The Fourth Week of the Easter Season

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Great is the mystery of faith.
Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

Continued joy and blessings to you this Eastertide.

I was fortunate to live in the Ribble Valley during my teens; spring was that time of the when lambs bounced around in the meadows. It was a great time of the year. The signs of new life in abundance and it came around the Easter season, so appropriate.

The 23rd Psalm is beautiful poetry, probably one of the most beautiful poems in our sacred texts. The poem that has the shepherd leading not driving the sheep, of caring not abandoning those in his care, one who restores, feeds, refreshes and spread a table before us.

Jesus himself uses the image of the good shepherd in John chapter 10 when he says ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . . . I lay down my life in order to take it up again.’


Our ‘Moments of stillness, reflection and prayers’ for the week are over leaf with a sentence or two for each day, they are from the Gospel of John chapter 10, the Acts of the Apostles and Ephesians. Read them slowly and let them, so to speak, hang in the air for you to think about during the day.


I also suggest that you read through the Acts of the Apostle during the 50 days of Easter. Read at your pace, re-read verses if you wish, just slowly engage with the story of the early Church and how the Good News, the Easter story was shared.

At the end of the daily prayers there are suggested readings from Acts for the week. I have used the Revised Common Lectionary as a source.

Moments of stillness, reflection and prayers

Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit Amen

O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I make the grave my bed, you are there also. (Psalm 139:7)

Yesterday I was crucified with Christ; today I am glorified with him.
Yesterday I was dead with Christ; today I am sharing in his resurrection.
Yesterday I was buried with him; today I am waking with him from the sleep of death. (Gregory of Nazianzus (389)

Words from Psalm 117
Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be forever. Amen


Alleluia, alleluia, read and hear words from our sacred texts:
Slowly read these words, let them become special words for today.

. . . 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.
(John 10.15b-16)

. . . For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
(John 10.17)

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.’
(John 10.18)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ
(Ephesians 1:7-9)

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.
(John 15:1-2)

Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
(John 15:4)

I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
(John 15:5)


Lord, you have promised to hear those who pray to you in faith:
Lord, hear now the prayers we offer…

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.

Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right. (Northumberland Community)

Intercessions may be offered for friends and family, our church and for the leaders of Church and nation.

Merciful Father, you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd, and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again: keep us always under his protection, and give us grace to follow in his steps; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God of Life, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection have delivered us from the power of our enemy: grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, …

May God fill us all with hope, joy, patience and enthusiasm this Easter season so we can continue to be a follower of Jesus who has suffered, died and has risen.
Every blessing to you and your families!

Bless this day all that I might see,
all that I might hear,
all that I might smell,
l all that I might say
Bless this day
all that I might comfort
all that I might help
all that I might guide
Bless this day (John Birch)

May the souls of departed through the mercy of God rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen. Alleluia. Christ is risen He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


Easter Readings from Acts – The 50 days of Easter – (Day’s 22 – 28)

Wednesday (25) Acts 12.24-13.5
Thursday (26) Acts 13.13-25
Friday (27) Acts 13.26-33
Saturday (28) Acts 8.14-25 *
Easter 5 (29) Acts 8.26-end
Monday (30) Acts 14.5-18
Tuesday (31) Acts 14.19-end


Rev Derek Akker


Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash