Pentecost Sunday, 09 Jun 2019: Acts 1:1-5; Acts 2:1-11 ~ Filled with the Holy Spirit!

Pentecost Sunday

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

Opening Prayer:

Send down, O God, upon your people the flame of your Holy Spirit: Bestow on us his gifts, and fill us over and over again with his power – that your life-giving Spirit may lend fire to our words and strength to our witness. Send us forth to the nations of the world to proclaim with boldness “Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!” We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“O for a Thousand Tongues” – St Michael’s Singers

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A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles: Acts 1:1-5 (NLT)

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles: Acts 2:1-11 (NLT)

The Holy Spirit Comes

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!”
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Intercession:

Gracious God: Pour out your Spirit on us, that we might approach your throne of grace with confidence through your Son, Jesus Christ. We pray especially –

+ that your Spirit will breathe new life into every church leader around the world…..
+ that your Spirit will enable every believer to grow in grace, peace, and love….
+ that your Spirit will fill and strengthen believers who are persecuted for their faith….
+ that your Spirit will bring healing to all who suffer spiritually, physically, and mentally….
+ that your Spirit will guide and inspire young believers in planning for their future….
+ that your Spirit will refresh and renew all who labor in the name of Jesus….

Gracious God: Send forth your Spirit and renew the earth, and give us the words and boldness to proclaim your mighty works to the whole world, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Come Holy Spirit” – Annabel Soh, City Harvest Church, Singapore

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Closing: – Romans 8:15-16

You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs.
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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: Wednesday, 28 June – Acts 9:1-19 ~ Good News for Saul

Morning Prayer

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

Opening Prayer

Draw me close, Holy Spirit, as I read the Scriptures and reflect on your Word. Let the word of faith be on my lips and in my heart, and let all other words slip away. May there be one voice I hear today — the voice of truth and grace. Amen.
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Reading: Acts 9:1-19 (NLT)

Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.

Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord!” he replied.

The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
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Reflection and Prayer:

Lord Jesus: if it takes getting knocked off my “high horse” to get my attention, so be it. Do what it takes in me, to make me available and useful to you.

+ Forgive my years of self-centeredness and indifference, especially to the needs of those around me. I am truly sorry that you had to die because of my sin. Thank you for your amazing love for me, for your mercy and grace.

+ Before I was born, you knew me and called me by name to serve you. Everything you have done in me to this point in my life has prepared me to meet the challenges of this day. Fill me with your Spirit, that I may faithfully follow you.

+ Open my spiritual eyes and ears, that I may recognize what you are doing around me and join you in your work. Set me free from the prison of my fears, that I may press on, even when the prospects for success seem unlikely to me.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your amazing love for me. Renew and refresh me in your Spirit, that I may hear and obey your word to me, and love and serve you as your faithful witness today. All to the glory of the Father, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
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“And Can It Be” – Stuart Townend


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Concluding Prayer – Psalm 138:7-8 (NLT)

Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Pentecost Sunday, 15 May: Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; Romans 8: 8-17; John 14: 15-16, 23-26 ~ the Spirit gives you life

Pentecost Sunday

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

Come, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts to overflowing and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Opening Prayer:

Send down, O God, upon your people the flame of your Holy Spirit, and fill us with your presence and power. May your life-giving Spirit lend fire to our words and strength to our witness. Send us forth to the nations of the world to proclaim with boldness your wondrous work of raising Christ to your right hand. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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“Holy Spirit” – Francesca Battistelli


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A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles: Acts 2:1-11 (NLT)
[The events of the first Pentecost Day are described.]

The Holy Spirit Comes

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Pentecost Tapestry
Pentecost Tapestry

At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord. O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty.
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O Lord, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures.
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But if you turn away from them, they panic. When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust. When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth.
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May the glory of the Lord continue forever! The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
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May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.
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Psalm 104 – Psalm Project Africa


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A Reading from the Letters: Romans 8: 8-17 (NLT)
[God gives us life through the Spirit at work in us.]

Those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

spirit gives life

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 14: 15-16, 23-26 (NLT)
[The Holy Spirit reminds us of all Jesus has said.]

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

“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.
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Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
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Hymn: “Come Holy Spirit”


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Intercessory Prayer:

Conscious of the Spirit praying within us, we present our petitions at the throne of grace with confidence.

+ That the Holy Spirit may breathe new life into church leaders around the world…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Holy Spirit may help those who were baptized and confirmed this year to grow in grace…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Holy Spirit may be close to every Christian persecuted for his/her faith…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Holy Spirit may bring healing to all who are sick and suffering…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Holy Spirit may pour our gifts of prophecy on our sons and daughters…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Holy Spirit may give young men visions and cause old men to dream dreams…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the Holy Spirit may raise to life all those who have died in Christ and lead them home to heaven…. Lord, hear us.

God our creator, your Spirit brings us life and sustains us throughout our days: hear these prayers we are inspired to make, through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
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Hymn: “More And More Of You” – Richie Fike, Jonathan Lee, & Jennie Lee Riddle

Benediction:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NLT)

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

Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34; 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23 ~ receive the Holy Spirit

Pentecost Sunday

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

Opening sentence and prayer:

Today is Pentecost Sunday, ‘the great beginning of the Church’, the day the Holy Spirit first came to confused and frightened disciples.
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Send down, O God, upon Your people the flame of Your Holy Spirit, and fill us with Your presence and power. May Your life-giving Spirit lend fire to our words and strength to our witness. Send us forth to the nations of the world to proclaim with boldness Your wondrous work of raising Christ to Your right hand. We pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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A Reading from the Book of Acts: Acts 2:1-11 (NLT)

Pentecost 3

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34 (NLT)

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
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How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
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When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
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May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works —
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May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 (NLT)

Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

one body

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
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Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body — whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 20:19-23 (NLT)

Receive the Holy Spirit
Receive the Holy Spirit

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
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Intercessions:

Aware of the Spirit at work in us, we come to You, Heavenly Father, with our prayers.

+ For all those who have been touched by the Spirit — that they may always allow God’s Power to work in them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For a world plagued by hunger, war and destruction — that the Spirit may renew the face of the earth…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have never known God’s love — that the Spirit may be with all who witness to the love of Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who can’t get on with each other — that the Spirit of love may bring harmony and peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who receive Communion today — that the Spirit may help them love Jesus more each day…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who gather together, celebrating the Spirit’s coming — that our faith may be firm, our hope sure and our love without end…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have died in Christ – that the Spirit may awaken them to life without end…. Lord, hear us.

Lord God, how great You are, how many are Your works: let Your Spirit guide your people, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Benediction:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor. 13:14)

+ 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