Sixth Sunday of Easter
+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Opening sentence and prayer:
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him. (John 14:23)
God of all nations, in the gift of Your Son You have embraced the world with a love that takes away our sin and bestows perfect joy. Grant to all who have been reborn of water and the Spirit faithfulness in serving You and generosity in loving one another. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, who lives and reigns with You now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 (NLT)
As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!”
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God.
Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 98:1-4 (NLT)
Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power! The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation! He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!
Psalm 98 – From the treasury of original chants for Jewish prayer written in Nava Tehila Community in Jerusalem. This chant is for Kabbalat Shabbat.
A Reading from the Letters: 1 John 4:7-10 (NLT)
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
A Reading from the Gospels: John 15:9-17 (NLT)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.
Sisters and brothers, let us pray to the Lord of love.
+ For the church throughout the world – that all who are part of it may be known by their love for each other…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who follow Christ – that we may care for our neighbors who suffer, especially the sick and the poor…. Lord, hear us.
+ For men and women of good will everywhere – that they may reject the culture of indifference and look after those in need…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who seek the truth – that the Spirit may help them to find it, in Jesus…. Lord, hear us.
+ For young people celebrating confirmation this year – that the gifts of the Spirit may make them more like Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who suffer in mind or body – that the love of friends and neighbors may remind them of God’s care…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those whose sufferings are over, for all who have died in Christ – that they may experience eternal life and love in heaven…. Lord, hear us.
Ever-loving God, we sing a song of praise to Your name, for You have worked wonders: continue to guide Your people, and hear our prayers, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(May) Christ dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen