Fifth Sunday of Easter Year B, May 2, 2021

Prelude: O Blessed Spring

 

 

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Welcome

 

Christ our Passover 1 Corinthians 5.7–8; Romans 6.9–11; 1 Corinthians 15.20–22

Alleluia! Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us;

 therefore let us keep the feast,

Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil,

 but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Alleluia! Christ being raised from the dead will never die again;

 death no longer has dominion over him.

The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all;

 but the life he lives, he lives to God.

So also consider yourselves dead to sin,

 and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alleluia! Christ has been raised from the dead,

 the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

For since by a man came death,

 by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die,

 so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia!

 

Collect

God of love,
plant us in the soil of your grace.
Nurture us with the strength of Christ,
the vine of everlasting life.
Enlighten us with the wisdom of your Spirit,
which flows through us today and all days.
Abide in us,
that we may abide in you
and live in your love.
In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

 

Hymn: God is Here

 

 

 

 

 

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A reading from the Acts of the Apostles read by Phyllis Bennett

Today’s reading represents a critical moment in the emerging church as it moves beyond Judaism and Judea, following the encounter between an Ethiopian court official and Philip, one of the seven chosen to care for the poor in Jerusalem

 

Then 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. Acts 8:26-40

Hear what the Spirit is saying to The Church. Thanks be to God

 

 

 

Psalm 22: 24-30 led by John and Barb MacEachern

 

I will declare your name to my kindred;

 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

 Praise the Lord, you that fear God;

 stand in awe of God, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.

 For God does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither turns away from them;

 when they cry to the Lord, they are heard.

 My praise is of God in the great assembly;

 I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship the Lord.

 The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall give praise:

 “May your heart live for ever!”

 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord,

 and all the families of the nations shall bow before God.

 For sovereignty belongs to the Lord,

 who rules over the nations.

 To God alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship;

 all who go down to the dust fall before God.

 My soul shall live for God; my descendants shall serve God;

they shall be known as the Lord’s for ever.

 

 

A reading from The First Letter of John  read by Jean Fry

Again this week, john calls us to become entirely love- to enter into the complicated, frustrating, challenging work of loving those we may not like. He states that we can do this only because God first loved us

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 Savior 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 judgment, 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. 1 John 4:7-21

Hear what the Spirit is saying to The Church. Thanks be to God

 

Hymn: Love is the Touch of Intangible Joy

 

 

 

 

Love is the touch of intangible joy;
love is the force that no fear can destroy;
love is the goodness we gladly applaud:
God is where love is, for love is of God.
Love is the lilt in a lingering voice;
love is the hope that can make us rejoice;
love is the cure for the frightened and flawed:
God is where love is, for love is of God.
Love is the light in the tunnel of pain;
love is the will to be whole once again;
love is the trust of a friend on the road;
God is where love is, for love is of God.
Love is the Maker, and Spirit, and Son;
love is the kingdom their will has begun;
love is the pathway the saints all have trod:
God is where love is, for love is of God.

 

 

 

 

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The Lord be with you  And also with you

The Holy Gospel according to John.  Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 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. John 15:1-8

This is the Gospel of Christ. Praise to you, lord Jesus Christ

 

Reflection  by The Rev’d Canon Lynn Uzans

 

Hymn: Come and Journey with Me

 

 

 

 

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Prayers led by Wade Seymour

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

A Blessing in the Chaos by Jan Richardson

To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,

that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
cease.
Let what divides you
cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

—Jan Richardson

 

Postlude Draw the Circle Wide