Sunday Eucharist

EASTER 7                            24.5.20

Welcome to our services as we join together as 'Church at Home'.

Join on Zoom if you wish  - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84320981322  Meeting ID: 843 2098 1322

Dial by your location  0203 481 5237 or  0203 481 5240  Meeting ID: 843 2098 1322

 


The Greeting 

The Lord be with you

And also with you

 

The Lighting of the Easter Candle   - you may like to light a candle at home.

May the light of Christ rising in glory banish all darkness

All     Thanks be to God

Alleluia Christ is risen.

All     He is risen indeed. Alleluia. 

 

If the younger ones amongst us leave for their group with Ann – we will unmute everyone but please only speak if you’re under 10 now by saying hello. Lets pray for them before they leave.

 

Confession

All       Lord our God, in our sin we have avoided your call.

Our love for you is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes away early.

Have mercy on us, deliver us from judgement; Bind up our wounds and revive us; In Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

May the God of love bring us back to himself, forgive us our sins,

And assure us of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All    Amen

 

 

Opening Hymn -  led by Louise and Ed – 8.  Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord

 

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord,

Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.

 

Jesus is Lord of all the earth.

He is the King of creation.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord,

Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.

 

Spread the good news o’er all the earth,

Jesus has died and is risen.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord,

Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.

 

God has proclaimed the just reward:

‘Life for us all, alleluia!’

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord,

Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.

 

Come, let us praise the living God,

Joyfully sing to our Saviour.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord,

Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.

 

 

The Peace

The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples and said,

'Peace be with you'.

Then they were glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All     And also with you.

 

Sarah Myers – ‘My week’

 

Bible Reading   -   First Reading Acts 1.6-14

So when the disciples had come together, they asked Jesus, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

 

Gospel John 17.1-11 

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

 ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one

 

 

Homily  -Ascension tide - Time to go

 

51 weeks of the year we declare Christ is with us and yet this is the one Sunday when we’re might feel rather abandoned by God.

Ascension day, 40 days after Easter, marks the moment recorded in all four gospels in a variety of ways, the return of Jesus to the Father.

 

Yet the disciples don’t want him to go - things in the world seem so unfinished. For the first time since meeting Christ the disciples are left alone. Watch their faithfulness in staying in the city as instructed - not running away, praying and waiting amid uncertainty, hoping that what they have seen with their eyes isn’t going to stop now Jesus had left them.

 

Soon the spirit will come with grace to support, restore and strengthen, but for now, they need to carry on as they have been, telling the gospel story to the ends of the earth. It seems Jesus had completed all he had to do among them and now they had to get on with the job.

 

One commentator calls it ‘Bottom of the Barrel Sunday’ – I don’t know what he’s up to but God’s not very busy round here. Sometimes it can feel as if Jesus abandons us or is on mute; times when all traces of God’s goodness is gone.

 

I wonder where you think God might be in these in between times?

 

It reminds us of when Christ cries out on the cross – why have you abandoned me? And for us, on the Easter Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday; a day marked by grieving, waiting and not knowing what will happen next.

 

There will be many reasons why we might experience God being absent and some we just won’t be able to rationalise or reason.

 

Sometime it might be because we are expecting God to reveal himself in a particular way, through the Eucharist or the encouragement of a friend, and now those are not so available in the same way right now.  Like the disciples, as the angels tell them not to look into the sky for Jesus any longer, might we begin to look for God in unexpected and new places?  

 

Because God is always revealing himself in unexpected situations – think about King David, the celebrated Shepherd King yet also an adulterer and murderer; Jesus the Son of God is born in a small insignificant town, his mother a teenage girl of no particular standing; Peter who denies Jesus three times is chosen by God to hold the keys to Kingdom of heaven.

 

Perhaps in times of abandonment, training our eyes to see how God shows up in new ways that we weren’t expecting or looking for might be difficult or beyond our ability– but essentially God is always to be present, even in the most unexpected of places.

 

A German prisoner of war, Moltmann became an influential C20th German theologian who

developed the thought that God suffers with humanity. Reflecting on the horrors of his experiences he understood God’ s love as embracing those things most opposite to God, such as isolation and death. As Jesus suffers the abandonment of his Father, God the Father suffers the grief of the death of his Son at the cross. At the point of their most painful separation, Father and Son are united in their love for the world, and from this world changing event of suffering love, comes the power of the Spirit to overcome all that separates the world from God.

 

A very dear friend of mine who when close to death she said that she felt God was far away. That was hard to bear. One commentator suggests that sense of abandonment is how God feels 52 weeks of the year.  When we abandon Him or turn away from His love. He bears the sadness and disappointment.

 

On that first Ascension Day The church was made up of a handful of followers. May that be an encouragement to us as a church amid the difficulties and uncertainty we face.  The Covid virus has brought huge changes to every aspect of life and faith; including our services which will continue to change, but the doggedness of staying put, praying and waiting for something bigger to come holds true now as it was for the disciples.

 

I wonder how we might experience God in times such as these, when God asks us to trust that He has this, that soon something greater is on its way?

 

Closing prayer -  Lord, when I’m feeling powerless and I wonder how you can be present, be my source of consolation, help me to keep on keeping on and wait patiently for your power.  Amen

 

 

 

Intercessions led by Kathy

As we rejoice in the Ascension, and receiving the Holy Spirit, we give thanks for men and women of vision, for those who have shared their faith with us.

We pray for those who feel life is hard in these uncertain times that they may come to know the joy of the presence of the ascended Lord.

Lord in your mercy

All:  Hear our prayer.

 

We hold before you all politicians and political leaders: all who are deeply involved with the immediate crisis in your world at present.  Grant them the integrity to be courageous and make the right decisions with your eternal kingdom and not just think of their term in office.

I would at this time for you to hold India and Bangladesh your prayers as they are not only having to cope with Covid19 but a Cyclone.

Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer.

 

We pray for all families who are going through difficult times at present, give them strength.

We give thanks for all who have offered their talents and time without question of cost.

We pray for all who work in the emergency and utility services, all who look after our needs.

We remember those who quietly work within their community seeing to neighbours and meeting their needs showing compassion and companionship.

Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

 

We give thanks for all who care for sick.

We ask your blessing upon the work of doctors and nurses, and all those working in Hospitals Nursing Homes and Hospices.

We remember all those who are unwell:

Jenna Strange, Sean Tallett, Peter Lee, Rebecca Torrens, Chad Martindale, Audrey Hillier, Sue Hattam, Jean Johnston, David Pickard, Jenny Wakelin, Chris Taylor, Sylvia Kemp, Roland King, Moya Allcock, Mike Fooks, Jean Martin, Connie Pearson, Nick Pratt, Bernard Roberts, Terence Reed, John Green, Marilyn Warminger, Doug Hobbs, Pat Forward, Gerry Leighton and Rosie Adams.

The family and friends of all these people and the staff and residents of Lyndon and Tara’s Retreat.

The Melton family following the death of John Melton.

In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful, tend to the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love and your love.

Gracious God, give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick, and your wisdom to those seeking for a cure. Strengthen them with your spirit, that through their work many will be restored to health.

Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

 

I give you a few moments of silence now for you to offer up your own prayer .

 

 

 

 

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage.

We are not people who protect our own safety:

We are people who protect our neighbour’s safety.

We are not people of greed; we are people of generosity.

We are people of God, giving, loving, wherever we are whatever it costs, for as long as it takes wherever you call us.

 

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of you Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy 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 those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

Offertory Sentence - As we’re unable to receive cash offerings at this time, we’re very grateful to the many who regularly generously give directly through their bank. If you haven yet set up a standing order do have a look at Parish Giving Scheme on the St Albans Diocese website and speak to Peter Hyde or Christine Nutton for more information.

 

Blessed be God who feeds the hungry, who raises the poor, who fills our praise.

All     Blessed be God for ever

 

A Shortened form of Communion

Resurrection Day is one of refreshment and transformation, when heaven and earth become one.

Lord Jesus Christ we proclaim your life in us, that we might be changed, transformed into your likeness and where bread and wine become for us Christ’s body and blood. And so Father we thank you for this bread and wine, food and drink to bind us to you in a new covenant, a new beginning.

Jesus Christ is Lord:

All      Lord by your cross and resurrection you have set us free.

You are the Saviour of the World.

 

We thank you for sending us your Son and remember that on his last night on earth he took bread and gave you thanks, broke it, saying to his disciples – take, eat, this is my body broken for you, eat this and remember me’.

The Bread is lifted, broken and eaten by the priest on behalf of the people.

The Chalice is lifted.

When supper was over he took the cup and gave you thanks, saying ‘this is my blood of the new covenant given for you, drink this and remember me’.

The wine is drunk by the priest on behalf of the people.

We pray together -

             My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.  

Amen.

 

 

Notices

  • Wednesdays at 10.10 am How to Pray -A safe space to consider prayer honestly, ask the questions you weren't allowed to ask at Sunday school, with time if you'd like, to be prayed for too. Starts Wednesday 27th May, meets weekly for 45 -60 mins, beginners and experts all welcome. 
  • Audrey Lehman Taylor’s funeral is at 3pm on 29th May – please do join us in thanksgiving prayer for her life and witness.
  • Pentecost – dress next week in something red and have you seen the Sandridge Pentecost Path?
  • Thy Kingdom Come – a Week of global prayer encouraging us to pray that friends and family, colleagues and neighbours might encounter the love of God in Christ and that they would experience that love in action.
  • Interviews - would anyone like to tell us how their week has been?
  • Zoom- are you updated ok?

 

Final Blessing

You are called and love by God the Father and kept safe by Jesus Christ.

Mercy peace and love by yours in abundance, from God the Father, Son the Holy Spirit.

All   Amen

Go in the peace of Christ to live in love, to show God’s love,

All  To receive God’s love, everywhere and at all times.

       Thanks be to God. Alleluia, Alleluia. Amen.

 

This is the formal end to our service but please stay as we move into smaller groups (breakout rooms) for 10 minutes to catch up on each other’s news and prayer requests.

When have you most felt alive and least alive this week?

What are you most and least grateful for?  Not everyone wants to share in a breakout room- that’s ok too.

Then we come back together to share the words of the grace - 

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen