Sunday 2nd May

      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 

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

Risen Christ, 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.  All:  Amen

The Liturgy of the Word

Reading  Acts 8.26– end

An angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: ‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.’ The eunuch asked Philip, ‘About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea

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

Reading  1 John 4.7-end

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgement, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

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

Gospel Reading     John 15.1–8 

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 his disciples: ‘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. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 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. 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. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.’ 

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

 

Sermon; Acts 8. 26-40, Psalm 22. 25-31, John 15. 1-8

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, 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.           

 

Prayers of Intercession 

Be still in God’s presence – love and be loved. Fall deep in the silence – the silence of God.

Spring has come for us today. Christ has burst his prison and from three days sleep in death, like the sun, has risen. All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is dying. Welcome now the light of Christ life and joy supplying. Now the green blade rises from the buried grain, wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain.

Love lives again that with the dead has been. Love is come again like wheat that springeth green. God of the spirit of kindness, in the glory of earth and sea and stars, in the kaleidoscope of colour and shape and shapeliness, in the patterns of humour and tenderness and touch, we celebrate your generosity.

Forgive us when we forget the gift in our every breath, the care that sustains our every moment and the grace that can transform our every day.
O Lord, in spite of the suffering the pandemic has brought may we:- trust the hand that made the world; trust the Spirit which breathes life; trust the love that will not let us go; for we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Do not fear what might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from the suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings –for we are held in the hollow of God’s hand.
For when we are nothing, you make us something, when we have no name and no faith and no future, you call us your children. When we lose our way or turn away, you do not abandon us. When we come back to you, your arms spread wide in welcome.

God of all our growing, burst our tight buds open in the ripe season of our transformation. Nurture the resurrection life in us in the blazing colour of the garden; in the dazzling delight of sight and sound; the glorious celebration of the world’s redemption. Send your Spirit where the glad season rejoices and fulfil in us the promise of Spring.

The Dismissal

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