Sunday 25 April

      St. Michael and All Angels                    Amersham on the Hill

HOLY EUCHARIST

EASTERTIDE

A warm welcome to this service

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

Our key Eastertide themes are of light out of darkness and newness of life. The celebration colours of gold and white reappear in church decoration and vestments, emphasising the joy and brightness of this season of fifty days. During Eastertide we encounter the fullness of resurrection life through some of the most well-known and well-loved stories of Jesus, including his appearance before Thomas as Lord and God, accompanying others as a stranger on the road to Emmaus, and cooking breakfast for the disciples on the shores of Lake Galilee. In John’s gospel we are given the imagery of Jesus as Shepherd, and every day during Eastertide set readings from the Acts of Apostles remind us that this is our story too, as the first Christians discover how to recognise the risen Christ in their lives and in each other.

The Gathering 

Processional Hymn 

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son, endless is the vict'ry thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay. 

Refrain: Thine be the glory, risen, conqu'ring Son, endless is the vict'ry thou o'er death hast won.

Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb; lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom.
Let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for her Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting. [Refrain]

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life! Life is naught without thee: aid us in our strife.
Make us more than conqu'rors through thy deathless love. Bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. [Refrain]
Edmond Louis Boudry (1854-1932) trans. Richard Birch Hoyle (1875-1939

The Greeting

The Lord be with you    All and also with you.

Acclamation

Alleluia.  Christ is risen.            All      He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  All   He has given us new life and hope. He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.  All    He has brought us out of darkness. He has made us light to the world.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.      All    He is risen indeed. Alleluia.              

 

Invitation to Confession

In baptism we died with Christ, so that as Christ was raised from the dead, we might walk in newness of life. Let us receive new life in him as we confess our sins in penitence and faith.       (cf Romans 6.4)  

Confession

Like Mary at the empty tomb, we fail to grasp the wonder of your presence. Lord, have mercy.                  All: Lord, have mercy.

Like the disciples behind locked doors, we are afraid to be seen as your followers. Christ, have mercy.    All: Christ, have mercy.

Like Thomas in the upper room, we are slow to believe. Lord, have mercy.                                                 All: Lord, have mercy.  

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.    All:  Amen.

 

The Collect

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 
ever.   All:  Amen

The Liturgy of the Word

Reading  Acts 4.5–12

The Jewish 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?’ 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.’

For the word of the Lord   All: Thanks be to God.

Reading  1 John 3.16–24 

1 John 3.16–24 We know love by this, that the Son of God 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? 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 God. 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

For the word of the Lord  All: Thanks be to God.

Gradual hymn

Jesu, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly,
while the gathering waters roll, while the tempest still is high;
hide me, O my Saviour, hide, till the storm of life is past;
safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee;
leave, ah, leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring;
cover my defenceless head with the shadow of thy wing.

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cleanse from every sin;
let the healing streams abound, make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of thee,
spring thou up within my heart,rise to all eternity.
Charles Wesley (1707-1788

Gospel Reading     John 10.11–18 

Alleluia, alleluia.  Jesus said, “All who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day. Alleluia, alleluia.    (cf John 6.40) 

The Lord be with you  All: and also with you.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.    All: Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘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.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.   All: Praise to you, O Christ.

 

Sermon Sermon Jn 10 11-18 (Acts 4 5-12 & 1 Jn 3 16-end)

Affirmation of Faith 

Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All:  Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;  he was buried;  he was raised to life on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles: this we have received, and this we believe. Amen.                      (cf 1 Corinthians 15.3-7)

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

All:        Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.  Amen          

 

Prayers of Intercession 

In her sermon, Revd Debbie has referred to Jesus as the Good Shepherd, as did Jesus in referring to himself in the Gospel reading from John.
Jesus said: ‘I am the good shepherd’ and so we pray: Good Shepherd, watch over us today in all we face and experience. Never leave us or forsake us and journey with us always.
Lord in your mercy,   hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, you know us as no-one else knows us. Guard us and keep us, As you guard and keep those whom we love.
Lord in your mercy,   hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, we pray for the sick and lonely; For the anxious and the bereaved; for those whose pain is beyond our comprehension.
Today we are asked to pray in particular for those on our Prayer List: Elsie Biermann, Laura and Theo Eiliazadeh, Heather Haddock, Gerry and Margaret Griffiths, Gill Motion, Maurice and Shirley Griffiths, David Beattie, Philip and Jill Roderick, Sybil Whitfield, Fay Green, Debbie, Jodie's daughter, Audrey Craddock, Sue Paddison, Ian Corbett, Alison Senior, John Beardsmore, Barbara Schaffer, Nick Hortin (Elinor, Christopher, Ben & Luke), Alma Barnett (mother of Jenny Thompson) and Matthew.  We stand with them and commend them to your care.
Lord in your mercy,  All; hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, we pray for the carers in hospitals and in homes,  and for all who serve the needs of others. May the example of living  ompassion inspire us in our care for others.
Lord in your mercy,   All; hear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, you know the depths of our heart and the fears which are ours.  Speak into the depths of our heart and calm our fears.
Lord in your mercy,    Allhear our prayer.
Good Shepherd, you know us by our name and our identity is not hidden from you. Gather us to yourself as a shepherd gathers the sheep, that we might know your Name.
Merciful Father,   All;  accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. 
With acknowledgement and thanks to The Church of Scotland for the main part of these prayers

The Dismissal

Hymn

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore;
mortals, give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore.
Refrain:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice, again I say, rejoice.Jesus the Saviour reigns,
the God of truth and love; when he had purged our stains, he took his seat above. [Refrain]

His kingdom cannot fail; he rules o'er earth and heaven; 
the keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given. [Refrain]

He sits at God's right hand till all his foes submit,
and bow to his command, and fall beneath his feet. [Refrain]
Charles Wesley (1707-1788

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

We are raised to new life with Christ. Go in his peace.  Alleluia, alleluia. 

All: Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.  

Recessional hymn verse 

All sing: Father, we love you,  we praise you, we adore you. Glorify your name in all the earth.  Glorify your name, glorify your name,  glorify your name in all the earth.

 

Enriching the Christian Year (1993), Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), New Patterns for Worship (2002) and Times and Seasons (2006), material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.  CCL No 908682.                      SMAA 23.2.17