Fifth Sunday of Easter
Praise God, who raised his son Jesus from the dead. Lord, give us enthusiasm for passing on the Good News.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We behold your glory, O God, in the love shown by your Son, lifted up on the cross and exalted on high. Increase our love for one another, that both in name and in truth we may be followers of the risen Lord Jesus and so reflect by our lives the glory that is yours. Grant 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. Amen.
“Love divine all loves excelling” – Keswick Praise
A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles: Acts 14:21-27 (NLT)
[Paul and Barnabas complete their missionary journey, encouraging their new converts to persevere.]
After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Then they traveled back through Pisidia to Pamphylia. They preached the word in Perga, then went down to Attalia.
Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun. The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God to do the work they had now completed. Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 145:8-13 (NLT)
The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.
All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power. They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.
The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
Psaume 145 / Psalm 145 – Taizé
A Reading from the Revelations of John: Revelation 21:1-5 (NLT)
[In the new Jerusalem awaiting believers, there will be no more mourning or sadness.]
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”
A Reading from the Gospels: John 13:31-35 (NLT)
[Jesus instructs his followers to love one another.]
As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Spiritual Song: “How He Loves Us” – David Crowder Band
Merciful, compassionate God, we come before you today with confidence. Hear the deep yearnings of our hearts.
+ For those affected by earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, that they may be helped….
+ For migrants and refugees, that they may find respite while they wait to return home….
+ For homeless and needy people in our communities, that they may be cherished….
+ For missionaries, that they may put fresh heart into new believers….
+ For young people receiving Confirmation this year, that the Spirit may guide their lives….
+ For the sick and dying, that they may receive compassionate care and spiritual support….
+ For those who have died in Christ, that they may take their place in the new Jerusalem, where mourning and sadness is no more….
Gracious, loving God, you are compassionate to all your creatures, help us according to your will, through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.
Hymn: “Here is love, vast as the ocean” – Robin Mark
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21)
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen