17.05.20 Easter 6 – Alleluia! Christ is Risen

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God.

Prayers of Penitence

Jesus Christ, risen master and triumphant Lord, we come to you in sorrow for our sins, and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.

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

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

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

May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us in his image to the praise and glory of his name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Collect

Risen Christ, by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:
help your Church to obey your command and draw the nations to the fire of your love.
Amen.

Gospel Reading. John 14 15 – 21

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18 I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.

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Thought for the Day

And now for something completely different!
Rather than words from me, today’s reflection is based on this piece of performance art:

Come Holy Spirit by Lance Brown.

You might want to think about some of the questions here or you might want to just look at the finished picture.

17.05.20 Easter 6 - Alleluia! Christ is Risen

As you look at the picture or watch the artist at work creating this image what do you see?
What has caught your attention? Why has it caught your attention?
How does it make you feel?
Does the figure speak to you? What does it say?
Who does the figure represent? Is it you?
What is the significance of the placing of the cross in the centre of the figure?
What message do you think the artist trying to get across?

Answers on a postcard, please!! No, I am joking.
There are no right or wrong answers here.
Rather it is an opportunity to let the Spirit speak to you as you watch or look and simply ‘be’ in the presence of this piece of performing art.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

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Intercessions

Gracious God, you are anything but unknown to us for you made us, our world and everything in it and so we pray with one voice, proclaiming your presence to all the earth.
Lord, in your mercy: Hear our Prayer

Holy God we pray for your church throughout the world, for sceptics and believers, for clergy high and low. For all those who seek God at home, at work, in the streets, and in the pews, for all who search for life.  We pray for the stillness to listen to the voice of the Spirit and to recognise what our personal relationship with you has done for us.  We pray for all who strive to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel especially in these difficult times when we cannot meet together in our church buildings.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Creator God, we pray for prime ministers and presidents, for bosses and wardens; for leaders and trendsetters. For those who set the targets at home, at work, in the streets, and in the pews. For all who wield power, that they may be guided by the Spirit of Truth. We especially pray all the worlds’ governments as they continue to do their best during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Father God, we pray for family and colleagues, friends and lovers, for neighbours and strangers, For all those who we are missing with whom we normally would break bread: at home, at work, in the community, and in our church but we continue to pray for all who grow, harvest and prepare the food we eat and for those who continue to deliver to shops and supermarkets.  We give especial thanks for those who continue to risk their lives, in those shops and supermarkets and in delivery and postal service.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray for the sick and troubled, for the fearful and alone, for those in pain at home, at work, in the streets, and in the pews. We pray that all who suffer, may feel the Spirits healing presence.  We especially ask for healing for those with Corona Virus and for our wonderful health service who are at the frontline.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

Merciful God, we pray for those kept fresh in our memory and for those long forgotten, For all who ever took the breath of life at home, at work, in the streets, and in the pews.  We pray for mercy and forgiveness for the dead and those who mourn them, may they find rest in the Spirit’s embrace and we commend them to your keeping forever.
Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.

God of heaven and earth, companion in life, Spirit of truth, to you alone we turn our eyes and lift our hearts. Help us to keep your commandments and to love one another as you love us.
Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer.

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 ver and ever.
Amen.

May the risen Christ grant us the joys of eternal life.
Amen

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

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Hymn

Come Down O Love Divine.

Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.

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