SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Opening sentence and prayer:
Heavenly Father – You sent Your Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for my sins, once for all time. He paid the ultimate price for my freedom and even now He prays for me and prepares a place for me in eternity. Today, I worship and honor Him as Lord of my life.
And, on this Memorial day weekend, I also remember those who have followed in His footsteps – sacrificing their lives in the service of our country – so that I can have religious freedom to bear witness to You in all that I do.
Holy Spirit – Come and meet me in this quiet place of worship. Draw me body, mind and spirit into Your presence.
I ask this through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17 (NLT)
Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20 (NLT)
Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power….”
“Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.”
Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!
He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot. There we rejoiced in him. For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance.
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.
Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
A Reading from the Letters: 1 Peter 3:15-18 (NLT)
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
A Reading from the Gospels: John 14:15-21 (NLT)
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans — I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
Intercessions: Memorial Day Prayer – Mark D. Roberts
Gracious, Sovereign God, Lord of all nations,
On this Memorial Day, we pause to reflect upon our blessings as a nation and the high cost of those blessings for many.
Thank you for the freedom we enjoy in this country, for opportunities to flourish, and for the security of our land.
Thank you for those who have served in the armed services of our country, risking their lives for our liberty.
Thank you for those who have given their lives in service to our country, sacrificing in such a costly way for the sake of others.
Thank you for a day set apart, not just for celebration, but also for solemn remembrance as we consider the sacrifices of so many in our military.
O Lord, may we be more aware of just how blessed we are as a nation. May we be more grateful for our blessings, more faithful in stewarding them well, more eager to share them with others.
We pray today for the families and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our nation. May they be comforted in their sadness. May they be reassured that the sacrifice of their loved ones contributes to a worthy cause. May they be proud of those they have lost, entrusting their ultimate fate into your gracious hands.
Even as we remember those who have given their lives in the past, we also think of those whose lives are on the line today. We think especially of the men and women who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other places of conflict and violence. Protect them. Encourage them. Bring them home safely . . . and soon.
Give wisdom to the leaders of our armed services, that they might know how best to deploy the troops in the cause of freedom. May their efforts be successful, so that true peace with justice might be established in our world.
Guide those who lead our nation in international affairs. Help them to pursue diplomatic paths that prevent needless conflict. May they have your wisdom about when and how to use the military might you have entrusted to us.
God of peace, stir in the hearts of the leaders of all nations, and in all who would use violence to further their cause. Change their hearts and minds. Give them a passion for peace. Bring an end to the pain, suffering, injustice, and violence in our world.
We know, dear Lord, that ultimate peace will not come until your kingdom is here in all of its fullness. Nevertheless, we pray for a foretaste of the future. We ask for the growth of peace throughout our world today, so that fewer and fewer men and women will have to risk and even to sacrifice their lives. May your kingdom come, Lord, and your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!
All praise be to you, God of grace, God of mercy, God of justice, God of peace!
Hymn: “Amazing Grace”
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Categories: Life in Christ