The Sixth Week of the Easter Season – our Midweek Reflection…
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!
Greetings and I wish you joy and blessings for this Eastertide.
Spoiler Alert! Well not really, more of a warning. When I used to preside at the Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion the following words were used:
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to him.
Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. (Matt. 11. 28.)
Followed by John 3:16 and a verse from St Paul’s letter to Timothy and finally from the first letter of John.
These were words of comfort and encouragement but I often wondered whether I should have weaved in some uncomfortable words introducing them with these words
Hear what uncomfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly call themselves followers of mine:
I never did!
The verses in this week’s readings are comfortable and six of the seven readings include the word ‘love’, so they must be comfortable. We know, however, from church history, our own experiences within our churches and our own personal relationship its not that easy, at times it is far from easy to love. It is a costly love, we fail, we show our flawed nature and yet within all this we still can love, be loved and are loved.
As followers of Jesus, knowing our frailty but we can still reflect on the love of our Lord and his call to us and say:
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father
I also suggest that you read through the Acts of the Apostles 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 of the Lord.
(from John’s Gospel and the First Letter of John)
Slowly read these words, let them become special words for today.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5.11-12)
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
(1 John 5.13)
I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot hear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Lord, you have promised to hear those who pray to you in faith:
Lord, hear now the prayers we offer…
God our redeemer,
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life:
grant us to walk in his way,
to rejoice in his truth,
and to share his risen life;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
Intercessions may be offered for friends and family, our church and for the leaders of Church and nation.
God of love and light,
in this time of fear, give us your peace.
In this time of isolation, give us your presence.
In this time of sickness, give us your healing.
In this time of uncertainty, give us your wisdom.
In this time of darkness, shine your light upon us all.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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, who art in heaven…
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!
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 Weeks 39-45
Wednesday (39) Acts 17.15,22 -18.1
Thursday (40) Acts 1.1-11
Friday (41) Acts 1.15-end
Saturday (42) Acts 18.22-end
Easter 7 (43) Acts 1.15-17,21 end
Monday (44) Acts 19.1-8
Tuesday (45) Acts 20.17-27
Rev Derek Akker