FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

25TH APRIL 2021

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  John 10:11 | Scripture pictures, Scripture, Fun facts

OPENING SENTENCE

– The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

HYMN

GREETING

Alleluia Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

He has given us new life and hope

by raising Jesus from the dead.

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God to whom all hearts be 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 Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Description: Description: Description: Confession under section 67 NDPS Act to be admitted or not, yet to ...

CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins, and deliver us from the power of evil, for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by his Spirit and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA

sung by Douglas Byers

COLLECT

O God, the light of whose truth stretches out to those who go astray give your grace to all who profess themselves Christians, that they may cast what is harmful and pursue all that gives life;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen

FIRST READING ACTS 4: 5-12

read by Marion Whitty

The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 

Acts 4:12 Inspirational Image

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is

‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

SECOND READING 1 JOHN 3:16-24

read by David Kerr

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

1 John 3:16 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ ...

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

HYMN

GOSPEL READING JOHN 10:11-18

read by Rev Ann Wren

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John chapter 1- beginning at verse 11

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

John 10:11-18 (NLT) -- The Good Shepherd and His Sheep⠀ ⠀ “I am the good  shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life f… | The good shepherd, I  am awesome, Sheep

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.

And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd. 

For this reason, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

SERMON

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is My Shepherd - Free Bible Verse Art Downloads - Bible  Verses To Go

A famous actor was the guest of honour at a social gathering. As people gathered around, they asked the actor to recite excerpts from various literary works. He obliged and did so brilliantly. Finally, an elderly pastor asked the author to recite the 23rd Psalm. The actor hesitated at first and then agreed on one condition. The pastor would return the favour. The actor’s recitation was brilliant and eloquent. People responded to the actor with lengthy applause. The pastor’s rendition was feeble and frail. But when the pastor finished, there was not a dry eye in the house. Finally, the actor broke the silence with these words: “I know the psalm. The pastor knows the Shepherd.” and was able to say in confidence “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Indeed, Jesus is our shepherd. He is the good shepherd who knows his sheep personally.

Prisoner No. 24601" MUG 11oz CUP: Amazon.co.uk: Handmade

Does the number 24601 mean anything to you? It was the number of the famous prisoner Jean Valjean in the musical ‘Les Miserables’. Strangely enough this is now a term to describe those who are punished extensively for a small crime. In those days numbers were given to prisoners of war, convicts and slaves, nowadays numbers are used for almost everything.

Just think for a moment of how often we are identified with a number? At the bank you have account numbers, PIN numbers to access your accounts, and credit card numbers. The taxation department identifies you by your Tax File Number. You have a Medical card number. When you enquire about your gas, electricity or phone bill the first thing you are asked is, “What is your customer number?” When you go to the passport office or motor tax office you are required to pick up a number and you will be served when your number is called. If you are in business, you need a business number; if you are in schools, you have a roll number, if on internet sites and for email you need usernames and passwords. If you are stopped for some reason by the police, the policeman is interested in numbers – your licence number, your registration number. We could go on and on. Numbers are so impersonal. Isn’t it nice when someone remembers your name, or when you are known by name rather than by a customer account number?

Our name is known by Jesus. We are never a number in his eyes. Indeed, when in John’s Gospel we hear Jesus say “I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know mewe have that kind of warm feeling when we know someone cares for us, when we know that someone is interested in what is happening in our lives, and is able to empathise and encourage us. To Jesus we are personal and we matter. He sees himself as our shepherd and whether we like the term or not we are his sheep.

When we look at a flock of sheep, we see exactly that – a big flock. That’s all. I don’t see an individual sheep. I see sheep. All are alike, none are different. But not so with the Shepherd! He sees the sheep differently. To Him, every sheep has a name. The one with thick white wool, that’s Amos. And the one with one ear up and the other down, that’s Simon. And the small one with a black patch on his leg, he’s an orphan with no brothers. He’s Joseph. When you see a crowd, you see exactly that – a crowd-a mass of people. You go into a football stadium, you will see a mass of people – not persons, but people-a large herd of humans, that’s all you might see! But not so with the Shepherd! To him every face is different. Every face is a story. Every face is a child. They are His own. Every child has a name.

Here this morning you may know everyone by name… certainly God knows everyone here by name. The Lord says in Isaiah 49:16a “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Amazing! “Engraved-cannot be taken off! Your name is on God’s hand. Your name is on His palm. Have you seen your name in some special places? Maybe on a certificate or a diploma! Maybe on a foundation stone, if you are the founder of a business or charity! Or maybe you’ve heard your name mentioned by some important people – your school principal, or by a famous star. How do you feel? No doubt you feel very honoured-very special!

I Have Etched Your Name on My Hands, Isaiah 49:15-16 - First Presbyterian  Church of Boonton, NJ

THINK FOR A MOMENT – your name is on God’s lips, and on God’s hand? Can it really be so? Your name is on the lips of the Creator of this world, and your name is so precious to the Author of life, that it is engraved on the palm of his hand. Perhaps some of us have never seen our name honoured. We may have felt neglected. We can’t remember the last time someone mentioned our name with kindness. If so, it may be difficult for us to believe that God knows our name. The truth is-he does. Our name is written on his hand. Our name is spoken by His mouth. He knows all about us. He made us. God, the greatest One in the Universe, knows us by name and has our name engraved upon His palm. Do we feel unimportant or insignificant? Jesus wants to tell us today how much God treasures each one of us.

Jesus did not say, the Shepherd calls the sheep but that He calls them by name. Jesus’ approach to us is personal. Not only is his approach personal but He calls the sheep His own. Wow! We belong to God; we are part of his family; we are his sons and daughters. He really does know us and care for us. What is interesting is he says that we know him and that we recognise his voice. Recognising voices is something we do instinctively. When we pick up the phone more than often, we are able to identify the caller by their voices. We recognise people in shops by their voice when they call out to us. Recently this happened to me in Morrisons. Someone waved to me. I did not recognise her. Her hair was longer than I remembered, she wore glasses for the first time and she had a mask on. When she called my name, I recognised her voice. I knew her. Mary recognised Jesus when he called her name. Knowing people comes from spending time with them, listening to them and chatting with them, so that subconsciously we know their voice. Here’s a true example of this from Scotland.

Review: James Rebanks's Desert Island Discs – Listen Here

There once was a shepherd that lived in the Scottish Highlands. This shepherd had a daughter and he would take her with him when he went out on the moors to take care of the sheep. The thing that the little girl liked best was to hear the call of shepherd. His voice sounded so free and beautiful as carried across the valleys of the moors. As the years passed the little girl became a beautiful young woman and went off to one of Scotland’s great cities–Edinburgh or Glasgow. It was there that she was determined to build a life. On her arrival, she would write back home to her parents every week. But as life began to take her by the hand, her letters soon dropped off in their frequency and soon there were none. Rumours begin to filter back home to that shepherd and his wife that their daughter had started hanging out with some unsavoury characters and they were having a very negative influence on her life. One day one of the boys from back home ran into her in the city streets and she acted as if she did not even know him. When the old shepherd heard this, he gathered a few things together and dressed in his rough shepherd’s clothes went to the city to find his daughter. For days on end he looked for her. He looked everywhere: the rows of houses, the markets, the taverns, and everywhere in between to no avail. So, after all of this searching he became very discouraged with the thought that he had lost his daughter to this city. As he started the long trek back home, just as he was on the outskirts of the city, he remembered that his daughter had always loved to hear the voice of the shepherd calling out to the sheep. So, he turned around and on this quest motivated by his sorrow and his love, he began to stalk the streets. His voice rang out the shepherd’s call. The citizens of the city all looked at him as if he had gone mad. It wasn’t too long as he walked the streets of one of the degraded neighbourhoods that inside of one of those houses, his daughter, sitting among some unsavoury characters, who had led her astray, heard his voice. With great astonishment on her face, she heard that call of the voice of the shepherd, the voice of her father calling out to her. She leaped up and rushed out to the street and ran into the arms of that old shepherd, her father. It was then that he took her back home to the highlands of Scotland and brought her back to God, to decency and modesty. This is a moving example of what happens to those who can hear the voice of a shepherd.

Can we hear the voice of Jesus the shepherd calling us today? Admittedly there are so many voices clamouring for our attention in the world today- adverts, television, radio, texts, e-mails, face-book, retail stores and markets and so the list goes on. Radio and television stations transmit twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; but we only hear them when we turn the receiver on and tune it in. Failure to hear the signal doesn’t mean the station isn’t transmitting. Likewise, God is constantly transmitting His voice to His sheep, but at times we have not tuned in. The first thing we need to do is fix our receivers — believe that God is already speaking and start listening.

God is always speaking | Sandra Olugbode

However, that takes time, effort, and focus. The average Christian’s lifestyle, out of lockdown, is so busy, it isn’t conducive to hearing God’s voice. For instance, what is your typical answer to the question, “How are you?” Many of you probably answer something about- oh, I’m grand but very busy! People might say –I’m rushed off my feet or I am knee deep in things! All of us seem to be busier than ever, maybe after this lockdown we will adopt a slower pace of life and that will enable us to hear the voice of the Lord better.

Secondly and this is very important, most often we mistake the voice of the Lord for our own thoughts. We think that God’s voice is no more than our own thoughts. This is so important to note that the voice of the Lord comes to us in our own thoughts. The Lord speaks to our spirits, not in words, but in thoughts and impressions. Then our spirits speak to us in words like, “I think the Lord wants me to do this or that.” The Lord doesn’t typically say “You do this or that,” but He will impress your spirit to do something, and then your spirit says, “I think I should do . . .” Therefore, we often miss the leading of the Lord, thinking it’s our own thoughts, when really it is God’s voice to us. So, if you’re going to hear His voice, if you’re going to feel His nudge—the key to hearing well is sensitivity.” Sensitivity to the gentle voice whispering to us. Such sensitivity comes when we slow down and tune in to the already broadcasting waves, emitted from God all day every- day.

You Are Precious To God - Wall Art, Canvas Print - Paradise Canvas Prints

So today stop and remember God loves you more than you know and he knows you intimately by name. You are precious to him. You matter and he invites you to listen to his voice, to get know his voice and then to enjoy great fellowship and joy with him. The more you know his voice, the more I guarantee you will feel a sense of belonging and security. The more you listen to his voice, the more you will desire others to share in this marvellous joy. The more you listen to his voice, the more you will invite others to come and join his flock. So, what is God saying to you and to me—tune in this week and listen. Amen

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son, he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

PRAYERS

God our strength

We put our trust in you.

Jesus, Good Shepherd we come to you, the true guardian of our souls.

Keep your church focussed firmly on you and our kingdom.

Draw us closer in unity and fellowship in your name.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the good shepherd - Believers4ever.com | Cover pics for facebook,  Facebook timeline covers, Timeline cover photos

Jesus the Good Shepherd, we come to you our protector.

Give us courage to place our trust in following your ways of peace.

Draw the nations closer into a community of shared humanity.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd we come to you, with the injured and the weak.

Protect and hold in your love all who cry to you in pain and suffering, distress and anger.

Revive them in your mercy and meet them at their point of need.

Break free of suffering | SPEAKZEASY

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

accompany us in your work places,

in our homes and neighbourhoods,

and give us grace and wisdom in our dealings with people.

Lead us too in those times of difficulty and pressure

to green pastures with still waters

to refresh our hearts, minds and souls.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Pin on Love You AlwaysR

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

We pray today from those who need protection from themselves, those who are caught up in different forms of addiction and are powerless to break free.

Bring the right people to their aid and lead them to wholeness of life.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd,

We pray for the forthcoming election that people will be wise and make the right choices, that will shape and fashion the future of our country.

General election: a guide to recent votes in Wycombe | Bucks Free Press

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd, you lay down your life for the sheep, so that we might have salvation, hope and new life.

Gather us in our final hour to your eternal fold.

As you know us, so may we hear you call us by name in your kingdom.

Be with all who mourn this day, thinking especially of our Majesty the Queen and her family.

Grant them comfort and strength in their loss and grief.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Jesus the Good Shepherd we place into your hands the things that we cannot do, asking for serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Serenity Prayer Wallpapers For Desktop - Wallpaper Cave

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord who taught us to say together,

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.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

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, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always. Amen

Free Hallelujah Clipart

DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

In the name of Christ,

Alleluia! Alleluia!

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Every service held in St Johns involves the use of artistic expression spanning thousands of years of Church history. Some of the events we run however specifically seek to experiment with new forms of artistic expression and to embody the tradition we have received to express it in fresh and creative ways.

Examples of this have been using the whole building (rather than just the sanctuary) for worship, changing the seating arrangement and sit in a circle with the communion table at the center, collaboratively working on banners seeking out you tube clips and popular music and, well many more examples can be found on this page.