4th Sunday of Easter, 12 May 2019: Psalm 100, John 10:22-30 ~ “The Father and I are one.”

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

Safe in your hand, O God, is the flock you shepherd through Jesus Christ your Son. Lead us always to the living waters where you promise respite and refreshment, that we may be counted among those who know you and follow you. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Psalm 100 (Enter In)” – People & Songs

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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 100 (NLT)

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 10:22-30 (NLT)

Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God

It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
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Intercession:

Good Shepherd: You have given us your Son, Jesus Christ, to lead us, protect us, and provide for all our needs. Hear the cries of all those belonging to your flock –

+ For those you have appointed to lead us here on earth, that they may follow the example of your Son, Jesus Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For young people you have chosen as future leaders of your people, that they may follow the example of your Son, Jesus Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For believers who are facing persecution today, that may have courage and receive your protection and provision…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians, Jews and Muslims, that we may live together peacefully and cooperatively, with just treatment for all…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those suffering from depression, that they may know they are loved by you and move from Darkness into Light…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those in any kind of need (physical, emotional, spiritual), that they may have the tender support of their believing friends…. Lord, hear us.

Good Shepherd: Your loving care brings us safe through the trials of life, hear our prayers we ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Psalm 23 (I Am Not Alone)” – People & Songs

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Closing Declaration: – Psalm 23:6

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

4th Sunday of Easter: Acts 4:8-12; Ps 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29; 1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18 ~ face to face

Fourth Sunday of Easter

+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and prayer:

I am the shepherd of the flock; I am the way, the truth and the life; I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, alleluia.
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God of lasting love, fulfill your plan of salvation to gather into one fold the peoples of the whole world. Let everyone on earth recognize your Christ as the Good Shepherd, who freely lays down his life for all to take it up again in power. Grant this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 4:8-12 (NLT)

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
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It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
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cornerstone

I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory! The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
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Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
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You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
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A Reading from the Letters: 1 John 3:1-2 (NLT)

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 10:11-18  (NLT)

"I am the Good Shepherd" Lee Hodges
“I am the Good Shepherd”
Lee Hodges

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
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Intercessions:

Good Shepherd: Your love for us has no end. Hear the prayers we offer – for our needs and the needs of the whole world.

+ For all those who serve and lead Your church – that they may follow the example of Christ, the good shepherd…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all of Your people – that we may love each other with tenderness and forgiveness…. Lord, hear us.
+ For young people deciding how they will spend their lives – that they may consider serving God’s people…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who care for others – that the Lord’s compassion may be visible in them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For farmers, shepherds and those who work on the land – that they may show respect for all of God’s creation…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who call on the name of the Lord Jesus in their sufferings – that they may experience His healing power…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have gone before us in faith – that they may see God, face to face…. Lord, hear us.

God of beauty and compassion, You love us as a shepherd loves all the flock: continue to support Your people with Your grace, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Benediction:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 7:12)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

4th Sunday of Easter: Acts 2:14, 36-41; Psalm 23:1-6; 1 Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10 ~ a rich and satisfying life

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER 

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence and prayer:

Today’s The Day  Katie m. Berggren,, 2012
Today’s The Day
Katie m. Berggren,, 2012

O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. (Psalm 71:5-7)
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Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 2:14, 36-41 (NLT)

Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this.
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River Baptism

“So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”

Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles — all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”

Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day — about 3,000 in all.

A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 23:1-6 (NLT)

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Peter 2:20-25 (NLT)

Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.

A Reading from the Gospels: John 10:1-10 (NLT)

sheep-hear-shepherd

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

Intercessions:

The Good Shepherd does not allow the sheep to wander in harm’s way. Lord Jesus, hear my prayers –

+ For all Shepherd’s and Pastors of God’s flock, that they may be true shepherds after the example of Jesus….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all people of every nation, that they may live their lives with courage and find true peace in Jesus Christ….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all vocations, they we may live as called and chosen people according to Your plan and purpose….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all those who respond to God’s call through the ordained, married, single, or religious life, that they may experience true contentment and witness to Your presence as messengers of joy and hope….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all who labor among the poor, hungry, homeless, and grieving, that they may be shepherds who offer courage, mercy and hope….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all Christian families, that our homes may be filled with the spirit of your love, as we follow the voice of the Good Shepherd….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all those in our military and foreign service, and for government workers serving our country throughout the world, that they might honor You above all else….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all those who are seriously ill, hospitalized, homebound, or recently deceased and for their loved ones….
Lord, hear my prayer.

+ For all those who weigh heavy on our hearts today….
Lord, hear my prayer.

Thank You, Merciful God, for Shepherding us that we might live rich and satisfying lives. Grant these petitions according to Your gacious purpose through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
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Hymn: “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us”


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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen