and a sign of hope in these quite extraordinary times.